Happy Earth Day

I am delighted to see that EarthDay is trending on Twitter. That means people care about the planet, which is encouraging.

Have you signed A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment, and acted on some of its recommendations?

Have you checked your ecological footprint lately?

We only have one Earth – this beautiful planet with so many amazing life-forms on board. This pale blue dot lost in a sea of space, as Carl Sagan wrote:

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

It is time to act on climate change, pollution, the loss of species, the loss of habitats, the loss of forests.

It is time for a change of perspective.

By Moeedayazbutt - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40246333

Dandelion at Shogran. Photo by MoeedayazbuttOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0.

We need to stop seeing humans as the pinnacle of existence; stop thinking that something from outside ourselves will save us from the consequences of our destructive habits.

We need to stop thinking that capitalism is the only possible economic paradigm: there are alternatives.

We must change ourselves; and we must do everything in our power to change the world. It’s a two-pronged approach. It’s not true that we cannot change the world; that is a counsel of despair. People campaigned long and hard to end slavery, get votes for women, make marital rape illegal, legalise same-sex marriage, get the recent climate accords in Paris signed by the countries of the world, and for many other changes. Those changes didn’t happen all by themselves, or because the ruling classes suddenly woke up one day and realised what they had been getting wrong all this time.

Progressive social and environmental change happens because ordinary people come together to campaign for it.

Happy Earth Day. Smell the flowers, appreciate the beauty of the green Earth. Let’s get to work.

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