Not long ago, I wrote a little about the impact our species is having on the Earth. It’s a topic I’ve always felt passionate about, and it reminded of my grandpa. More specifically, it reminded me of something I read in my grandpa’s memoir, An Insignificant Life, which I’d like to share with you now, if you’d care to read it.
It is with a great sense of remorse that I look at the destruction which we supposedly civilized humans have wrought upon the earth in so few generations.
In the past 130 years, we have nonchalantly hunted numerous species of wildlife to near extinction for want of a trophy, head or hide; a horn, a feather or some such frivolous token. In the name of progress we strip earth of life-giving rain forests and pollute our soil, water and air with chemicals.
In the past 70 years we have relieved earth of vast quantities of petroleum with hardly a thought of saving some for our grandchildren.
During the past 40 years we have been intent upon destroying the ozone with fluorocarbons, and subterranean aquifers are pumped lower and lower, with only a small minority of the populace concerned about what the future holds.
Our rivers, lakes, harbors and shores are polluted, and I fear that it will not take us long to completely destroy this beautiful oasis called Earth unless a generation in the very near future gets smarter than the past few have been.
It is my opinion that my generation and the two generations preceding mine have wrought more destruction to wildlife, soil, natural resources, water supplies, air and ozone than all animal life on earth before us. The only reason there has been anything left for the next generation is that there was such an abundant supply that is has been impossible for us to deplete it in our lifetime.
And so, my dear grandchildren, it is with shame that I pass on to you a heritage that materialistically is perhaps easier and more convenient than past generations had, but is sadly lacking in the necessities and beauties of life. I trust that you and your peers will have the foresight to do what we didn’t and find a solution to alleviate the fouling of our nest.
Thomas J. Stockton
Saving the earth is apolitical
My grandpa was the single most influential man in my life growing up. That is not to say, however, that I adopted his views as my own. My grandpa was a conservative, through and through (albeit a fairly moderate one, at least by today’s Teapublican standards), yet I turned out about as liberal as you can get. I think this just goes to show the importance of this topic. Safeguarding our planet to ensure the continued existence of our civilization is a nonpartisan venture…
I think it’s time we, the custodians of Earth, started acting like we give a damn about it.