Happy Earth Day! April 22 is a day set aside to recognize and encourage the world-wide environmental movement through public policy and the actions of consumers.
I have to admit, I’m not always as environmental conscious as I should be. I do recycle, and try to conserve energy, like not having on the radio, TV and computer all at the same time, or unplugging devices when they’re not in use. Though every Earth Day, I think about what more I can do.
I attended The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Emerging Professionals and the Palm Beach Branch of the USGBC South Florida Chapter's screening of “Climate Refugees” (2009) the evening of April 19 at the City of West Palm Beach’s LEED Certified Waterfront pavilion located downtown.
In the documentary by filmmaker Michael Nash, he and his crew traveled to areas hardest hit by climate change including Bangladesh, India, the Tuvalu islands in the South Pacific, China, Sudan and Chad, Texas and New Orleans, filmed over the course of two years. Rising sea levels, coastal erosion and droughts are causing the displacement and migration of millions.
Needless to say, the film is an eye-opener in many ways. Nowadays, it’s absolutely rare to see bipartisan agreement on issues. However, Nash interviewed politicians John Kerry and Newt Gingrich, who both concur there is an alarming issue at hand. He also interviewed scholars and scientists who affirm the implication of climate change is not a projected crisis, it is going on now.
The mention of rising sea levels made me immediately think of the devastating tsunami in Japan triggered by an earthquake in March 2011. Earthquakes aren’t known to be a result of climate change. Though, can they be?
In regards to the also devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, an article on Mongabay.com, an environmental science and conservation news site, states, “Erosion caused by hurricanes and large-scale deforestation may have contributed to last year's devastating earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people in Haiti, according to a geologist at the University of Miami.” Read the article here: http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0103-haiti_earthquake_deforestation.html
I believe the majority of Americans do care about the environment. Who doesn’t enjoy breathing fresh air? Though for many adults, I included, we have to go through a process of changing our habits, and understanding of environmental systems better. “Climate Change” is a film that can stir up some motivation. Fortunately, with children and teens, we have the opportunity to plant seeds of environmental awareness in their lives.
Everyone has the ability to do something. Check out this service announcement, "Athletes of the Earth" featuring world athletes who speak of how they are positively contributing to the environmental movement. They offer some good suggestions.
By the way, don’t know what to do with your old flip phone? Or, are you a part of the Smart Phone craze, and don’t know what to do with your original iPhone or BlackBerry? As a part of National Phone Recycling Week, leading telephone companies are offering recycling programs. For more information, visit http://www.mobiledia.com/news/87678.html