A thanksgiving thought
By John Guillote
The release of the latest UN climate report tells us, yet again, that our planet may be in worse shape than we had previously thought.
While this news does not necessarily come as a shock, it has struck a deep chord in me on this Thanksgiving Day, when we are tasked with self-reflection on all of the things in life we most appreciate.
Today I find myself being most thankful for two things, my family and the planet that we all call home. I love each of these two things equally, but as I reflect I realize that I pay out that love in disproportionate measures. I endeavor to not only tell my family how much I appreciate them but also attempt to show it in a variety of ways. The proof is in the pudding, right?
While I have always loved and greatly benefitted from the natural environment (we all have), I cannot help but feel that it has been a one-sided affair. I have made far more withdrawals than I have deposits and have profited greatly from the relationship as a result. Much in the same way that a tenant who never pays their rent is either passing their wear and tear/maintenance costs on to the next tenant or doing direct harm to the landlord. In this case, both are true.
Considering our planet as a living entity with limited resources, our relationship to it constitutes one that is one-sided and unhealthy. And just like any good friend would, nature is now letting us know that it has given us all that it can afford to give and that if we want to keep sleeping under its roof we need to start helping with some of the chores.
So, on this day of thanks-givings, as Becca and I are surrounded by the beauty of the pristine environment which we have had to travel to the end of the earth to see, I would like to make a commitment to my old friend, Earth, and the rest of you who live here. I am going to devote time to learning about the most effective ways to lessen my impact on the planet and which of those chores I am best suited to take on and I will put these changes into effect by New Year’s.
I am going to start pitching in around here with the hope that the next generation of tenants will find the same willing and friendly host that I have. And despite some of the inconveniences that these personal changes may bring me, my prediction is that my lifelong friend will provide me with a number of valuable self-revelations in return for my efforts.