Warming Up to the Idea of Saving the Planet

Anita - Plainview, New York
Entered on June 25, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

NEWSFLASH! It has finally become fashionable to care about saving the planet. Although it still may not top the list of presidential campaign issues, it is at least on the agenda and hopefully in a practical and enduring way.

For years, concern for the environment languished as a fringe issue, associated with tree huggers and Sierra Club devotees and could not gain any traction with main stream politicos. That was until Al Gore and other concerned and well informed citizens used their high profile status to finally put the issue of global warming where it needs to be … right smack in our faces.

The confluence of Gore’s powerful documentary and irrefutable facts like melting polar ice caps and balmy winter temperatures proved to be a tipping point in the positive trend toward conservation and thinking “green.”

You wouldn’t think that saving the planet would be such a hard sell, but for years, the subject of global warming was widely shrugged off and ignored as a lot of hokum. “Sensationalism, people claimed … propaganda of the Green fringe groups.” Even reputable scientists, who tried to speak out on this clear and present danger, were shushed and discredited as kooks. Why? Because that’s what people do when they are faced with overpowering and unpleasant truths, they dig their heads in the sand and hope that the bad news goes away.

But the bad news didn’t go away and all of us, including corporate CEOs and politicians on both sides of the aisle (hopefully), are starting to accept the irrefutable fact that our beloved planet is in a heap o’ trouble. And, in light of the fact that we don’t have any other planets on which to live and raise our families, we urgently need to make some big changes. Thankfully, the stigma of being “environmentally conscious,” or “eco-friendly,” is dissipating and making room for intelligent dialog, proposed legislation and mobilization. But, we must also do our part as individuals.

So, my fellow Earthlings … young and old, rich and poor, black, white or purple; start reducing your carbon footprint. Start small, by recycling, turning off unnecessary lights and riding your bike to work. Before you know it, you may find yourself buying a hybrid car, composting in your garden and supporting local organic farmers.

We need to change how we think and how we live, and create a responsible legacy for our children and future generations. Change is not easy, but if you compare it to the alternatives, like figuring out how to live under water or how to colonize Mars, it’s not so daunting, now is it?