Sunday, 28 March 2010

Earth Day

Yesterday was Earth Day*. I went into Carmarthen to join the Earth Day event that was being held there. Various organisations had set up information stalls, there were workshops including a fun all-day craft workshop for kids using recycled materials from the local scrap stores, and a series of talks and discussions.

Unfortunately I was only able to go along for part of the day, but when I arrived just after lunch I was saddened to see only about 25 people there (plus a few more in the foyer taking part in the recycled crafts workshops with their children). Carmarthen was bustling on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the event was well publicised, and yet only a handful of people seemed to have turned out.

Nevertheless, the overall mood was upbeat and positive. The people there were in full awareness of the dire threats to the Earth and Her survival, and yet there was a mood of 'Yes we can!'.

The one exception to this was an elderly man who, during a discussion about what we can and should be doing put forward the view that it was too late, we should have acted up to 100 years ago and our lack of action then means we and the planet are all doomed. When someone - humorously - asked him why he hadn't yet slashed his wrists, he thought for a while and then replied, "Because I want to live long enough to know I was right."

My reply to this was that if I was in his shoes I would want to be proved wrong, which kind of took the wind out of his sails!

Later on in the discussion I suggested a monthly e-newsletter to keep all the different projects around the area in touch with each other, sharing resources and information. I think I may have actually volunteered to get said newsletter up and running, which is a bit daunting but also meant I left with a smile on my face and the feeling I had contributed something useful to the day, despite not being able to be there for the whole event.

That evening, along with many others around the country, at 8.30pm GMT I turned all the lights and most of the appliances in the house off for an hour, and did some chores by the light of a solar-powered lantern to mark 'Earth Hour'.

On turning the computer back on afterwards, I was saddened to see a Facebook friend had posted a link to an article from the Daily Telegraph by Damian Thompson titled 'Beat the Earth Hour fascists and turn on your lights NOW!'. When I posted a comment about why I had observed Earth Hour and how sick I was of smug cynicism about ecological issues I was jumped on by many other commentators, mostly climate change deniers and paranoid conspiracy theorists.

It was sad end to a long day, book ended by people from extreme ends of the climate change issue. On the one hand the elderly man at Earth Day represented the 'Humans are evil and we thoroughly deserve the ecological holocaust we have unleashed on ourselves' end of the spectrum, and later the Facebook commentators represented the 'I won't be told what to do by holier than thou greenies who are making it all up anyway' point of view.

Amazingly, I am not (too) depressed by this, perhaps still carried along by the atmosphere of 'Yes we can!' I encountered from most people yesterday.

It is my opinion that this world is too unique, beautiful and sacred to let it be trashed and destroyed. It may be an insurmountable task we have ahead of us in trying to turn things around, but I for one will not give up trying.

* In the UK. Earth Day is celebrated by the US in April.


Pagangracecat said...

Why would ANYONE believe what they read in the Torygraph? The mind boggles......

Silver Fox said...

Hello :o) your return to the man i think we all can so often be stuck in a rut of thinking and I think if he is still connected to being alive ~ truly what that means.
And yes i've come across also people who have said we are insignificant and the earth will evolve into other life even if all that we know ends. And I have been amazed at how i read that as a lack of enjoyment of life. Coos surely there is so much beauty and wonder to want to respect and not waste.
So I feel that there is so much loss in that lack of connection....a lack of feeling internally and outwardly.
And for that to thaw I think might be painful...hence the defences.
We are part of nature and yet we think we are not...
And I can just imagine how your passion had propelled you into wanting to co-ordinate...make links...communicate...commune...

mxtodis123 said...

Sounds like a it was a fun and informative day. We literally had a series of 'blasts' to remind us of how much destruction we have done to the earth. And then, afterwards, when we spent about 4 hours with no power, finding our way with candlelight, I was reminded of our ancestors...and that this is the way they had lived.

MrsL said...

Plough your own furrow and be the change you want to see in the world - it's the way forward.:)

We observed Earth Hour again - a lovely peaceful hour by candle light. Mind you, we do that quite often anyway, but it was lovely to know we were being joined by many across the earth.



charlotte said...

What people should remember is that we only borrow our planet for the short time we are here. I was always taught to look after anything if I borrowed it, and to make sure that I don't break it.

The only real way forward is to keep doing what we can, educate by our actions, and ensure the next generation are given a sense of awe and wonder at the natural world.

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Griffin said...

Having attended Geography lectures in my job as a note-taker, I came to realise that he was tip-toeing around the fact that actually without us humans the world would benefit considerably!

For all the wonderful things we have done and can do, we've treated the rest of the life on this planet extremely badly and as a species we still do. Perhaps it's time our species understood that we are a part of the whole, not above all of it somehow. Human beings are an unsustainable species.

Luciana Onofre said...

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Luciana Onofrezo

Anonymous said...

Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of EARTH DAY with a virtual field trip to Colorado's beautiful Aiken Canyon. Kids learn about what they need for a day hike. This three-minute episode includes links to fun websites, the Nature Conservancy, Nature Rocks, The Environmental Kids Club, Planet Pals and Love the Outdoors. Check out the new
a list of recommended books and a Learning Corner of questions and extended activities about each episode.

MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual Field Trips for Kids (
is a series of free educational video pod casts is directed at kids ages 7-12.

Anonymous said...
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Naukishtae said...

My Dear.. I fear you are being taken advantage of.. I am only an Old Witch, but the comment dated April 9.. you may want to check the blog it sends one to.. I have lost most of my Chinese reading ability, but the pictures I think say it all.. looks like they border on pandering.. Not your fault, but I think it goes against every thing you stand for.. Sorry to jump in like this.. Be Blessed.. you have a lovely blog.. May the Goddess be with you each day...

Naukishtae said...

Sorry to add to my previous comment, but the comment from March 31, is just as bad if not worse.. again not your fault.. some people have no consciance at all and will use others to push their garbage on the inocent.. check them my dear.. then deleat them, again forgive me for saying anything.. but it is better that you know.. Goddess Bless

Naukishtae said...

Now, I know I am becoming a pain.. these unwanted comments start in your 5th Annual Poetry for Brigid Event and continue to today.. You have a very nice blog, and I just hate to see it misrepresented by these hidden comments that send your readers to a site that you might not approve of.. again sorry to be such a bother.. Be Blessed Sister... I love your blog and your etsy stuff..

Moonroot said...

Thanks for the heads up, Naukishtae. I had assumed from the appearance of the comments you mentioned that they were spam of some sort and so had not bothered to check them. It hadn't occurred to me that they would be offensive or bothersome to my readers, but obviously this is an issue. I will therefore go through & delete them, and will change the comments section so that I can 'approve' each comment before it appears from now on.

Thanks for your concern!