Our View

Editorial Board

Choose change or be changed

Earth Day passed this year with as much noise as a gentle spring rain.

The 35th annual Earth Day celebration that normally raises consciousness around environmental issues seemed to pass by with nary a bolt of lightning or rolling thunder — a sign that there is an increased apathy among people toward environmental care.

Environmental apathy is understandable because it is tough to picture the size of the earth, the amount of resources we have, the role we play in the environment and many other big picture ideas that are necessary for having a functioning environmental consciousness. However, though it is tough to comprehend, there is still a dangerous reality before us — the reality that we are slowly killing off our very existence.

The earth isn’t just another liberal cause, like some oppressed people in some far-off land; it is the very matter that sustains us on nearly every level. From the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, to the water we drink, to the air we breathe, to the cars we drive, to the computers we work and play on, to almost all other areas of life, all are dependent upon a healthy environment.

What is equally threatening as the loss of our natural resources (and subsequently the loss of our unnatural resources, for all things eventually lead back to the earth) is our potential loss of rights. If current trends in consumption and waste continue, we will reach a point where government intervention will be necessary. It seems very unlikely that any administration in any part of the world would willingly walk into the destruction of all humanity. Thus, stricter rules and regulations will be put in place to maintain a healthful ecosystem. Such an infringement on rights would be unfortunate but is a direct result of our current views towards the environment.

It’s a scary thought that one day (maybe quite soon), we may all face environmental collapse, as well as strict, governmentally enforced policies on how much we can eat, how frequently we can bathe and how far we can drive. Such a world, while currently inconceivable, is possible.

What stands before us as a populous is two options: One, try to understand the vastness, yet limitedness of the earth, as well as how each decision one makes affects the earth or, two, try to understand what life without the freedom of choice, in what we now consider rather mundane parts of life, would be like. Both are equally tough to visualize, but the former at least has airs of positive change, whereas the latter is depressing and demoralizing.

We recommend, as a start to this undertaking of understanding, going into the environment in whatever capacity you most enjoy. If you like to swim, head to Lake Erie. Fishing? Go to one of the many streams and lakes in the area. Hiking and bird-watching can be done at most parks. Kent State even offers skydiving for those who appreciate the vastness of the sky above.

Whatever the pleasure, indulge it. Then, as you lie in peace with a touch of serenity, consider what you can do to keep your special place as nice as possible.

In the future, we hope we don’t have to write this editorial again.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose members are listed to the left.