It’s me, your mama Earth here. I heard you had a big celebration planned for my special day, but first, I want to remind you of something important.
The health of your environment and the abundance of resources I provide through it– that is what dictates the outcome of everything you need to live, as well as everything you never want to live without. From the most basic of human needs to the most indulgent of pleasures, your lifestyles and livelihoods cannot continue at the expense of the very resources they depend on.
I’m always hearing about you all trying to go green for the environment, so I’m here to set the record straight. When you make small intentional acts in the best interest of me (your favorite planet and only home), never forget that you also have your own best interest at heart.
Your environment is the ground that grows food to nourish you. It’s the water that falls from the sky to quench your thirst, the air you breathe in and out. If your environment is hurting, then you will also suffer the consequences.
Your true power lies in choosing the power you depend on– your electricity.
Burning the precious fossil fuels it took me millions of years to create has accounted for 92% of total U.S. human-made CO2 emissions. I know you’re all doing your best, but you’re swimming against a very strong current. A current of circumstances that force you to be dependent on fossil fuels for everything you need even though their extraction is more costly and damaging to you than alternative options. It doesn’t have to be that way. My wind, sun, and water belong to ALL of you, and you can count on them forever.
I resent the fossil fuel giants for guilting you with talk of reducing your carbon footprint when theirs is the one that really needs to change.
Instead of paying a premium for the oil industry to pollute on your behalf as it earns a 55% return on its investment, you might ask,
“Where’s my return for trying to take care of the planet? Is it the toxic water that can no longer be used for drinking, fishing or swimming? Or maybe it’s the healthcare bills for cancer caused by a nearby fossil fuel plant? Maybe it’s just the fact that every single one of us now has fossil-fuel-derived plastics coursing through the blood in our veins, the water in our streams, and the soil in the ground?”
Until you start asking these questions, big oil is still winning, and they’re distracting you by making you blame yourselves and each other. But, are you the oil and drilling sector worth $2.1 trillion? No, you sure aren’t.
When electricity supplied by wind or solar energy is available, it displaces the energy that would otherwise be produced by natural gas or coal-fired power plants. Generating just 35% of electricity using wind and solar in the western U.S. would reduce CO2 emissions by 25-45% (roughly equivalent to taking 22-36 million cars off the road). Not only does it help prevent pollution to fight climate change, but it’s also the cheapest energy source by far… and it has been since 2020.
Help your friends do it. Help your family do it. You can even encourage businesses and schools to do it. Because if the energy you and your community rely on comes from a renewable source, you’re preventing a hell of a lot more carbon emissions than you could by purchasing another eco-friendly product you probably don’t even need.
I’m so proud of you for advocating on my behalf, but promise me that you’ll spend this Earth Day and every day thereafter fighting climate change not just for me, but for yourselves too.
You got this!