What Earth Day means to me
Admittedly, Earth Day seemed to have more of a presence when I was in high school. Organizing ‘earth week’s with environment clubs, celebrating with tree plantings and raffles, Earth Day soon began to fall into a time in university when exams and end of year essays were due, and my attention span to the day was decreased.
However, this year more than ever, Earth Day has a special place in my heart. Having witnessed first-hand the dramatic events of the Copenhagen conference unfold last December, and the visceral feeling of failure of watching out governments not rise up to the dangerous challenge of climate change, I will be appreciating what this Thursday means more than ever.
As I write this, I’m wearing a bright-orange t-shirt that says, “How old will you be in 2050?” In 2050, I will be 62. I’ll possibly have kids, and even grand kids at that point. I have no idea what the future holds for my 60-year-old self and my kids if we continue to treat the earth with the disrespect and the negligence that we do today. Many of the decision-makers who are putting our earth on this perilous path will certainly not be in power anymore, and many of them might not be alive. But the effects of their decisions will have lasting impacts on people of my generation and the future residents of our planet. It’s easy to think that the earth we live on will last forever in its current condition. But as we’ve seen, one simple volcano can cause a world of chaos, and the heating of our planet in the next couple of decades will bring a much worse impact, not to the economically fortunate, but to the most vulnerable and poor peoples of the world.
So on this Earth Day, I’ll be thinking about what my world will be like in 2050. And whether the decision-makers of this generation will allow us to live in a healthy that can support the lives and dreams of humanity for generations to come.
Unfortunately, I will be unable to blog for the next month, and I will be taking part into a research-trip with my peers in the Peace and Conflict Studies program at the University of Toronto. But when I get back, I’ll be excited to blog about the issues and exciting events surrounding the G8 and G20 summits this upcoming summer.