|The President’s Hoot|
by Richard H. Baker, Ph.D.
Nature provides us with water to drink, air to breathe, and food to eat, and many plants and animals, which we need to survive. Our Earth, sun, moon, and stars, just where they are, all related, are a miracle of nature.
Nature can also harm us with natural disasters like storms and earthquakes, but species have adapted and evolved in nature by adjusting to different climates and circumstances. It is an astounding process.
Humans have had a great influence on our planet’s natural systems. Trees, for example, provide us with O2 and remove excess CO2. Their roots hold the rain so that it does not run into our lakes, rivers, and Lagoon. Some provide us with food, furniture, wood for buildings, and fires that have kept us warm. They provide a habitat for birds and animals that we love. Unfortunately, we are removing them at such a rapid rate for development or food. Many are crushed into pulp to produce cardboard and paper. We can make paper and furniture, but only nature can produce a tree.
Nature is the creator of it all. There is order in nature. We see it in the rising and setting of the sun, the moon controlling our tides, and the seasons as they cycle through each year. So far, we have not been able to modify the sun, moon, and stars, which give us peace and harmony, although we are visiting the moon and trying to go to Mars, and now we are confident we can change the direction of asteroids from hitting us.
Nature provides us with lots of variety. Countries differ in their climates, landscapes, plants, animals and people who built various structures like the pyramids and great skyscrapers. Yet flowers, landscapes, mountains, deserts, lakes, trees, rivers, and seasons all make the world beautiful and diverse. We need this diversity. Everything has a place in nature. For us to survive, all things need to work together. Moisture is lifted from the ocean, lakes, and rivers and then is returned in dew and rain to refresh and restore the earth so that the world around will be filled with an exquisite fragrance that keeps this old world fresh and beautiful for you and me.
During these years, people of genius have been building machines that have been amazing in what they can do and accomplish. However, one after the other, these machines become worn out and outmoded, then are cast aside as scrap to be replaced by something better. But the sun has continued to bring its light and heat and power as bountifully and efficient as ever.
Our transportation, electric power, industry, commercial and residential areas, agriculture and landfill (the highest mountain in our county) are producing methane and CO2 gas. These are causing global climate to change, leading to extreme droughts, floods, and storms that are killing our plants and animals, and us. Our President must bring the world’s leaders together to take imaginative and immediate actions to reverse the burning of fossil fuels to save extreme losses of wildlife and prevent many species from going extinct. Our state and county leaders, too, can act to protect our local and regional lands.
What is there in life that can surpass the beauty of nature? Gifted artists have selected as their subjects the scenes of nature and landscapes. Some have been fascinated by the dawn of a new day, the glow of the evening after the sun has set, the stars of the summer night, the light of the moon upon a body of water, a winter scene, a head of cattle feeding on some hillside or resting in some valley. However, great painters have felt wholly inadequate to measure up to painting these beauties of nature.
As the climate crisis worsens, we may expect more and more “natural” disasters like Ian and Nicole to threaten our communities, economy and quality of life. We need to encourage our leaders to get serious in protecting our only home, the Earth. The climate crisis is here now, not in the future! Lives are being lost around the planet as communities are ravaged by wildfires, floods, droughts, heat waves, and hurricanes. There are many things we can do individually in our lives: Reduce turfgrass to 10-15% by planting native plants and trees to absorb CO2; stop clearcutting our lands; plant a forest in our backyard; stop using septic tanks and encourage our county to use our poop to produce electricity, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus; install solar panels and wind turbines; eat less meat; and provide electric transportation for all. Perhaps one of the most important steps we can take is to consume less to reduce pressure on our natural resources. As the saying goes: Reduce, repair, reuse and recycle!
Both you and I should aspire to become green citizens by changing how we live immediately to protect ourselves and the wonderful beauty of nature as we know it.