Last week we recognized Earth Day.
In its early years, Earth Day was more often viewed as a left-leaning political movement than it was about conservation and proper stewardship of our environment.
While there remain some detractors and political opponents to this annual passage, it has clearly become more mainstream…and for sound reason.
It is apparent that we are undergoing various forms of “climate change.” As to the extent of whether this is a result of depleted ozone or “global warming” that is a matter for the scientists, researchers and public policy makers to debate.
What is not really debatable is that we can practice more sensible and less consumptive lifestyles for the betterment of our environment and future generations from whom, as the Native American adage goes, we will have borrowed. And it’s catching on. Better recycling practices are undertaken on the most local level. It’s simply gauche not to be “green.”
A common criticism levied by the environmental movement is the notion that we have become a “disposable society.” Much of this is attributable to economies built upon the promotion of goods and services we ultimately “want,” yet falsely believe we “need.” The consequences of our disposable society are seen in overflowing landfills, polluted waters, and depleted resources.
On the eve of Earth Day, a sad occurrence took place that only reaffirmed that we are still very much a disposable society. Unfortunately, little attention was paid to this occasion.
This occasion was a decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the so-called “Morning-After” pill to become available for minors seventeen (17) years of age. This decision is troubling on so many levels; all of which affirm our culture is one that has little or no consequences.
We have opened Pandora’s Box here. The gift of life is no longer viewed as a gift, but merely an inconvenience that can be remedied with a pill. Relationships are no longer based upon love and sacrifice; they are susceptible to objectification and self-gratification. Let us not forget the emotional and physical health of the consumer -especially the minor – who makes use of the Morning After pill.
Last summer when gasoline approached $4.00/gallon, there was great concern about the Earth’s oil and natural gas resources. We are now wisely searching for innovative ways to harness resources like the wind and sun for cost-effective and cleaner energy. We are doing this with the idea we are making our environment – our Earth – a better place.
The concern becomes the loss of a generation of our best and brightest with the ideas and capacity that would ultimately take us to that better place.