A Humble Tribute to Earth Day

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)

Aristotle said, ‘In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.’ How true! I doubt there is anywhere in the entire universe that could be as beautiful as our mother earth. Earth Day was granted by Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 20, 1970. He must have had a deep affection and appreciation for our earth. They can build rockets to explore other planets but none will ever measure up to this earth. Here, we have forests, rivers, mountains, oceans, flowers and food. We have animals and gem stones, fish and fowl, snow and rain, sunny days and clouds, and the good earth that gives us so much. Mancould never furnish those things on another planet. Why would we want to, anyway?Most medicines are found in the plants and trees around us. Our national parks are breathtakingly beautiful. Every state, every countryin the world has something worth seeing andadmiring.

If only we had continued to live closer to nature instead of using a technology that is slowly robbing us of what is safe and nontoxic. Without technology we wouldn’t have the chaos that is occurring every day, theunhealthy atmosphere that is slowly sapping our normal existence, creating new maladies.Just think about how we have treated this beautiful earth; huge landfills dumping mountains of garbage, pesticides and herbicides that are still commercially legal in every state, the oceans where almost every species of fish contains pieces of plastic or lead, causing the plastic pollution. Nearly 90% of the debris in the ocean contains plastic. Senator Nelson would be sickened to see the utter chaotic mess. Smog in some cities in the world had become deadly until filters were placed and laws established curbing some of it.

Days ago in Spain, a ten meter long, sperm whale was autopsied. It had died of Peritonitis due to the 29 kilos of plastic bags, bottles and other pieces found in its stomach.Several turtles were found suffocated due to plastic bags they thought were jelly fish. And, now plastic is disrupting our human hormones. Our oceans are filthy with debris and garbage – all due to human ignorance and the greed to make money. Money is more important than human life.Technology’s need for the easiest, the fastest, the more lucrative, has brought us to this end. Over packaging by food companies raises the need for more paper. So, acres of trees are cut down for that paper.And, now technology seeks to reach other planets where we can dump the radioactive waste that should have been abandoned after Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Indian Point that is closing soon with investors not very happy about it. Poor mother earth!

We have only Pandora to blame. In Greek mythology, Pandora, whose house contained everything beautiful, was entrusted with a box that she was not to open until she married. It was called the Silver Age. But curiosity being what it is, she opened it and she let loose an ugly brown cloud composed of awful things. She confessed to Epimetheus that she opened the box, but she told them, she swept and cleansed the house thoroughly, promising that there was one thing left in the box. That was hope.Later, great floods drowned everything. Food was scarce and people fought and stole. The earth was red with blood, children became selfish, wanting their inheritance so they wouldn’t need to work and family love vanished.The Gods had abandoned the earth the way it seems today. One mountain, called Parnassus, rose above the chaos, where one man and his wife found refuge. They were just and kindly and faithful worshippers of the Gods. From them, a whole new race was created. Sound familiar?Once more after the great floods, hoperenewed the earth.Once more, all good things grew, givingthe earth another chance to replenish into a beautiful place. I am always astounded when I read Greek mythology because of its similarity to the Bible stories that came centuries later.

Bill Nye, “the science guy,”someone who is extremely knowledgeable on matters of climate, argued with senators, mayors and governors to listen to Senator Al Gore, who tried hard to convince congress that climate change is real. But,most senators are backed by money hungry lobbyists promoting their own agendas that would reduce their economy. We, the people, who love America the beautiful, will once again harbor hopefrom sea to shining sea.

Phyllis Sembos writes the feature column “Greek-American Stories” for The National Herald.