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Respect your mother (Earth)

Mary Tallett, Opinion Editor

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“Respect your mother, you only have one.” Mother Earth is 4.543 billion years old with around 7.442 billion people occupying her. She is a busy girl, constantly supplying enough water, air, and warmth to keep us all alive. You would think because of this we would respect her immensely, we have no plan B, no alternative planet; this (she) is ALL we have. So my question is: why do we not take better care of her?

The debate of whether Earth is changing radically (and not for the better) is completely supported by Earth, who is practically screaming, “help me!” The average temperature on the Earth has risen two degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century AND the Earth’s right hand, the ocean, has had a constant temperature increase since 1969. “Why is this happening?” screams the Earth and her curious earthlings.

Well, there are multiple theories, one of course is the impact of humanity, more specifically the effect of greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases are a group of compounds that are able to trap heat (long wave radiation) in the atmosphere, keeping the Earth’s surface warmer than it would be if they were not present. Greenhouse gas enters our atmosphere by means of human activities: fossil fuel use, deforestation, intensive livestock farming, use of synthetic fertilizers and industrial processes. Thus, the intense overheating of the Earth and ocean are related to our human activities. So, the next question naturally is: what can we do?

Our eating habits. Livestock production accounts for 18% of greenhouse gas emission; meaning, as meat consumption increases, so does the impact on the climate. So no, I’m not pleading for the whole world to turn vegetarian, but rather plead for a larger consumption of eggs, poultry, and fish, rather than red meat. Another helpful goal to aim for is at least one meatless meal per day, which would significantly help our mother. Another helpful option is eating local. An average meal travels 1,200 kilometers from the fork to the plate, creating a 11% emission  of greenhouse gas. By eating local you support local businesses and farmers, and the bigger picture, Earth! Lastly, eating organic. The pesticides used for conventional farming create almost an 80% emission of gas. So, eating organic food largely affects the well being of the planet, and is better for you.

Me, an Earth-lover who celebrates largely on Earth day (April 22nd) and was very sad when the Paris Climate Agreement wasn’t signed by America, has taken some initiative to try lessening my carbon footprint. I am a vegetarian, who sometimes cheats and eats fish, so technically a pescatarian. I try to eat local; I recommend Rawlicious in Newbo (which is also organic!).My family also buys mostly organic and is in the beginning stages of creating a garden. All these steps are attainable to all of you, or if you feel they are not, try at least one! We only have one Mother Earth, so we better respect her.

Mary Tallett

Opinion Editor

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Respect your mother (Earth)