Mother Earth’s wishes for 2014-A A +A
As I See It
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
AS FAR as we know, Earth is the only planet in the solar system that has life. We are a part of that life. As well as warmth from the Sun, the other main ingredient for life is liquid water. Earth has plenty of water. It covers about three-quarters of the planet’s surface.
From outer space, Earth looks beautiful-blue with swirling white clouds. Astronauts in space spend most of their time gazing at it. All looks well, but get closer, and you see a different picture. Parts of Mother Earth are unhealthy – and all because of the way we live. Earth is our only home. We need to look after it to make sure it stays a beautiful healthy place. If we are careless now, we will spoil it for the future generation.
Earth’s climate is slowly getting warmer. Scientists found out that it is warmer now than it was 100 years ago. It’s getting warmer because of what the more than 6 billion people are doing. Our lifestyle is punishing Mother Earth. We burn fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas. We are putting greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. As the Earth’s climate is getting warmer, glaciers and the ice at the North and South Poles will melt. The sea level will rise. This will bring floods and some islands will disappear. Deserts will spread, and droughts will occur.
Mother Earth wishes that government and the private sector will build transport systems and factories that don’t make carbon dioxide, and expand the program on tree planting. We have to use less electricity because most electricity is from burning fossil fuels. We have to switch off lights and appliances when not in use. Sulphur dioxide is another harmful gas that comes from power stations and vehicles. It is very acidic. It eats things away. In the atmosphere it mixes with droplets of moisture to make acid rain. Trees die when acid rain falls on them and on their soil. Scandinavian forest has been damaged by acid rain.
Fast food restaurants are using polystyrene cartons. These cartons when burned could damage the ozone layer. Ozone refers to a layer of helpful gas that protects us from the Sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays. Nuclear power stations do not burn fossil fuels. They do not make harmful gases but they do make radioactive waste materials. They are dangerous and they are there to stay for the future.
Are there alternatives to fossil fuels? Yes, there are other ways to make power. Solar panels collect energy from the Sun. The spinning propellers of wind turbines collect energy from the wind. In many countries small amounts of energy come from rotting plants and animal dung. The methane they give off is burned to provide light and heat. This type of fuel is called bio-gas. Running water is used to make electricity. This is hydroelectric power. The electricity is made by power stations built in or near the dams. This is green energy.
Individually or as a small group, we can always give our humble share to Mother Earth. When glass bottles and jars are empty, wash them out and take them to the junkshops. The glass is taken to the factory and recycled. Some kinds of glass are taken to the factory and recycled. Plastic bottles for fizzy drinks are often made of recyclable plastic. Newspapers and telephone directories to sweet wrappers and envelops could be made into new paper and cardboard. Cans and tins are often made from a light weight metal called aluminum. They can be melted down and made into new cans. Wash your steel cans and take them to a can bank. Steel is the world’s most recycled material.
Give your old clothes to charity shops. What you don’t need can help others. Vegetable peelings, tree leaves, and grass cuttings are green waste. Pile them into a heap in the garden. They will rot down to make compost. It is food for the soil. Start making your own gardens. Make gardening your hobby. Can we make a difference? Yes, if we recycle things, we teach our town to do what is best for Mother Earth.
Earth is our Mother. We cannot afford her to be violent. Mother Earth can be only violent if her sons and daughters are stupid. We cannot afford to be stupid. We love life. Life is God’s gift. Mother Earth is God’s gift, too. We have to follow her wishes as good children.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 07, 2014.