Wondrous Wildlife
By Vern and Lori Gieger
The Fragile Web of Life

     All that we love, take pleasure in, and experience in this world is made possible because of the home we live on, Earth. There is only one Earth; therefore, there is only one home for all of us. We take for granted that there will always be fresh air to breath and clean water to drink. However, we must admit and understand our Earth does not have unlimited resources.
     Without mincing words, there are those among us who are destroying our home. They are robbing her of her natural resources, vitality, heath and beauty. I would venture to say most people believe our Earth was created by God, and is a precious gift from Him, so how can we give it such little respect and still call ourselves believers? Typically, a precious gift is cherished and protected. No?
We are using up the life force of our Earth. Living here is a privilege and a responsibility. We humans cannot continue pillaging and plundering it. Like a spider web a few strands may be plucked out, and it still withstands the stress, but remove too many and it will collapse.
     We are so distracted many of us don’t see what is happening right under our own noses. Over a million species are facing extinction in the near future, our air is dirty, our oceans, rivers and lakes are polluted, the polar ice caps are melting, the weather becoming more unstable—tsunamis, droughts, flooding, devastating hurricanes, mud slides not to mention earthquakes and our failing ozone.
     Our Earth is comparable to a lifeboat; it can only hold so many people and endure so much deterioration before it sinks.
     We can no longer allow ourselves to be lazy, indifferent and believing we are invincible! Everyone has a responsibility to do what they can to stop our headlong course towards extinction through the destruction of our planet. Do not think you are not intricately tied into the health of our ecosystem for you are! If there is no healthy Earth, there is no you! Make no mistake, this is not a game, there can be no “re-match” if we lose it, it is over. Forever.
     I am not asking you to become a tree hugger, but an aware citizen and a responsible inhabitant of your own home. On our present course, we are sealing our own doom. Extinct means gone forever and we are heading there along with almost every other living thing on Earth.
     Let’s pay attention. Let’s question. Let’s communicate with others. We can no longer afford not to care, being barely conscious of our surroundings; like sheep being herded around by money, greed and personal comfort. Not realizing the consequences until they jump up and bite us. Then we ask; how could they (always referring to someone else) let this happen?
     One first step we can all take is being aware of what “products” we are using, and their potential hazards. There are many “environmental troublemakers,” and I am not referring to the things that make you sneeze. Some of the worst are things “we” use everyday: Styrofoam, aerosol sprays, drain cleaners, herbicides, pesticides—we are slowly poisoning ourselves and every other living creature on our planet.
     Think about this: your pet’s flea and tick treatment labels caution to avoid contact with skin, wash immediately with soap and water. It’s dangerous for you to be exposed to it, but okey to saturate your pet? (Ironic isn’t it that we are even poisoning our beloved companions).
     These same “precautions” are found on many other household items we use everyday. And where do they end up—in our water, our air and yes in the very food we eat. Be a label reader. If it contains the words caution, hazardous, or has an 1 800 # for the poison control center, ask yourself, do I really want to use this? Is there something else I can use? There are many eco-friendly alternatives if people take the time to check. With today’s modern technology, i.e., the internet, there is no excuse not to.”
     We must realize our actions are capable of annihilating an entire species, including man. Every year new ecological disasters are uncovered from events of 10, 20, even 30 years ago. It remains to be seen if humankind has the technology, the capability or even the inclination to try to restore what we have already destroyed. Cleaning up the environment is going to be possible only with a fundamental change in the way we live our lives at the individual level. There is little indication that we can count on our governments to protect us. It will take a concentrated effort by all of us to preserve the planet Earth, and all her living inhabitants. By doing so, we save ourselves too.