Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Do you know that 1500 farmers in India committed mass suicide due to crop failure last week? Mass Suicide. 1500 people who are not living anymore, with 1500 families and countless friends who's lives will never be the same.

During the Great Depression in our country the suicide rate went from 14 to 17 per 100,000. This was 1500 human beings at one time. It is just staggering to me. I think about the complaints we have here. I know it's all relative but come on. These are people just like you and me. Oh, except for the fact they probably don't have laptops or nice cars or go out to dinner to much, they probably aren't spending Spring Break in the Caribbean but besides that they all had families and dreams and hopes and blood coursing through their veins. They loved like we love and prayed like we pray and now they're gone. They were in debt. I don't know if it was a political statement or the only way they saw out. It's not even a new thing for them. It has been going on for over a decade. But 1500 at once? God.

It's not just India, suicide due to drought and wildfires and how they effect farming are prevalent in Australia too. It's global warming my friends. The weather changes things. We know that. Here it's raining, we miss a baseball game. In Australia the estimation is every four days a farmer commits suicide. I am not diminishing any one's troubles. They are all real and hard and trying but good Lord I think we all know we'll get through this. It might look a little different but we'll come out the other side. Not there, not in India. For them things will never look the same.

I was out the other night and someone was talking about how they didn't recycle. They didn't recycle or try to conserve or reuse or do anything remotely environmentally conscious because they said they lived in a house with heat, they drove a car with gas, they knew they were wasteful and just didn't see the point. I think I just stared like an idiot with my mouth hanging open because I couldn't believe it.
After a minute I thought to myself, "What the hell am I doing?" I recycle, but my kids walk out of the room and leave the tv on. I use the plastic bags at the grocery store. I make a lot of environmental mistakes. I'm just as bad as he is. Or almost. I care. I want the best for my kids and their kids but I don't do enough. I think Earth day should be like Lent. Although instead of giving up something you should have to do something good. Be a do gooder. Get all high and mighty with people who aren't. Not in a reformed smoker kind of way, but have an edge for the environment.
It all counts. Every little bit. You might not be able to save the Earth single handily but don't do nothing, that's so lame. :)

For Kathy SSSSSSS . Love you.

They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot

They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them
No, no, no, don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
They paved paradise, and put up a parkin' lot

Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT
I don't care about spots on my apples,
Leave me the birds and the bees - please
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
Hey now, they've paved paradise to put up a parking lot
Why not?

Listen, late last night, I heard the screen door swing,
And a big yellow taxi took my girl away
Now don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
Hey now now, don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise to put up a parking lot
Why not, they paved paradise
They put up a parking lot
Hey hey hey, paved paradise and put up a parking lot

I don't wanna give it
Why you wanna give it
Why you wanna givin it all away
Hey, hey, hey
Now you wanna give it
I should wanna give it
Cuz you're givin it all away, no no

I don't wanna give it
Why you wanna give it
Why you wanna givin it all away
Cuz you're givin it all givin it all away yeah yeah
Cuz You're givin it all away hey, hey, hey

Hey, paved paradise, to put up a parking lot
la,la, la, la, la, la, la ,la ,la ,la ,la
Paved paradise, and put up a parking lot


Kathy said...

Okay, I'll start this one off... First, suicide is far to serious of a mental health issue for me to comment on. It is painfully sad when a person or group of people feels that this is the only option - whether from clinical depression, religious/cultural beliefs, or whatever. Sadly, my great uncle was one of the Great Depression suicides. Believe it or not, it was a "fashionable out" for the times. Never mind the devastated families left behind. (But enough about that side of the family, I'll share more later when we feel like laughing - Let's just say it like "Soap" meets "The Twilight Zone.)

The other topic here is Earth Day! I still remember when my Grandfather (different side of the family) brought us a new program his company was introducing to school children. (I guess we were his test dummies) It was a game about something called "recycling." The teaching materials came with a record which had a new song on it called "Big Yellow Taxi." It talked about the importance of saving the birds and the bees. His company was Continental Can Company. The year was 1972.

kathy said...

Oh, and a relatively new singer wrote and recorded the song. I think her name was Joni. She was good. I hope she went on to make more albums......

Anonymous said...

you go, girl. gettin' me all revved up.
miss you.


Sue Jacquette said...

I love this post! And I'm going to give you reusable bags to use at the grocery store instead of plastic.

Kathy said...

Sue, I love my reusable bags. They not only hold twice as many groceries as paper bags but also provide me with extra exercise since I forget them and have to walk back out to my car every, and I mean every, time I go to the store :)

Amy, Thanks for the lyrics. Took me back in time.......

Lula! said...

I had not heard that story about the farmers in India...truly heartbreaking.

Great post! I love your insight on this topic. Yesterday I was complaining to my husband about how ugly those CFL lightbulbs are and he goes, "At least we're saving energy!" Yeah, ok. But then I found out that new, more normal looking CFL lightbulbs are now available. It's the Earth's gift to me...on Earth Day. Yay.

p.s. You know I love you for referencing Joni Mitchell.

unpluggedAmy said...

Wow. Had no idea. Happy Earth Day.

Lora said...

oh my god.

also, I work with a lot of people who don't even TRY to do anything good for the planet. and a girl who is a recycling nazi but she drinks 17 vitamin waters every day. and three sodas. srsly.

i am far from being totally eco-friendly, but i try each day to make a decision that helps a tiny bit. that makes me feel good.