Friday, February 14, 2014

A Love Letter to the Earth and its Inhabitants on Valentines Day

Valentines day is an opportunity to express love to people we care about, shouldn't the day also be about finding ways of communicating our love for the planet. No matter where we are, regardless of our power or wealth, we are all dependent on the Earth for our sustenance. Here is a love letter expressing gratitude for nature, and all those who work to make a better world.

We have many reasons to be grateful this Valentines Day. We are crafting positive environmental narratives that are getting more people on-board. A movement is being born that is infused with what can only be described as "eco-morality".  A new religious psychology and ethics is emerging that reinforces the environmental message. The new breed of environmentally concerned citizens gives us reason to hope that we will be able to tackle the difficult issues we face.

We are making progress on some of the most serious environmental issues of our time. In 2013 we saw progress on a number of fronts and over the course of the last few decades we have witnessed some impressive environmental success stories.

Much of this progress is attributable to people who work tirelessly on behalf of the planet and its inhabitants. We should be grateful to those who advocate for the Earth, this includes the work of the NRDC, WWF and Environmental Defense Canada, as well as a number of other organizations and individuals.

These efforts reveal that there is a powerful relationship between environmental gratitude and ecological advocacy. A heartfelt and well deserved thank you goes out to all who work to help protect our climate.

We also give thanks for the indigenous people of the Earth as they have so much to teach us about environmental stewardship. We are increasingly understanding that indigenous ecology is essential to environmental education.

Holidays give us an opportunity to reflect on the ways that we can be better environmental stewards. This is in evidence at Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. It is important to know that however difficult it may seem, we can live in harmony with the planet.

Nature is so abundantly beautiful, that the only appropriate response is gratitude. This gratitude for nature is infused into the work of documentary filmaker Louie Schwartzberg.

The Arctic is important to us all and as such it is being increasingly appreciated as a crucial part of planetary health,  A number of people including Richard Branson, have championed Arctic conservation and protection efforts. There are so many reasons to love the Arctic, not the least of which is its spectacular beauty.

We are seeing more cooperation in water management and a host of solutions to the world water crisis including solutions to diminishing ground water

We are coming to terms with the complex yet vital role that forests play in the health of the planet including a number of economic and employment benefits. The business community is also beginning to appreciate that there is much they can do to protect our forests.

In the broadest sense, the business community is coming to terms with the business case for conserving nature. A growing body of research corroborates the value of environmental sustainability and a growing number of businesses are embracing sustainability in their strategic orientation. Across the board leading  businesses are engaging more ethical approaches to commerce. We are also seeing progress in a number of other areas including a growing green building movement.

We have reason to be grateful for the brave pioneers who have championed sustainability long before it was fashionable. This includes men like Ray Anderson, who made the business case for sustainability many years ago and companies like Patagonia that have been showing us the way for a long time now.

While we have achieved much, there is still much more that needs to be done. We need to make environmentalism everyone's concern. We all have a role to play advancing environmental action, and studies show that people will act when encouraged by people they like and respect. In essence we all need to realize that we are all fundamentally connected to the Earth and all its inhabitants.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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