Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Focus on the Big Picture

by Gregory Mayse

The debate rages on… Right versus Left, Greenies versus Corporations, Tree-huggers versus Profiteers. Which data - or adjusted data - are we to believe? One thing is for certain - Earth needs our help.

I have heard my share of passionate discussions, both in the national media and in the workplace. I really do not care where each person reading this chooses to stand on the subject of Global Warming, Climate Change or whatever you choose to call it.

As a photographer, I choose to look at the BIG picture on most things in life, and the question raised by looking at the Big picture is simple - Are we doing things to improve our environment and to protect the creatures who share our little rock that rotates around the sun?

What should matter to all of us is that if we do not continuously make a focused effort to preserve what we have, it will be increasingly difficult for us to survive on Earth. I am not talking about the sudden end of the world according to the Mayan calendar in 2012. I am talking about the continual destruction of our natural resources that we MUST have in order to survive. Do not turn your back on Mother Earth. Her natural ReSources are our only Sources.

When all of the rainforests have been logged, when our water is no longer safe to drink, when we have taken away the habitat and culture of all indigenous people as well as wild animals around the globe, then we may look back and ask “What were we fighting about back then?”

Is this really a political discussion? NO. It is simple. Do you want your children, grandchildren and their descendents to be able to appreciate the things in their lives that we may take for granted? Do you want your great-great grandchildren to grow up and look back at our generation and ask, “What were they thinking?”

The native cultures that were here in what we now call America held strongly to the belief of respecting the sustainability of Mother Earth for seven future generations. What if we dare to take on that philosophy once again? Do you believe we can survive with the global environmental damage being done by some of the planet’s major corporations and governments?

So next time you see an photograph of a polar bear leaping between floating icebergs, or the surviving indigenous people standing in a clear-cut area of their rainforest, don’t just brush it off as another one of those “environmentalist global warming photos.” Instead, let it remind you that everything is interconnected, that the planet as a whole, is a living organism that needs all of its parts to function healthily – there is value in every creature – every habitat – every culture.

We humans hold the power either to make our planet better or worse for future generations. The responsibility was somehow handed to us over the other animals of this planet. I’m not sure if this was the right decision. All I ask is that all of us FOCUS on the BIG PICTURE. If we don’t work hard to preserve our planet now, who will…and when?

1 comment:

Mark James said...

For the most part, Greg has taken a sensible approach and I share the same idea that we must manage our resources. All the same, there are certain trade-offs that have to be made. Do you deprive starving people of food so that it can be made into ethanol and burned in our gas tanks? Do you destroy thousands of acres of habitat to build windmill farms when a nuclear power plant on a small acreage can deliver 100 times the energy whether the wind blows or not? Do you deprive poor people resources and medicine in the name of the environment when that same money could relieve human suffering? Those are the kind of hard, sober decisions that must be made and requires a certain amount of balance.

I must also mention that only some native american people shared a sacred/spiritual relationship with nature. Most didn't. In one of my many books on the subject, a trapper named Osborn Russel, in his diary from 1834, notes many incidents where various tribes would stampede buffalo leaving thousands dead. Why? Because it was less dangerous than hunting with a spear. Most indians were at war with each other continually. Along the Wyoming/Colorado border is a natural rock formation that served as a brutal battle ground where over 300 indians were systematically starved to death over a period of several weeks.

The main thing is that human nature doesn't change but the planet certainly does. We must be good stewards but also take care of the human race.