By Bob Howard, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Lewes
I am frequently reminded of the iconic picture from the Apollo program of the earth as that blue ball floating in the dark background of outer space and the concept that we are travelers on this spaceship earth with no place else to go. Part of my past life experience was spending two months at a time sealed in a 28-foot diameter 300-foot long steel cylinder with 100 other guys. We had to be self-sufficient for those two months and one of the most important aspects of our environment, and one that was constantly monitored, was the air we breathed. We had to make sure we provided sufficient oxygen and got rid of the carbon dioxide that we were constantly creating. We only had to do this for two months at a time.
I believe there is a corollary between that submarine and the earth on which we live. There are many signs that our earth is in trouble and that we humans are beginning to push the limits of our environment. The level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing, the earth is warming, glaciers are retreating, the climate is changing, and the sea level is rising. It may be that these obvious changes are just the canary in the coal mine, but we have nowhere else to go when things deteriorate further.
We may not live to see dire consequences of these changes (especially someone like me who is pushing 80) but our children and grandchildren will be increasingly at risk and if we don’t do something, our great grandchildren and their children will be in big trouble.
So, I feel compelled to do something. But what can one person do? We on St. Peter’s Green Team continually point out that many small actions taken by many people together can add up to something big. The key is getting started and staying committed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my grandchildren or St. Peter to say of me, “why didn’t he do anything?”
Beyond our monthly meetings, engagement within our parish and outreach to our community, we are part of a recent collaboration with Epworth UMC and Unitarian Universalists of South Delaware Green Teams, coming together to form DelMarVa Green: to create an awareness of the effect pollution is having on the Earth, to educate people on how to adopt more environmentally sustainable habits, and to take action. Adding up to something bigger.
The important thing is to do something – NOW – and get involved to help save this fragile planet that is our only home.