Earth Day has been observed every April 22 since 1970, and is coming up again this Friday.
While our group is comprised of people who enjoy the fictional off-world storytelling of the Trek universe and find inspiration in the franchise’s vision of the future, our current reality is bound to this one, fragile planet we call home. And our home is in trouble. The ravages of human-caused climate change are being felt more and more desperately. Pollution still kills between 4.7 and 7 million people every year. There is, in 2022, a very real risk of nuclear warfare, which could range from a tactical weapon that would release radiation regionally across part of one continent and then spread around the globe, to far worse.
It is more urgent than ever to raise our own awareness, to speak out, and to become proactive to protect the planet. While “environmentalism” is often framed as a sentimental, soft-minded preoccupation of the far left, the objective reality is that restoring the health of our environment is the bedrock of future human advancement, prosperity, and possibly even survival as a civilization. If our cultural and economic capitals are flooded by rising oceans and disappear, the hard-headed economist and the artist will be in the same displaced (or deceased) population. If vast swaths of the agricultural lands that feed humanity become deserts and sources of fresh water evaporate from inland reservoirs, there will be mass starvation, wars over ever-more-scarce resources, and mass death. In short, despite what some economists and businesspeople might say, there is nothing more practical, sensible, and economically-prudent than the short-term investments necessary to secure long-term peace, stability, prosperity, and survival.
It may be too late to avert all effects of climate change, but there is still time to do more to stop the worst of the things that currently lie in store for all of us and future generations. It now becomes the responsibility of all people—all of us—to do more.
This Earth Day, find an event near you; write to your political representatives; take this chance to become part of the solution to the greatest challenge shared by all people of the place we call home. Our future might be one drowned by rising seas, scorched by fires, smothered by deserts. Or it can be written in the stars, far into the future. It really is our choice to make.