Our planet is beautiful. It’s full of marvelous places and populated by diverse creatures, yet we are killing it. I am not here to point my finger toward all of mankind saying, “Look what you’ve done,” as the stereotypical mother would do with her child. Honestly, I drive a car. I am also a smoker, and I admit that sometimes, I don’t recycle. But sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we need to take care of our planet not only to be good but because it’s our home, and I honestly believe that nobody would like to live in a filthy, polluted and disease-ridden environment.
The problem with our species is that sometimes, we don’t seem able to perceive the problems around us. We tend to make up excuses for everything. For example, the global warming problem won’t cease to exist if I don’t drive on Sundays, and what change will one more plastic bottle make?
Obviously, the problem with humans is that yes, we are able to think and make decisions, but apparently we don’t understand that we are all apt to think in the same way. We need to look at the effects that our behaviors and our actions are causing on the planet. A major case of this is perfectly exemplified by the conditions of the Great Barrier Reef, 93 percent of which is practically dead due to coral bleaching, according to The Washington Post.
Coral bleaching is an alarming phenomenon affecting coral. It manifests when the warmed water temperature causes coral to expel the algae that makes them colorful, hence turning them white. Aside from the loss of coral’s most attractive feature, bleaching also can cause coral death if not “cured,” as in if water temperatures don’t drop.
Jennifer Koss, a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, told The Huffington Post, “To solve the long-term, global problem, however, we need to better understand how to reduce the unnatural carbon dioxide levels that are the major driver of the warming.”
Even though the first thought that pops up in our mind is the image of large industries and toxic fumes, we need to become aware that even the car we drive to work or to school contributes to polluting the air. Hence, it is one of the causes of global warming. It might seem ridiculous, but whenever we are driving, we are affecting the life of corals and we might be causing their bleaching. Obviously, I am not saying that we should stop driving, but rather that we should develop a better common sense, or at least we should be aware of what effects our behaviors and actions involve.
Moderation is key. “Never” and “always” are strong and precise words, but they cannot play a significant role when it comes down to our planet, for we have to live in harmony with it. We have to create a balanced relationship of giving and taking. We should give our planet attention, and we owe it consideration as it provides us with a home. The least we can do is listen to it, and the Great Barrier Reef is requesting our help.