RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – The sun has just set on the 49th annual Earth Day, and as we approach the 50th anniversary it is becoming ever more critical to increase protection of our environment.
The unsurpassed beauty of a magnificent South Texas sunrise elicits a profound reverence for nature.
You become acutely aware that there is nothing more important than the environment that sustains us, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the plants and animals that share our planet.
The sun has just set on the 49th annual Earth Day, which focused on endangered species.
This year’s theme of protecting threatened and endangered species is crucial as worldwide many creatures are in steep decline.
More than 40 percent of the world’s bird populations are plummeting, insect populations including vital pollinators such as bees and wasps have dropped as much as 75 percent, and many of the world’s wild cats are on the verge of extinction.
The exponential growth in human population, now approaching a staggering eight billion people, and the concurrent overexploitation of wildlife and natural resources is the unrelenting force causing species extinction.
While humanity is driving this catastrophic decline thru habitat destruction, climate change, pollution and over-harvesting, it will hopefully become mankind’s imperative to reverse the alarming loss of our wildlife.
There is hope, if we have the will to make a difference.
When I was a youngster growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, you rarely glimpsed a Brown pelican or a Peregrine falcon.
However, there are some things in our natural world that change for the better. With the banning of the harmful pesticide DDT in 1972, just two years after the first Earth Day, the brown pelican and peregrine falcon began their dramatic comeback.
The once endangered peregrine falcon and brown pelican have been taken off the federal endangered species list.
The challenge for species recovery is great, but the rewards are phenomenal. As we move toward the 50th annual event, perhaps everyday should be Earth Day and a celebration of the intricate web of life.