Since 1970, April 22nd has been Earth Day–a day to focus on improving the environment for us and the generations that will come afterward.
This year, while there is still much need to address topics like climate change and pollution, we have other toxic environmental issues with which to contend.
There’s a new hazard in the air we breathe. More than 3 million people have died from COVID in the last 15 months. We now have several safe and effective vaccines, which are stopping the spread of the virus. But we’re also rapidly approaching the point where we will have vaccinated those who agree to participate–and still not hit the right levels for herd immunity.
Then there’s the question of what happens when you can’t breathe at all. On Tuesday, a jury in Minneapolis found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all 3 counts in the murder of George Floyd. The evidence was overwhelming. What was surprising was how much concern there was that, in spite of video evidence, there was no guarantee a White policeman would be convicted of killing a Black man.
Even during the trial, we saw another unarmed Black man killed just blocks away from the courthouse in Minneapolis–and other similar incidents continue to pile up. One guilty verdict doesn’t solve the problem: it just points out how much work we need to do.
Statesman Winston Churchill said it best:
“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
We are vulnerable in many ways. Let’s use this year’s Earth Day to continue our work to improve all of the environmental factors in our lives.
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