Letter: Respect yourself by respecting the Earth

Letter: Respect yourself by respecting the Earth

Did Earth Day on Sunday, April 22, imply the 364-day-a-year balance accounts for the “Trash the Earth Day” — results that were depressingly depicted in the editorial “Plastic litter remains a major issue,” in the Westerly Sun on Thursday, April 19?  That edition of The Sun began with such promise, as the bold front-page cover showcased the country’s first offshore wind farm, Rhode Island’s Deepwater Wind, turbines in full operational mode, the fishermen’s, or aquatic life disrupters’, objections notwithstanding.

Earth Day reminds us to honor the Earth’s wonderful air and water gifts that are so essential we might as well call April 22, “Life Day.” Take away the Earth’s water or air and you take away life. Further, ruin the Earth’s water or air, and you ruin life, which I hope everyone will keep in mind 365 days a year, especially on Tuesday, Nov. 6, Election Day, when we can replace the climate-change-denying, Earth-destroying Republican fossil-fuel-loving leadership, who apparently are unfamiliar with “Good planets are Hard to Find,” Steve Forbert’s gem on YouTube, while too familiar with coal and oil campaign cash. Fossil fuels’ dominant days are numbered with the president’s fossil-fuel favoritism calling into question whether our days are numbered too.

The “Plastic Litter” editorial cites the 2009 “Keep America Beautiful” study showing “85 percent of littering is done with ‘notable intent,’” meaning “most people know they are littering, but either don’t understand that it’s wrong or just don’t care.” Don’t understand it’s wrong?” Yeah, and maybe the Brooklyn Bridge is the centerpiece of their financial portfolio. “Just don’t care” explains their notable intent with the end solution citing society’s loss from an entire generation growing up “without understanding the basic message that people need to clean up after themselves and dispose of their trash responsibly,” inconsistent with “notable intent” not caring.

Perhaps we’re overestimating human nature, too arrogant to confront our species’ shortsightedness as litter’s extensive decline on property values obscures that doing the right thing is its own reward. Please refuse to yield to my T-shirt gift, “When All Else Fails, Lower Your Standards,” and respect the Earth every day. Be reassured it is patriotic behavior inseparable from respecting yourself.

Jay Lustgarten



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