I love this morning. The sun is so very bright and the skies is a cloudless dark blue. The breeze is slight. It is 51˚ right now and won’t get much higher, but I’m okay with that. It is just spring on Cape Cod.
Today is Earth Day. I missed the first one in 1970. I was in Ghana for my second year. Living there was a disconnect from what was happening here at home. I did get the NY Times Week in Review from Peace Corps Ghana, and every three or four months I’d get the Sunday Times, several at once. That subscription had been a gift. But what was going on at home seemed remote despite the papers. There I was living in Bolga, shopping on market days, trying to sleep in the heat, taking cold showers as there was no hot water and teaching for the first time. My life was complex in a whole different way than I knew before Ghana.
The Ghanaians used everything. Nothing was wasted. Tires became the soles of sandals. Newspapers were wrapped around rice and meat bought from the market. Cans were multi-purposed. Anything which could be recycled was. Earth Day was every day in Ghana. It was their way of life.
When I came home, it took a long while to feel comfortable. In Ghana, I had vowed I would live a simpler life at home. That lasted for a while then I got caught up with living here. It took until I had my own home before I began to recycle. It had nothing to do with Earth Day. It was what I had learned in Ghana. I saved cans and bottles and newspaper and magazines. I thought about how the Ghanaians would have loved all of those. They would have thought my bags were treasure troves.
We are going in the wrong direction. The Obama policies to curb climate change and limit pollution have been reversed by Trump, with help from his administration and the Republicans in Congress. Our Earth wasn’t even considered. Profits and politics were. If it had Obama’s name attached in any way, it was gone, erased regardless of the environmental impact. After all, there is no global warming, no climate change. Just ask Pruitt.