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Earth Day, 2020

Half a century of Earth Days: there are lessons in the history of this day, in the struggle and the fight, in the losses and the victories.

There is so much wisdom in Isabel’s words here: We must take care of nature, for we are a part of it. Rampant exploitation of the natural world, without thought or regard for consequences, in reckless pursuit of profit, has placed humanity in a terrible situation: global climate change, raising seas, failing crops, and pressures on the urban-wildland interface that puts us all at increased risk from diseases transferred from wild animals, like the coronavirus.

Fifty years of Earth Days, and while there have been gains, the struggle is more stark than it ever has been: when this day was first conceived, many had the thought that education would save us: polluters didn’t know that what they were doing was bad, people clearing rainforest didn’t know the global consequences of their actions.

Now, we know that is not true — the worst environmental disasters of our age have been committed knowingly, willfully, in the name of profits over people. Capitalism is destroying the planet, one oil spill, one flooded village, one open pit mine, one logged out forest, at a time.

Isabel has spent her life struggling to preserve the rights of nature and people, against incredible odds. She has fought against the coming of mining in the Intag Valley for decades. She has seen the climate change, and the mining companies pollute the rivers where she used to get her drinking water. She has a lot to teach us about what the world could look like, if the ideals of Earth Day are brought to fruition.

Let’s help her make that world. Because we are ALL children of Pachamama, the great Mother Earth.