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We need to take care of our Earth

Written By : General Editor. As a nation we have far too often proved that we don’t care enough about our environment. How many times have we had clean-up programmes
03 Jun 2008 12:00

Written By : General Editor. As a nation we have far too often proved that we don’t care enough about our environment.
How many times have we had clean-up programmes in which public spirited people give up their time to collect tonnes of rubbish from our beaches, foreshores and townships? And how many times are those same places suffocated in litter again within weeks or even days of the clean-up?
How many of our readers have followed a bus from, say, Suva to Nadi and been subjected to a constant spray of plastic bags, bottles, paper bags and wrappers?
Look at the roadsides – not only in our towns and cities (though they are filthy enough) but in what should be our beautiful, pristine countryside. They’re one long rubbish tip.
We don’t care where we throw our rubbish. As long as it’s out of sight it’s out of mind.
Repeated attempts to impose fines for littering have all failed as the crime is simply too widespread to police.
How many of us know or even care to know that those plastic bags we throw away will be there to harm our children – and their children – long after we have gone to (we must hope) a cleaner place? Not that many, it seems.
Yet our environment is vital to our very survival as a species. As other communities around the world are discovering, it is possible for us to choke in our own refuse. That same refuse pollutes the land and, especially, the sea on which so many of us depend for our daily food.
Tourists come here attracted by our environment but few who have witnessed the results of our contempt for our surroundings are tempted to come back.
We need to change our attitude. For until we accept that our environment is a vital asset that we all must nurture and protect, there will be no improvement. Our towns and cities will just get dirtier, our roadsides deeper in garbage, our fishing grounds increasingly barren.
This Environment Week has as its focus our endangered species and there are several of them. The world in general is losing fauna and flora species at an alarming rate mostly due to the degradation of the environments they need in order to survive. With each species that is lost part of our world dies. We cannot know what the long-term effects might be but we can reliably guess that they won’t be beneficial.
But the question we really need to face up to when we think about endangered species is this: Do we want to become one of them?



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