Saturday, October 17, 2009

Live and Let Live - a guest post

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of online nurse practitioner schools . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

Live and Let Live

The downside of growing up in a city is that you are so far removed from nature and all that is associated with it – your ears become attuned to the drone of traffic, your eyes and nose to the incessant smell and feel of smoke and dust, and your temperament to the hustle and bustle of life in the fast lane. So when you happen to find yourself plucked out of the noise and the commotion and put into an environment where the silence is such that you can almost hear yourself think, you feel out of sorts. But only for a while that is, and then you begin to realize the difference that birds can make in your life.

I grew up in Jersey City, but I was forced to live with my grandparents during my fourteenth year when my parents were going through a difficult time in the marriage and were trying to sort out their differences. Although my mom explained the situation to me, it was too much to take in for my teenage brain, and I went reluctantly to stay with her parents who lived near the Adirondack Mountains. I was resentful at first, but the sheer beauty of the place held me captive in no time at all, and I knew I could never again live in a city and not feel claustrophobic.

It is only when we commune with nature that we truly understand why so much importance is being accorded to the environment. It is only when we hear the song of the birds early in the morning and throughout the day that we feel sad that cities do not provide us with such pleasures. And it is only when you breathe in clean, fresh air, do you realize how much we take Mother Nature for granted.

Civilization has progressed in leaps and bounds, but it has come at the cost of nature. For one to thrive, the other cannot survive, not with the way man is going about achieving progress. By cutting down trees and destroying natural habitats indiscriminately, we are reducing the amount of rainfall the earth receives and causing wildlife to become extinct. A recent study published by the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) states that 9.2 percent of all known animal and bird species are threatened and in danger of extinction due to habitat loss, climate change and other environmental changes caused by man. According to the report, of the 1.9 million species identified so far, more than a fifth of all known mammals, 29 percent of amphibians and 12 percent of birds find themselves in the endangered list.

This begs the question - can nature and progress coexist without the latter destroying the former altogether? Yes, it is possible, if mankind is willing to try and make amends for the ravages wrought in the past and also take more rational and practical decisions in the future. We must wake up to the fact that without nature and her bounty, we cannot survive. So if we are to rebuild our world and create a sustainable environment for ourselves and our fellow creatures, we must do more to prevent climate change and global warming through the indiscriminate destruction of nature.

Animals and bird species are resilient, so if given the chance to survive, they will do so. It is up to us to provide them with the opportunity to live and make our world a better place.

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