"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." —Aldo Leopold
The environment. Where does this priority land on your list? For many, it is probably one of the last items on the list. Getting to the meeting is more important than turning around and turning off the lights at home; recycling the water bottle is more work than just throwing it away in the trash; going through the drive-through is easier than walking in and waiting in line. These are all just a few scenarios where personal comfort comes before the environment. It seems the environment has to take a back seat to everything else.
A similar scene is occurring in the Quad City area.
A slaughterhouse is set to be built
in the Quad City area, in East Moline, despite environmental concerns. The building site is on a wetland and a flood plain; the plant could cause flooding in homes near the building. Proponents of the slaughterhouse, however, express that more jobs would be brought to an area where unemployment has doubled in five years. The question becomes which is more important: jobs, or the land that needs protection? Can the facility not be situated elsewhere? Such situations and difficult debates, which are occurring in the Quad Cities, occur all around the world, every day.
Only when calamity occurs on a disastrous level do we take action. The Gulf oil spill and Exxon Valdez spill are just some of the most infamous environmental disasters. Catastrophes, however, occur every day, all around the world.
We take the land we live on for granted. When will we, as a population and a community, value the importance of the environment? Will we continue to put our comfort and big businesses before the planet that sustains us? Only time will tell where humanity will put its priorities. Where is the environment on your list?