Earth Day is on Sunday, April 22. We tend to talk about this day in many different ways and there are many activities to get involved in to celebrate and appreciate our natural environment. Many people think of it as a day to do something “green” and protect the environment. The issue that I see is that most people focus on Earth Day as just that – a day. This is about more than just a day; it is about a societal change in the way we think about the natural world. I’m not saying anything new here. Many have posed the question of change. As a society, we need to reflect on the very real implications of not taking care of our natural resources and natural systems. I tend to put soil at the top of that list because I believe soil to be the base on which everything else depends. At the very least, we need to understand that failure to care for our soil resources leads to failure of our water, air and vegetative systems. Can we survive without those?
In thinking about putting together this blog about Earth Day, I had a lot of different ideas. In the end I went back to an article that I (and many others) critiqued earlier this year regarding degrees in agriculture being useless. The short-sightedness of that Yahoo Education article still irritates me! While many responded to this article, I think that one of the best responses came from a student group at Texas A&M University called Farmers Fight. Their mission is to get American society to understand agriculture and what it means to us as consumers. They have a video out on YouTube that I think says a lot and I congratulate them on a job well done and calling attention to the all-encompassing importance of agriculture in our society. You can find the video, entitled “Farmers Fight – Stand Up” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFoGib8AfZo. Check it out – these students are doing great things!
The Soil Science Society of America is also re-launching its I Heart Soil campaign, which has included the successful public service announcements (PSAs) on why soil is important. If you haven’t seen the PSAs, you can find them here: http://www.iheartsoil.org/. They are simple yet effective messages regarding how soil is an integral part of our lives and an essential component of our environment. I have used them in talking with many different audiences and they are appropriate for everyone! Feel free to use them in your courses, presentations, or ask your local media outlet to pick them up.