Loving Our Planet Through the Eyes of an Artist
Charley Harper was an artist who traveled to record the plants and wildlife in an illustrative format throughout America. He knew that the world was filled with a fragile balance of life, and he saw humans as the gatekeepers. We have hurt the earth for centuries, destroying the planet faster today than was ever possible before. On the other hand, we also have the power to create new resources and cultivate the earth in a balanced way. Our view of nature has seen it as the staple “has been” that we’ve never lived without.
“We never know the worth of water ‘till the well is dry.” – Thomas Fuller
What are we doing to guard earth and make sure the world is in a better state than when we received charge of it?
There is no question that for every human development, nature is displaced. We have so many dilapidated buildings, yet we keep pushing for more and more. As the song goes, we “paved paradise to put up a parking lot.” Charley Harper saw over and over again what our building projects did as we pushed nature out of our way.
We have to have an appreciation for an artist that saw such beauty and then recorded such injustice in a very clear-headed way. His passion for wildlife and art did not cause him to create illustrations that were unfair or sarcastic. Through the simplicity and clarity, you can see the pain of loss. Greed has caused us to push aside natural treasures for paper money and positions of power.
The Society of Ecological Restoration commissioned Charley Harper in 1996, which included his illustration of “Biodiversity in the ‘Burbs.” Not all human development is bad. We need a place to survive, but we have to ensure this doesn’t come at the cost of our planet. Charley Harper was a leading artist that wanted to show the ripple effect we have on our planet.
There are so many ways to help the planet and reduce our negative impact. If everyone worked like Charley Harper to preserve nature and restore balance, then we would be moving in a very positive direction. Many are already seeing the importance of responsible lifestyles, and individuals will make a major impact on our world.
- Recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 percent and glass won’t naturally decompose for a million years.
- Phantom power pulled from your computer, laptop chargers, gaming systems or lamps when they are turned off; a power strip is the only way to effectively stop this energy waste.
- The average child will send 5,000-8,000 diapers to the landfill before they are toilet trained.
- Sixty-nine percent of newspapers are thrown away every day (that is 44 million newspapers heading to the landfills instead of being recycled).
- Cutting even two minutes from a shower could save more than 10 gallons of water.
- Your old cell phones, monitors, ink cartridges and TVs can typically be recycled through your local electronics store.
- Fourteen percent of all food purchased by Americans is thrown in the trash, leading to a total landfill waste of 30 million pounds a year.
- The average plastic shopping bag takes 10-20 years to decompose, can get stuck in garbage machinery, easily float away as litter and can harm wildlife if swallowed. Reuseable bags can cut the 102.1 billion plastic bags sent to the land fill each year.
Willful ignorance is a huge problem. Too many don’t want to consider their impact. Every action has consequences, good or bad. Most people do not purposely trash their environment, but careless, apathetic and selfish attitudes allow the reckless activities to continue on.
“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” – Evo Morales