In reality it was an exercise in futility. But in the eyes of a six-year old, it was the best line of defense we could muster. To help you appreciate what was at stake, close your eyes in a moment and try to conjure up the image of a tattered split-rail fence. Much of it is overgrown with waist-high blades of grass and other vegetation. The wood has a discolored slate gray patina to it and several of the rails are either broken—with one end reaching the ground at a sharp angle, or severely compromised; unable to support even the weight of a 45-pound kid like me.
The fence lies virtually undisturbed, far removed from man-made influences of any kind. The only thing you're conscious of is the earth beneath your feet. Soft wind caresses your skin and sunlight warms your face.
Tentatively, you approach the fence and survey your surroundings one last time. On the other side of the fence, largely obscured by the tall reeds of grass, you notice low-lying bushes set in even, orderly rows. Butterflies and dragonflies dance above the vegetation. If you’re quiet and remain still, you’ll probably see a rabbit hop by or some field mice scurry about. Grapefruit-size mounds of dirt, camouflaged by fallen vegetation, hide burrows for small rodents. Out of the corner of your eye you catch a swift-moving animal dart across the ground and disappear under one of the bushes.
That’s when you notice the robust red fruit hanging from the bushes. It looks like it’s about to snap off the vine under its bulging weight. You breathe deep and take in the sweet fragrance of ripening strawberries. You take one last deep breath and ever so slowly begin to inch over the lower fence rail. Your finger tips tingling as you sense the slightest movement of the six-foot rail, any errant touch could cause it to tumble to the ground.
Slowly, ever so slowly, you squeeze through the two rails. Still holding your breath as your second Keds sneaker finally touches ground and you begin to carefully unfold your body. Your patience paid off. The prize—lush strawberries are yours’ for the taking.
As a young child I spent much of my time there, frolicking about, not a care in the world. Like most rewards in life, the journey wasn’t easy. For the strawberry patch lay at the far end of the Great Woods. A seemingly unpenetrable forest with nothing but massively firm trees stretching up to touch the sky, and thick underbrush to make passage difficult. Dozens of twisty interconnected paths, carved out generations before me, all seemed to go somewhere. But one wrong turn and you could be lost for hours, maybe even past sundown—which was the scariest thought imaginable.
I knew how to unravel the intricate paths. This was my playground. I’d been taught by my elders, older kids in the neighborhood, how to read the terrain and negotiate the copious trails. And it was their lead that prompted me to join in and stand up against the forty-ton, smoke-billowing “dragons” that came to claim our sanctuary. Armed with small sticks and twigs which we threw at them in defiance—few reaching their target, we thought our action would be enough to drive them away, to convince them to leave our woods unscathed.
Standing alongside eleven and twelve year-olds—near adults in my eyes, we watched in horror as trees were toppled, then dragged behind the behemoth yellow, metal-clawed, roaring monsters to a smoldering mound of tree trunks, branches, and bushes. Our forest and all my childhood memories going up in smoke right before my eyes. I watched helplessly as they made way for more homes and, sadly, as I later learned, more people to impact our world.
More than forty years later I’m still trying to protect our forests, as well as Earth’s many other ecosystems. This time, instead of small sticks and twigs, I’m armed with knowledge and an array of products that will help preserve Earth’s finite natural resources for Tomorrow’s Child. I hope that Tomorrow’s Child is lucky enough to stumble upon a strawberry patch of their own and marvel, as I did, at the intricate web of life discovered during their journey to a sacred place. And in the process, be struck, as I was, by the magnificence of nature’s simple, continuous cycle that perpetuates life in all forms. I hope to inspire Tomorrow’s Child sufficiently to not only protect that strawberry patch, but all of Earth’s fragile ecosystems that they encounter during their journey there.
Why should we worry so much about the environment, you might wonder, when the world’s economy is floundering, people are killing people by the thousands, and children are starving to death by the millions? There is one simple but overriding reason: Despite multi-quintillion “galactic” odds stacked in our favor that there might be another star somewhere in the universe capable of harboring a planet with the same life-sustaining conditions as Earth, there is near-conclusive evidence that even if we did find another “Earth-like” planet, the time needed to reach such a planet, even with today’s most sophisticated technology, would take many lifetimes—many hundreds of years.
Therefore, planet Earth truly IS the only home we will ever know. If we continue to plunder its finite natural resources and destroy its various ecosystems—the very fabric that gives us life, we can’t suddenly migrate to another planet and start over. To illustrate this metaphorically, we’re not talking about an isolated, unattended pot of rice that is burning on someone’s kitchen stove. We’re talking about an entire, expansive community that is being assaulted like cancer, on many different fronts, from a seemingly invisible enemy. And that enemy is the result of man’s insatiable appetite for more. More luxuries, more convenience, more power, more influence.
Consider this: “If the evolution of the universe was compressed into a 24-hour day, our solar system, the Milky Way, would not have formed until 6:00 p.m. Primitive life on Earth would not have developed before 8:00 p.m., and human beings would not have appeared until just ten seconds before midnight. More amazing, is that with just the blink of an eye we would have traveled through the entire Industrial Revolution (1850 – present).”
Therein lies the problem. During this “blink of an eye” period, in our insatiable quest to “better” our lives, man ironically has severely and irreparably, it seems, compromised his existence by undermining the very fabric that gives us life: our intricate and fragile environment made up of myriad ecosystems. It’s not just the rice on the stove that’s burning; it’s the entire house that’s engulfed in flames. And if help doesn’t come soon, the world we know will not be here for Tomorrow’s Child.
However, if seven billion people can come together— (and it’s painfully obvious that certain nations, most notably the United States, need to dramatically change their daily practices more than others) — and make even small changes to their daily practices, we can create a sea change of action. There is still time. And there is still hope that we can alter our destiny. But only if we all do our part, stating today. Not tomorrow. Today! Begin to change your habits today for Tomorrow’s Child!
You might be saying ‘I’m just one person. What difference can I possibly make? Well, it’s you and the seven billion other people who inhabit Earth who, in varying and in very disproportionate degrees, are taxing the environment at an unsustainable rate.Blue skies, sparkling mountain streams, and countless other seemingly auspicious images belie all the degradation and near certain problems that, at present, are growing exponentially and hurling us towards a seemingly disastrous but entirely preventable catastrophic ending. We can take steps today that will allow Tomorrow’s Child to perpetual life indefinitely, but only if we act quickly and decisively. We all must make some changes, possibly make some sacrifices, but we must begin now.
My life’s work has been to protect and preserve Earth’s many incredible ecosystems while helping to minimize the destructive impact manmade influences are having on our environmental landscape. In the process, I hope to sufficiently inspire others to adopt a more benevolent lifestyle as they come to appreciate what a unique “gift” planet Earth is and understand how interrelated and incredibly fragile its myriad ecosystems truly are. And to that end, how each and every one of us can and must do more to protect and preserve our planet for posterity.
CrunchTime Environmental LLC is a vehicle for change. And we can ALL become agents of change and carry out that mission of protecting Earth threatened ecosystems as well as preserving our finite natural resources for generations to come. It begins with education and carries over to making small but significant changes to how we all conduct our lives.
CrunchTime is launching this campaign designed to save humankind from self-annihilation; in a sense, from using and loving the environment to death! Employing the latest technology and leveraging the power of the Internet, our aim is to educate the masses and get resource conservation, money saving products into the hands of as many people in the United States as possible. To learn more about the hundreds of things we all can do to help protect the planet for generations to come, please visit http://www.crunchtime.me/content/green-info.