Dear Planet Earth,
How are you? I am fine. Well, not exactly fine. I stay up late at night blogging. About you. Sometimes with a glass of organic wine. I’m kind of obsessed with you, actually. Wondering if you’re doing okay. If you’re sad about how we drill into you to fill up our cars, cut down your trees to wipe our butts, remove your mountain tops to keep our lights burning, and pump noxious gases into your atmosphere. Does it piss you off that massive areas of your oceans are filled up with our bottle caps, cigarette lighters, and cheap plastic toys, that coral is dying and beaches are washing away?
A lot of people have ideas about how to save you: recycling batteries, turning the lights off for an hour, or not turning off the lights, watching a movie, carrying our own bags, etc. There are even iPhone Apps to Help Save the Planet. Do these things make you happy?
And will you still be our BFF? We’re giving up buying new plastic and reducing what we send to the landfill each week. We ride our bikes to the store and buses and trains to work. You like that, right? We drink from the tap and eat from the local farmer’s market. I know I don’t spend enough time quality time with you, but that’s because I’m busy running around picking up trash!
Planet Earth, can you hear me? Or am I just talking to myself? Because sometimes I wonder if you actually care about any of this at all. I mean, in the long run, you will still be around after all of us humans are gone. We can destroy whole ecosystems and ruin every last livable space, but your plates will continue their tectonics, mountains will shift, and tides ebb and flow as you travel your habitual orbit around the sun. Finally, the sun will die, taking you with it. But until then, will you miss us?
After all, we do some pretty amusing things. Like creating a white trash wedding out of plastic grocery bags, throwing a party to celebrate pee, playing Matzah Frisbee, or rowing across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to learn Zen acceptance. Often, we do these things with such fervent sincerity that you must ripple with laughter from time to time. Is that what earthquakes are? Like how I topple my kitties onto the bedroom floor when their cuteness is too intense for me to lie still?
Also, Planet Earth, besides being amusing, we humans really care. We care so much that learning about some of the destruction we’ve caused brings a few of us to our knees. We care that sea birds and turtles and fish die from eating plastic, mistaking it for food, and that our children are exposed to toxic chemicals in their tubs. We care about suffering happening on the planet right now and suffering yet to come. Because for us humans, caring is what we do.
Planet Earth, we are the caring part of you.
So am I actually writing this letter to myself? Probably. Once, I thought I heard you answer, but then I realized it was only the sound of my own breath.
Beth Terry, aka Fake Plastic Fish
This post is my latest contribution as guest editor for Blogher.