By Ronny O'Leary, Columnist
Next week is Earth Week: a time to discuss how we can work toward a cleaner and healthier environment. I learned a lot during last year's Earth Week, and I expect that this year's will also be informative. There will be plenty of events, including e-waste recycling and screenings of movies. However, a very important event will undoubtedly be the discussion with Sister Jeanne Clark on April 25th at 12:50 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room East. Sister Clark is an activist who has traveled to different places in an attempt to promote environmental awareness.
I went to hear her speak last year, and it was very inspiring. There were two aspects of the talk that stood out clearly: her promotion of non-violence and her advice that we maintain our connection with the earth. She portrayed war, particularly nuclear warfare, as futile and disastrous. She talked about how nuclear weapons have had a devastating effect on our planet and how we must adopt a policy of peace if we are going to sustain our planet. There is no doubt that modern warfare greatly damages the environment in addition to human society.
The other significant aspect of the discussion was her advice that we maintain our respect for the earth. I completely agree with this suggestion. Industrial development is important; it has allowed us to live comfortably. However, we should show respect toward the environment that has made human life possible. It is in our own interest to do so. Such destructive practices as factory farming and the burning of low-quality coal not only harm the environment, but also puts our own health at risk. Factory farming creates incredible amounts of pollution, and it reduces the nutritional value of our foods. Burning low-quality coal releases harmful pollutants that can damage human health. It would be impossible to eliminate these industrial practices, but we should reduce our dependence on them. We must recognize that our wellbeing is linked to the health of the environment.
In short, we would do well to take Sister Clark's advice. This year, she will be speaking about her efforts to promote non-violence in this country. Before we can start trying to improve our environment, we must become aware of the importance of achieving this goal. I would recommend attending this event because the speaker recognizes the importance of peace and of respect for the earth. As we prepare for Earth Week, let us remember the key role our environment plays in sustaining human life.