“I have a dream…I dream of undoing the damage we’ve done. I dream of clean water, clean air and clean soil. Will you dream with me?”

Today is jaw-droppingly beautiful and warm. The clear blue sky extends from one horizon to the other. It is a cool blue, an azure blue. I don’t see a single cloud. The sun is so very bright it glints through the trees in the backyard and highlights the trunks and branches. Right now it is 62˚ and may even get to 65˚. I’m going out as a day like today shouldn’t be wasted inside the house. The dogs know that. They stay outside playing for a long time. They come back in panting and looking for water and a treat then go back out again. It is almost their morning nap time.

Today is Earth Day which I knew nothing about at first as I was in Ghana where, for Ghanaians, every day was Earth Day. They wasted nothing. Everything was used and reused. My sandals had soles cut from tires. I didn’t leave shoe prints. I left tread marks. Meat was wrapped in newspapers or leaves. Rice was sold in cones made of newspapers. Beer bottles were filled with palm or peanut oil. Small kiosks sold almost everything in cans including instant coffee, evaporated milk, mackerel, margarine and butter. The used cans scooped water from buckets or village water holes. Bread was sold without wrappings. Eggs were never in crates. They were sold one by one. I never saw plastic back then.

When I returned to Ghana, much had changed. The Ghanaians still reused what they could, but there was trash, stuff thrown everywhere on the ground. Most of the trash was empty plastic water sachets.

Ghanaians have never learned to recycle useless trash, and there are no barrels to collect it, but that is beginning to change. Organizations and groups have begun finding ways to recycle even the plastic water sachets. My shower curtain was made in Ghana. Its back is a sheet of water sachets which makes crinkling noises when I get out of the shower. A Peace Corps volunteer fashioned soccer nets from those sachets. Small boys collect them from the streets and the markets and are paid per sachet. Ghana is taking its first steps to conserve, to finding ways to eliminate the trash. I’m thinking they just need to return to the old ways which are now the new ways to save our Earth.

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6 Comments on ““I have a dream…I dream of undoing the damage we’ve done. I dream of clean water, clean air and clean soil. Will you dream with me?””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    The weather here is still windy but with clear skies and warm temperatures. We might get to 85° today.

    The other night I watched PBS Frontline about the oil industry. It was very interesting how Exxon Mobil scientists were among the first to recognize that global warning was a threat to the earth and that it was caused by humans burning fossil fuels. It didn’t take long for the oil interests to realize that this was an existential threat to the oli company’s profits. They and the Republican right wing politicians took a page from the tobacco industry to cast doubt on the findings of their own scientists. They then shortly dismantled all study of the global warming phenomenon. Talk about sticking your head in the sand. 🙂

    As usual in both politics and in business, money talks and everything else walks. I don’t know what kind of world we will be leaving to our children and grandchildren. That’s if there’s a world left for them. Will the principle of, “Mutual Assured Destruction”, prevent Putin from using nuclear weopens in Ukraine? Will he invade a NATO country and start WWIII in Europe followed my nuclear annihilation.

    I was just talking with a colleague and we were reminiscing about the movie, “Dr. Strangelove”. Are we as close to a nuclear war as we were during the Cuban Missile crisis? How desperate is Putin to win in Ukraine?

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      We got to 64˚, and the day was lovely. I enjoyed being out. I only needed a long sleeve shirt.

      Profits are prime to industries like oil and, for a long time, coal. The mere hint of global warning and health issues around the pollution had to be buried. The bottom line drove those industries. The Republicans pander to oil. Global warming wasn’t real. To many Republicans, it still isn’t real.

      I’m hoping even Putin is reluctant to use nuclear weapons. I don’t know about North Korea being reluctant. They are, I think, the wild card.

      I suspect Putin will not stop at Ukraine but will continue to move into non NATO aligned countries. They look like easy targets for him, but then again he thought Ukraine would be an easy target. I hope Western Europe will begin to defend the borders of Eastern Europe.

      Europe was destroyed in both World Wars. Ukraine has been destroyed in the same way. Should Putin move into allied countries, NATO countries, including us, will have to respond. That will not go well here where people will claim it is Europe’s war. They don’t understand the full range of repercussions.

  2. J Says:

    It took time for the name & reason to come out….Earth Day isn’t a holiday but an obligation to us all:

    “Colorado photojournalist and climate activist Wynn Alan Bruce, 50, suffered critical injuries after setting himself on fire at 6.30pm Friday (Earth Day) on a plaza in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building. He was airlifted to hospital, where he died Saturday.”

    • katry Says:

      I can’t imagine anyone thinking Earth Day is a holiday. The crisis of global warming is too real. We all have seen the consequences of not taking care of our world. I dread the future for all of the world’s children unless immediate steps are taken.

      Self-immolation draws attention for the now, but people forget. I wonder how many people beyond those of us who were so involved in what was happening in Vietnam remember the monks who set themselves on fire.

      Many people just don’t believe the science. I don’t mean to sound harsh or judgmental, but I am amazed at how many people are ignorant, stupid. There are so many ways to find the truth.

      • J Says:

        When I was a good young Catholic school boy, one of the heroes of the failing French Indo-China regime was the good Catholic Doctor Tom Dooley. I was probably ten.
        But something didn’t feel right…and later there were those immolating monks…
        In May 2021, James Bradley wrote in CovertAction Magazine “Dr Tom Dolley – Once Universally Revered – Found the CIA and Lost His Halo”. The story alleged that the Dulles brothers, the CIA, and the US Navy manipulated the good doctor into becoming ‘a deceitful spreader of disinformation’ in support of the US war efforts.

      • katry Says:

        I heard Doctor Tom Dooley speak at a state CYO convention. We all thought him a hero. How did he not get suspicious and figure out he was being manipulated given the sources of the manipulation? None of us trusted the CIA.

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