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The Voter April 2023

Investing in Our Planet By Bernadette Brooks

How welcome it is to have some sunny days and to watch Mother Nature “spring” to life all around us. This Mother has replenished our soils, reservoirs, and snowpack with more than enough to protect us from the ravages of drought for at least a while. Nature’s “wild side” has its plusses. In ancient Greek mythology, Earth was symbolized by the goddess Gaia, a daughter of Chaos. She was sometimes personified as Mother Gaia. The Gaian hypothesis promotes the idea that the collection of living matter (including humans) defines and regulates the material conditions needed for life on earth to continue. It is easy to imagine Mother Gaia’s irritation with the polluting actions of human beings, and the “chaotic” warnings she is sending with her wild and erratic weather patterns. The environmental movement’s Gaian philosophy leads me to Earth Day. In 1970, a US senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, and his dedicated staff created Earth Day, to be held on April 22nd. On the appointed day, more than 20 million people took to the streets over environmental concerns, which was then the largest known single-day protest in US history. On Earth Day 2022, events around the world brought together an estimated 1 billion people in more than 190 countries to celebrate environmental successes and to learn more about ways to mitigate climate change. This year’s theme is to Invest in Our Planet.

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