For this issue, our theme is eco-awareness. At this point, there isn’t much debate about the fact that humans are having a huge impact on the world.
Winston Churchill said “the farther back we look the farther ahead we will see.” Ecologically, the biggest polluter in history lived approximately 4 million years ago – photosynthetic bacteria ingested carbon dioxide and released oxygen into the earth’s atmosphere. The bacteria multiplied to such an extent that eventually they produced more oxygen than the planet’s natural processes consumed, and oxygen began to build up in the atmosphere. This oxygen was lethal to the bacteria and only a few strains are left today, but it allowed different, more complex forms of life to exist on this planet.
Fast forward to 2008 and our population has grown to such a size that the by-products of civilization may actually change the surface of the planet. What I’ve come to realize about the earth’s ecosystem is that the tiniest elements can, and have, had a huge impact on the earth over the past 4.5 billion years. The photosynthetic bacteria polluted their environment to such a degree that they virtually destroyed their habitat. And it isn’t a stretch to see how humans too might follow this same progression; producing so much carbon dioxide that we too destroy the very environment in which we flourish. Perhaps the carbon dioxide filling our atmosphere will help the photosynthetic bacteria flourish once more. The longer I live, the more I see how life is truly a fine balance.
But how do I make a difference? I put my faith in human ingenuity and hope that as a community we will find a solution to global warming before it is too late. I know that for human ingenuity to work effectively, people must first agree that indeed there is an issue. The general public must want to find a solution in order to motivate the inventors and leaders to find one.
Global warming has now become a public concern, but the next important step is making sure inventors and leaders have access to whatever knowledge is available. Then leaders must share this knowledge and be open to ideas. I have a feeling the internet may actually serve a pivotal role in finding a solution to global warming.
Perhaps the only real contribution I can make (aside from recycling and turning off the lights) is to provide a way for information and knowledge to flow freely. The development of our new website – which we are launching this issue – will allow readers, thinkers, and inventors around the globe to share their knowledge. People will be able to post comments on the articles we publish, upload videos, blogs, pictures, as well as find daily updates on women in the news.
My goal is to make womenspost.ca the reliable editor of information and ideas for women that this newspaper has become. Our new site will carry a free job/resume board, as well as weekly updates on new products that have just come on the market, from new “green” products to great wines, new restaurants, excellent books, and innovative technology.
Women are extremely effective at creating communities, but geography, language and distance have created limitations and barriers around us. As Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream.” My dream is that the internet will allow knowledge and ideas to flow freely, and because of this our cultural differences – which have caused so much bloodshed – will become irrelevant.
Sarah Thomson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.