Celebrating Earth Day in a Time of Global Crisis

April 22nd, 2020

Brown bear on Mikfik Creek

Brown Bear on Mikfik Creek, McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, Alaska
Shannon Donahue photo

This is a strange and frightening time with a pandemic affecting every person on this planet. But, we are oddly connected by this shared experience despite our isolation. There is a lot to worry about, from the health of our loved ones to economic stress to what the future holds for our communities. There is also a lot to be grateful for, and we at the Great Bear Foundation are incredibly grateful for your support of our work on behalf of the bears and their habitats. Thank you.

This Earth Day is vastly different from any Earth Day before it. While just a few months ago, many of us were gearing up for 50th Anniversary Earth Day celebrations, shelter-in-place orders have canceled gatherings while we all take time in isolation to protect our communities. But, it’s still possible to celebrate Earth Day, and it may be more important now than ever before.

A healthy planet sustains healthy life for humans and our non-human neighbors. Habitat conservation is as critical as it ever was to sustain resilient communities–both human and ecological. While this is a time of anxiety and stress, it’s also a time to evaluate what’s most important to us, what sustains us. A collective shift in human priorities can ease the pressure we put on the Earth, and create conditions where people and wildlife can thrive.

This Earth Day, please take some time to connect with the natural world around you. Consider the life that shares this space with you, and how we can better share this planet. It can be daunting to think about this on an individual level, but right now we are all demonstrating how people can come together collectively to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities. If we can do this for each other, we can also act collectively to protect our planet and the diverse life it sustains. We can pressure our institutions to shift priorities, and to value our planet at least as much as profits–hopefully more. Environmental justice is justice for everyone–and for all life on this planet.

Thank you for caring about the natural world around you, and thank you for supporting bear conservation. Happy Earth Day.

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