Earth Day is April 22. It’s a day in which we take pause and appreciate all that this planet home means to us. It also should be a day to resolve to do everything we can to help heal it.

The planet is broken. Humans are the reason.

Our greed , overpopulation, racism , and hatred toward each other is the cause of this brokenness. The planet that supports all life is literally on life support. We cannot kick the can down the road any longer.

Our climate is heating at faster rates than most scientists predicted. We are losing species due to humans clearing land and polluting it. We spray toxic chemicals on everything.

These chemicals kill plants and insects and eventually get into our water. Our drinking water. Thus we are poisoned as well. The biggest reason our planet is broken is because of our extraction and burning of fossil fuels.

Our planet is heating because we burn fossil fuels at an incredible rate. The extraction of these fuels by fracking poisons our water. Oil spills directly kill sea life and eventually our drinking water. The plastics made from fossil fuels chokes our oceans and disrupts our endocrine systems.

We cannot wait to try and fix this. We need to stop exploiting our planet and start regenerating it back to life. How do we do this?

Here is a list of ways:

Quit flying (or cut back on it).

Stop driving (or cut back on it).

Stop eating meat (or eat less — factory farming is one of the leading causes of environmental destruction).

Vote for leaders that work to support strong environmental protections.

Protect what natural areas that are left on this planet (“development “ is a misnomer).

If we want a livable planet we are all going to have to quickly change how we live.

It’s that urgent. For us to pretend it will fix itself is irresponsible and unfair to future generations.

Kimberly Nichols wrote an excellent book called — Under The Sky We Make. In it she details the crisis we face and what we need to do to have any chance of surviving climate extinction.

I hope everyone that reads this can reflect on what gifts we have been given by the planet we inhabit.

Let’s celebrate Earth Day and get to work fixing our broken world.

Tim Melin

Verona

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at scott.delaruelle@wcinet.com.