My wife and I traveled via car for the the thanksgiving holiday. We drove through the Atlanta GA area to get to our destination and through the Atlanta GA area to get home. The traffic on the way to the festivities was not as bad as the traffic on the way home. On the way home we sat in traffic for quite some time! Finally with a need for some gas in the car and just feed up with the traffic we pull off the main highway and take some back roads. The back roads take us through the suburbs of the city of Atlanta GA. What I notice immediately is that, the suburbs of Atlanta GA are developing what seems to be all of the land. I see coolie cutter houses an businesses for sale and in the process of being developed. Being the nerd that I am, when we get home I do some research and discover that, the city of Atlanta GA is among cities in the United States with the highest amount of abandoned homes. The fact that Atlanta GA has many abandoned homes makes the development of the area around the city of Atlanta GA for homes that much more a slap in the face. The word that immediately comes to mind is sprawl.
Urban sprawl is a destructive force that has and seems to continue to destroy the natural world we humans have inherited. Sprawl has also deteriorated our families and communities. The urban sprawl has stressed communities. Kids no longer walk to school, no one knows who their neighbors are and don’t seem to care.
Besides sprawl I imagine the song Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell. A great song whose lyrics are more true today than ever before. The hills in the suburb had been destroyed to make way for apartments homes and businesses.
Don’t it always seem to goJoni Mitchell
That you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone?
They paved paradise to put up a parking lot
Hey, now, they paved paradise to put up a parking lot
The earth is a paradise with everything we need but unneeded urban sprawl and greed has taken slivers of paradise and turned them to hell. I think it is not dramatic at all to describe the American suburbs as a modern day hell. Dante couldn’t have created a better place to torment souls.
“The earth has everything for all human needs, but nothing for his greed.”Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi
We may not be able to move out of the hell that is suburbia I totally understand that so, what can we do to help take care of the earth? Here are some simple ways we can make a difference?
- Buy local food
- no bottled water
- grow plants and gardens
- manage electricity better (lights off thermostats at 78 degrees f)
They are small things but can make huge differences.
Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”Vincent van Gogh
Right now with humanities’ greed and consumption we do not deserve paradise however with change and care and stewardship we can become a group that deserves paradise.