I have recently given some speeches in connection with my Toastmasters International membership. Some are related to running, and some are not. When possible, I will publish the speeches. This is one of them.
• My goal for the speech is to persuade you, the audience to stop polluting!
• In 1968, American astronaut William Anders took a photograph of the earth rising above the moon’s horizon
• Because the image transformed our relationship with the planet that we all live and depend on, the photo has been called “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken”
• It helped us understand that the planet we live on is a blue-green oasis of life in the vast emptiness of space
• In a sense, it was the beginning of the environmental movement
• Humankind’s impact on planet earth is evident from space
• Melting arctic ice from climate change
• Visible haze around cities from particulate matter
• We are having an impact; we all pollute
• You may think that you don’t pollute, but you do
We All Do It
• If you drive a car, even an electric one, or even if you take public transportation, you pollute
• If you heat your home with anything other than solar or wind energy, you pollute
• If you shop at a supermarket for items that are trucked in, you pollute
• If you breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, like most air-breathing animals, you pollute
• Yes, none of us can help but pollute our planet to some degree, but there are some important things you can do to reduce and even offset or reverse the impact
• Say you and everyone you know is in a swimming pool, and one or more people begin using it as a toilet
• They explain that it’s too costly and troublesome to do their business responsibly
• They say that free market capitalism should determine whether they poop in or out of the pool
• They vehemently deny scientific evidence that swimming in a pool along with poop is bad for us
What should We Do?
• We should not pollute any more than we absolutely have to – there are dozens of ways to lower our impact on the planet:
• Drive less, walk more
• Reduce, reuse, recycle
• Turn your thermostat down (or up)
• Plant a tree
• Vote for those who will pass and enforce responsible environmental stewardship
• I would like to close by talking a little more about stewardship
• The word ends in ship, and that’s appropriate – planet earth is best thought of as a spaceship (or even a swimming pool)
• We are truly the stewards of this ship; we’re here to take care of it and then pass it on to our children
- What kind of stewards will we be - Will it be a better, or a worse place?