Too Close to Home

Friends, I want you to stop for 5 seconds and look around you.

Most likely, you will observe walls, windows, streets, and other man-made developments that comprise your immediate environment.

This is new. This is novel.

As you can guess, the Earth, however, is not new. Cycles of life. Seasons. Natural heating and cooling. These processes churn together in a rhythmic harmony that has kept our world habitable for millennia.

This global ebb and flow is being majorly threatened if not completely disrupted today.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Zoological Society of London (ZSL) 2020 “Living Planet Report” found a 68% decline in the 21,000 monitored populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians around the globe between 1970 and 20161. Sixty. Eight. Percent. Let that sink in.

And this is just one of a myriad of growing statistics today.

It’s saddening and disheartening. I tear up just writing about it. I am sure you, like me, want your children (or at least the children born today) to experience the same fresh air and witness the same natural world you probably were able to experience to as a child. I doubt, however, this will happen when looking at our current trends.

BUT there is hope. For example, the book “How to Avoid a Climate Crisis” by Bill Gates distills the science and concludes we can still curb this worsening problem, though it will take sacrifice on ALL fronts, both personally and as a global population2. I have hope we can find a way to think about changing our lifestyles now to avoid a problem that will soon be too difficult to fight.

So what can you do?

Below are three ways you can do your part today:

  1. Look at your single-use plastics consumption. Is there a way you can limit the amount of plastics you use? Maybe try going out to eat less, or bring a reusable cup to Starbucks in the mornings.
  2. Limit the amount of new things you buy! You can always purchase used clothes, or sew up a tear. Make things LAST!
  3. Try and limit your vehicle usage! Don’t have a bike? Get one! Close enough to walk? Do it!

I leave you with one of my new favorite quotes:

A special thanks to my dad, Paul Merrill, for the header images! He took these while on the beach in Kenya circa 2006.

To add a little pizzaz to your day, please check out his blog here.


6 thoughts on “Too Close to Home

  1. Your blog post has a good message to consider. I’m glad you talked about this.

    I could quibble about a couple of tiny things, but the only thing I’ll mention is that Starbucks stopped allowing reusable cups when the pandemic got going. They might have resumed, but I doubt it.

    Also, a note about politics. Unfortunately Bill Gates has become disliked by many on the right wing. Kinda weird. Last year, A survey of 1,640 adults found that 44% believe that Bill Gates is plotting to use a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements, Yahoo News reports. And then you have an Obama quote. I like both references, and I’m not suggesting that you take them out. Just be aware of the possible negative associations for some readers. It’s pretty irrational, but then I can be irrational too when anything involving Trump arises.

    Love, U.B.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point, U.B. I’d be interested to know where those 1,640 adults were surveyed as well as their demographics. Seems like a kind of small pool. But hey, getting truly representative stats is never easy. Thanks for the insight, I’ll try to keep that in mind!


  2. Such an important Blog post Jay! So right about all that you say – small changes in our personal lives can have a massive impact globally!

    Fascinating to read the reply from Bill above – I didn’t pick up on either of those political leanings – think it possibly shows how divided US politics is at the moment?

    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks again Oli! Means a lot that you’re keeping up with the blog. Hopefully we can get a Giles/Merrill get together one of these days.
      You make a good point. I think the political divide in the U.S. has worsened lately, exacerbated by the “echo chambers” of social media, of course. The above political statements would most likely tip off someone with very conservative political viewpoints, but I’d like to think most people in the U.S. would agree with the majority of Bill Gates’ conclusions.


  3. Very intriguing ideas, here son! Haven’t seen you since the last voyage when we tried to get that ring back from Gollum. He’s not the friendliest. Anyway, thanks for sharing! We must all tighten our belts amidst the global climate challenges we are facing so we can have a future everyone is super stoked about.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Jay,

    Happy to see your heart-engagement regarding the health of our planet. Here in Belgium I heard our ‘rebellious’ scientist Dirk Draulans talking about his interview with Bill Gates. He was very enthusiastic about the solutions Bill Gates presented. And his enthusiasm was contagious. I got enthusiastic too about his solutions. Yet, in my further investigation of this matter, I discovered an Indian scientist, Vandana Shiva, and how she feels and thinks about this. It’s worth studying her insight and thoughts on this. We live in a time that requires putting together all possible insights, viewpoints, and perspectives, especially putting together the masculine and the feminine insights. Only then can we find the best and truly lasting solutions. Much challenging work to do!

    Good luck with your studies and investigation!

    Liked by 1 person

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