I find myself deeply concerned about the planet this year.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how distant so-called “civilized” society has become from the natural world around us. We have created a world within a world that is filled with useless plastic objects, traveling machines, endless entertainment, and a never-silent call to consume ever more useless plastic objects.

I have often thought, with all the prepared soft food we eat that we will be toothless. In short, we are becoming abstractions to ourselves as though we are simply mobile collections of thoughts and feelings with no physical reality.

The more abstract we become to ourselves, the more abstract and unimportant the finite physical world becomes to us.

The physical world has paid an enormous price for this. Daily, we hear of disappearing species, dying reefs, melting ice and vanishing free space. Every day we are more imprisoned within the world we have created and less connected to the natural world around us.

That world is in peril. In this country alone, our great national parks may be fracked out of existence. Our beaches and coves may be destroyed. We may find ourselves needing an Ark we no longer have the wood to build on a planet where there are no animals to save.

Some people like Elon Musk think we should strive to move on to other planets when we have exhausted this home, and then on to the next one and the next one, leaving a trail of pale and barren worlds in our wake.

It is a terrible vision, a nightmarish future, a legacy of destruction, greed and indifference. I think we are better than that.

So I am issuing a call to action. I ask you to fight for one thing on Earth that matters to you. Fight for the fish and the forests, fight for the flowers and the fields, fight for the cats and the koalas, fight for the dogs and the dolphins. Fight for a better future for humanity.

Raise your voice, steel your heart, summon your strength and make it clear that you care that this Earth survives intact and that you will do your best to follow that edict of medicine, “Only do no harm.”

Whether you speak in prayer or in protest, please speak out. Reach out and stand out for a whole, healthy, just, peaceful and verdant world. The planet needs you. It needs all of us.

I intend to stand with you. I intend to see that a healthy world is not only in my mind’s eye, but in my heart and on this Earth.

(Judith Miller is a member of the Earth Day Celebration Committee. She is a member of CCL (Citizens’ Climate Lobby). Judith gave this talk on April 27, 2019 in Oak Island Park, Wausau, Wisconsin. This was part of the third annual Earth Day Celebration in Wausau. A tree was planted in Oak Island Park.)