Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
It’s a competitive world out there for our children. We need to get them into good schools, good camps, and make sure they aren’t noshing on broken glass and dirty syringes at the playground. But moms and dads, do we really need to remind you that a springtime frolic is not the Harvard admissions interview?
The Associated Press reported Monday that a Colorado Springs Easter egg hunt has been canceled due to “aggressive parents” who managed to bring the hunt to an end in mere minutes last year. Organizers said that this time last year, “many parents had jumped a rope set up to allow only children into Bancroft Park” in the hopes of gobbling up brightly colored trophies on their offspring’s behalf. As parent Lenny Watkins, who participated in the hunt two years ago, told the AP, “You better believe I’m going to help my kid get one of those eggs. I promised my kid an Easter egg hunt and I’d want to give him an even edge.” Yes, we have apparently reached the point in certain parenting circles where a community event is on par with Mandarin lessons.
Having survived a few Easter egg hunts in my time — in the gladiator-like breeder arena of Brooklyn — I can attest to their often brutal, “Hunger Games”-like frenzy. It is no picnic — even on a picnic lawn — to be the family with the sobbing child who hasn’t scored a single plastic oval. But life is full of tantrums and disappointments. It’s full of grabsies for the same magical cape in the preschool dress-up box, and a coveted spot at the top of the monkey bars. But if we’re lucky, our kids can remind us that not every interaction has to be a fight to the death.
I remember my firstborn’s tears the year we were too late off the mark to snag a single egg at our local park’s hunt. There, a few yards away on the same lawn, was a friend from her preschool who’d gathered a small handful. This girl, at the sight of her sad playground buddy, came over with her mom and unhesitatingly gave my daughter one. It was an empty piece of plastic, one my daughter hadn’t “earned.” It was something I’d never have been able to score for her myself, either. It was a gesture of kindness on one child’s part and acceptance on another’s, one that defined a friendship. And the only way kids can get a moment like that is by getting into the hunt by themselves.
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.