In an exclusive op-ed for Metro, Chris Noth shares his passion for Earth Day (which takes place this year on Tuesday, April 22). He writes: "Nature fuels our art. Nature feeds our spirit." Below, read more of Noth's thoughts on Earth Day, his fear of climate change and how he hopes theperseverance of the American people will help us affect real change.
I'm not too big to admit that climate change terrifies me.
For the first time in my life, I've had to wonder whether our atmosphere will withstand what we're pumping into it and whether the natural systems that we’ve relied on to sustain life on this planet will keep working into my son’s generation or his children’s generations beyond that.
What frightens me most, though, is not the science — it’s political inaction. The world's scientists keep reminding us that we have a finite amount of time to save our climate, and yet we still don’t have the political will that we need for massive action.
So what do we do? That's my question every time I read another piece of bad news. Should we all plant trees? Recycle? What does the regular consumer do? We know individual actions are good, but the real change we need is from corporations and governments. And that action is not coming fast enough. How do we fight this feeling of powerlessness and make any kind of impact on one of the biggest challenges of our time?
This Earth Day, my recommendation may surprise you.
I care about what's happening to our climate because I love it here. On Earth Day of all days, it's time to remember why this planet is worth saving. This is a time to find your love of place.
It’s easy to forget the simple fact of how beautiful this Earth is. I'm as urban as any New Yorker, but I’ve always loved nature — not just because we need clean air, clean water and a stable climate to live, but also because nature gives us poetry. Nature fuels our art. Nature feeds our spirit.
For me, it’s always been trees. They are the perfect symbol of resilience, and protecting them is a commitment to preserve something that should last long after we do. Whenever I lose hope, I find myself rereading Robert Frost's poem, “The Sound of Trees.” When it comes to climate change, trees are one of the most important things to protect. That’s why I will always support the peopleatgroups likeRainforest Action Network who dedicate their lives to protecting our forests and making sure we don’t allow big business to destroy the beauty of this planet for profit.
For you, maybe it’s not the trees. Maybe it’s the ocean, maybe it’s a particular animal or maybe it’s the smile on your kid's face when he or she gets to play outside. The bad news is, whatever part of nature it is that you care about most, you can be sure that climate change is going to impact it. We're seeing a climate tipping point that will impact all of us. But I have to believe that there is no tipping point for American perseverance, for finding the will to get to work despite the odds.
It's our collective will that has always gotten things done in this country. So where do we look for that will? We look to the very thing that's being threatened: nature. If you believe, as I do, that the landscape of this country is worth preserving, then join me this Earth Day, Make a commitment not to stand by while it’s thrown away.
It’s time to do more — together.
Chris Noth is a celebrated actor and honorary board member of Rainforest Action Network. Join him to raise funds for the rainforest on Monday, June 16, at the Cutting Room. You can purchase your ticketshere.