It was encouraging to see another healthy turnout Saturday for Efest, the festival at Lakewood Ranch that serves to inform and enlighten us about environmental issues that threaten the future of Mother Earth, and to offer alternatives for greener living.
We hope the message means more to people than enjoying a glorious November in Florida with balloons, juggling and free entertainment. Because our planet, to steal an old expression from my mother, "is going to hell in a handbasket.''
Our Sunday coverage of Efest included a story by correspondent Wendy Dahle, photos by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie and a column by East Manatee Editor Jim Jones, who spoke to vendors setting up for the event. Jim's takeaway:
Until Efest arrived, I couldn't have told you what a "double flush toilet'' is. Or that a skylight can be installed that conveys light around a 90-degree bend.
Well, that's a good start. Jim applied the prediction from a fortune cookie to the mess we're all in with the environment: "A crisis is coming your way. Get ready for it.''
Meanwhile, a loud warning was sounded in our lead World story of the day, out of Valencia, Spain. According to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, representing the world's top climate experts, the effects of global warming are "so severe and so sweeping that only urgent action will do. We are all in this together. We must work together.''
Events such as Efest and Earth Day are helpful in creating public awareness. But the United States — recognized as one of the world's worst polluters — must quit dragging its heels and become a global leader in the cause.