Friday, April 22, 2005

Kiss the Earth - Goodbye?

Happy Earth Day from Threadingwater
Thirty-five years ago on the very first Earth Day, I skipped out of my high school classes to celebrate what my friends and I thought was the beginning of the environmental movement. We wore "Save the Earth" buttons and painted flowers on our faces. We collected trash from a local park. We dreamed of a time when recycling would be a viable community-sanctioned activity. We were enthusiastic. Hopeful.
We never dreamed the clock could be turned back to the pillaging ways of our ancestors. Strip mining. Clear cutting forests. Unchecked urban sprawl. The wholesale theft of the planet's natural resources by business and corporate interests.
We never imagined the Bush family of political special interests. We never dreamed our fellow citizens would choose selfish isolation over the best interests of a world-wide community. Hummers, SUV's and McMansions for households of two dotting every horizon were beyond any science fiction scenario we may have imagined in our future.
Yesterday, I listened to a radio report from Broward County, Florida. The county officials there are promoting the importance of establishing micro-environments to help struggling species of insects, birds and mammals by encouraging residents to provide small natural green spaces.
Is this what Earth Day has become? We calculate our achievements by counting up the number of backyard gardens while we drill for oil in the Arctic National Refuge? The polar ice caps are melting, but Rosie's Diner has a concrete planter of native grasses in the parking lot.
Save the Earth. Indeed.


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