Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

First off, I should apologize for being a negligent blogger lately. The ol' PhD is catching up with me and I've got tons of work to do. I have all sorts of good blogging ideas and no time to write them.

But today is Earth Day and even a lazy nature blogger cannot let a day specifically designed to remind us of the ecological and environmental needs of our planet pass without hopping online and writing a few lines in support of preserving our natural world.

When I think of Earth Day, I'm reminded of anthropomorphic ambassadors from my childhood. Woodsy Owl, Smokey the Bear, and Ranger Rick. Each spouted an easy-to-remember aphorism. "Give a hoot! Don't pollute. Plant a tree today" or "Only you can prevent forest fires." Yet, as one half of our government fights to destroy and exploit our natural environment and the other puts up a flaccid, lackluster defense (or outright caves), I can't help but think that all the logic, all the public relations campaigns mounted by environmental groups, all the cartoon animals giving sound advice, and all the anger of people like me and probably you can't compare for one second to nature's own ambassadors, the spectacular and sublime features of our planet.

So, for Earth Day, this humble blogger isn't asking you to vote, petition, go vegan, recycle, ride a bike, or change your lightbulbs. If you do those things, wonderful...I do too. But I would like to ask you to go outside. Take your kids for a walk in the woods. Visit a national park. Go to the beach. Hike up a mountain. Or just feed some birds in your yard. If you don't know what we're losing to greed and idiocy (idiocy means you, climate change deniers), then you had better find out before it's gone.

Oh, and when you get back inside, read Edward Abbey's account of Glen Canyon or John Muir's of Hetch Hetchy before they were dammed. You can't go to those places anymore. Both men are great writers, but neither provides a satisfying substitute for the reality of standing in a place, smelling the air, hearing the wind and the birds. I think you will agree that one visit would be worth all the descriptions, films, and photographs of each of these places that have been taken from us by our parents' and grandparents' generations. We can to better than that. Let's start now.

1 comment:

Demarcated Landscapes said...

Ouch! We lazy bloggers did indeed skip posting on Earth Day! Well, send us some of your good ideas. We haven't got a PhD excuse, but we do have writers block(s). And we're cranky. So there's that.