To me, everyday is Earth Day but it is nice to have a specific designated day for celebration. Like a birthday. Sadly, I think a good many people only bother thinking about the Earth on Earth Day and the rest of the year they are oblivious. Or People say things like “I recycle” and “I bring my own bags to the grocery store” and that’s great but it isn’t good enough.
President Obama went to the Everglades in Florida today to give an Earth Day speech. Air Force One used more than 9,000 gallons fuel to get him there and back for his little photo op. And of course he talked about climate change and controlling carbon emissions which at this point is just lip service because he has done very little during his administration to move this country toward doing our part to stop global warming.
He chose to visit Florida for a reason, not only is it a state that is being severely affected by climate change, the governor, Rick Scott, has banned the phrase “climate change” from being used in all government-related documents and events. Because, you know, if you don’t acknowledge it is happening then it really isn’t. Magical thinking, that. Scott denies it but there are too many scientists that have done work for the state and too many other state workers all talking about it that it is hard to believe the governor when he says everyone else is making it up.
I was hoping to be able to do a review of This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein today but I still have about 90 pages left to go. It’s an excellent book. Also, very depressing though not entirely without hope.
I am reading a marvelous book called Notes from Walnut Tree Farm by Roger Deakin. It is a beautiful, meditative kind of book and I thought I’d share a couple Earth Day appropriate quotes from it.
[I]n the Middle Ages people were on the land — on it, in it — in a way that we simply are not today. We live our lives outside the land. We stay off it mostly.
This basic idea of consideration is at the heart of all true conservation. You act out of consideration, out of fellow feeling, for other living things, and for other people. Most of the degradation of our land, air and water is caused by selfishness.
And here is the first stanza of an Earth Day poem by Jane Yolen:
I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.
You can read the rest at the Poetry Foundation.
And one final thought, compliments of Henry David Thoreau:
Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps.
Remember, in being kind to the earth, we are being kind to ourselves.
Happy Earth Day!