themcglynn.com

22 Apr

EARTH DAY FOREVER

EARTH DAY FOREVER

From Brother Ed:

I believe it was 1990 when the following editorial first appeared in The Riverwatch. It was 2000 when I sent a similar message to friends and family.  However, I think it is even more relevant today, especially because of the past decade, that we observe and celebrate Earth Day. The actions we can and should take to protect our environment have become even more important. I hope we all can find some way to celebrate this day and to become more active in the protection of this lonely and lovely planet, not green enough in more ways than one, where our children’s children will live and hopefully flourish, if we become serious about its protection.

It is the price of vision

that we owe, the cost

of what has been here, what

can be.  By this we are lost

to another possibility.  In fear

and hope, by work and sleep

we are married here.

                 Wendell Berry, 1975

By the time we celebrate the Opening Day of trout season we will have observed the twentieth anniversary of Earth Day.  On this day, the somber realists among us will have long reached the conclusion that this small planet is our only spaceship.  There is no avenue of escape if we destroy the livability of mother Earth.

Some starry-eyed visionaries may still plan to colonize another planet somewhere in the cosmos, after this earth is poisoned, and then poison it as well.  But even they must now know that the realization of such a dream would require resources beyond our capabilities, and would most certainly result in an even more accelerated decline of this planet.

We all have varying and possibly quite different ideas and feelings and knowledge regarding the environment.  Why should this be proper “editorial content” in the Riverwatch?  Why is Earth Day relevant to Opening Day?

We would reply that Earth Day is more important than Opening Day.

And we would add that without Earth Day, and a strong commitment to its meaning, Opening Day will become folklore.  If we do not take action, and soon, our children and especially tomorrow’s child, will not have an Opening Day.

We must solve, if we still have time, the many overwhelming problems that are destroying our earth.  We all know what they are: acid rain, toxic waste, the “greenhouse effect,” etc.  We also know they are caused by the powerful engines of economic and population growth, fueled by the desire to improve our comfort, security and mobility.

“We are married here.”  We are married to this planet.  It is here, in fear and hope, where we work and sleep.  It is here we shall die, and return to Earth.  It is also here that our grandchildren—and the children of future years—will celebrate Opening Day.

If only we do today what should have been done yesterday.

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