themcglynn.com

22 Apr

EARTH DAY FOREVER

EARTH DAY FOREVER

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 likely 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, feelings, and knowledge regarding the environment. Why is this proper “editorial content” in the Riverwatch? Why is Earth Day relevant to Opening Day?

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

And we should 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, global warming (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 now work and sleep. It is here we shall die, and return to Earth. It is also here where our grandchildren—and the children of future years—will celebrate Opening Day.

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

From the Editorial in the Spring 1990 Riverwatch

Editors: Ed & Judy McGlinn

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