Blunt Object inspired this post. I grew up in the 1970’s. I consider myself an environmentalist, and a card-carrying demophobe. I need to get away from people and man-made things for a while, so as not to start biting random strangers on their noses. I don’t care if it’s the metroparks, rural Ohio, or a nice, quiet cemetery, I’m a big fan of the wilds.
Not only is there the selfish reason, articulated crudely as “don’t shit where you eat”, as the dominant species romping and stomping on the planet humans have responsibility to be mindful and be good stewards. I don’t think it is possible or even wise to make the earth look like man never walked upon it. We will have an impact. But it is important to be careful about what that impact is, and be mindful of what you do. As one should be careful about what one eats, in terms of expense, and calories, and health, so one should be careful about how one uses the earth.
It is Earth Day today. I’ve never been one to like the “one day to celebrate a concept that should be year long” thing. It looks a little too much like consciousness raising. I got burned out on that concept in undergrad, where there was a lot of consciousness raising, but precious little translation of that raised consciousness into practical action. It has it’s place, but too much of it makes a lot of people feel good about themselves, but produced nothing of lasting value. At least, it doesn’t destroy your vision, unlike other, similar practices.
Earth Day was the brain child of Ira Einhorn, an environmental activist and friend of Abbie Hoffman. He also had a penchant for beating up his girlfriends, one of whom he killed and locked in a trunk in the closet of his apartment. He fled to France to escape prosecution, claiming that the CIA planted his girlfriend’s body to smear him. He was finally extradited from France in 2002, and is doing LWOP in prison in Pennsylvania. Earth Day is also Lenin’s Birthday, and Einhorn chose that deliberately.
I can think of better days to celebrate and honor the earth than one shared by V.I. Lenin. John Muir, (21 April) John James Audubon, (26 April) Rachel Carson, (May 27) perhaps?