I remember celebrating the first Earth Day in 1970, my senior year in high school. I rode my bike to school most of that year, even though I had a car. I put away our electric can opener, and insisted we use the manual one, and went around turning off lights. Five years later I moved to Northern California, and though I wouldn’t say we were exactly part of the back-to-the-land movement, we heated our home with waste wood, and learned creative ways of cooking what was then called “health food.” At one point we lived in a bus. One of the reasons we only had one child is because I was concerned about the ecological burden our increasing population was putting on the planet.
Last week we bought Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and tonight we watched it. While I can see improvement since 1970 in how the U.S. reacts to the idea of Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, sometimes I worry that we won’t be able to do enough . . . that there is too little time to make enough of a difference before things get really bad. Gore’s movie, even while telling the inconvenient truths as they are (and they are scary!), is good about encouraging people to do things — suggesting there is still time. I hope so. You can get more ideas and information at www.climatecrisis.net .
Meanwhile, I have to contend with having a President who refuses to see truth on so many issues. Sigh . . . It is so sad and discouraging to have the rest of the world take global warming seriously, to make changes that benefit the planet AND their economy, and have him insist such a thing is not possible in the U.S. This issue makes me very angry, and am trying hard to “keep a civil tongue,” but maybe that is the problem — there are too many of us keeping a civil tongue.
At the G8 conference in Germany, all of the nations have decided to sign a declaration regarding a cutback in CO2 emissions — except the U.S. If you want to read more about it, please go to
Friends of the Earth is putting together a petition to present to the delegations from other countries, letting them know we are ashamed of President Bush, and that he does not speak for us or the people of the United States. I’ve signed it, and am encouraging everyone I know to do the same. I love the United States, and want to continue living in this beautiful area. But I’m tired of being ashamed of the current administration and the consumerist practices I see pushed down the throats of people around me.
I used to belong to an organization that did a lot of camping, and one of their mottoes was to leave a site in better condition than it was when we got there. I’m still hoping to do the same for planet Earth.