Environmentalism and Earth Day

I remember the first "Earth Day" in 1970. I remember it well. I was in third-grade at Oakview Neighborhood School in West Irondequit, NY. We had energized school lessons regarding care for the environment and there was a common thread in our cultural changes that we all need to care more about nature and ourselves. There was almost no opposing dialog. We had seen large fish kills, weird colored skys, and bodies of water we wouldn't even think about swimning in, including Lake Ontario. This was almost 10 years before the awakening of "love canal" in nearby Nigagra Falls NY. Generally, in 1970 the dialog was about polution and what we can do to reduce polution. Polution consisted of many things, trash along the highways, untreated sewage and industrial dumping and runoffs. Don't forget about sound polution, also part of the polution spectrum. We were also significantly concerned about needlessly cutting of trees and wasting paper.

Since 1970 we have made great progress in reclaiming polluted waters and land. Better and more importantly, it is very difficult to get the water and lands poluted in the first place.

I find our attitudes very interesting in that a hundred years ago, before the first earth day we had a cultural thinking that we could not control mother nature. She was so big and grand that no matter what we did to her she would heal or somehow deal with whatever we threw her. Today as we pass more than 50 years of earth days we have an opposite view. Nowadays, we are culturally convinced that almost all of our actions impact mother nature. We were (a century ago) as a human race smaller than nature. Today we think we are much bigger than nature. This is a dangerous stance. We need to remember our failures of arrogance, unsinkable ships and the like.

Today, paper is "sustainable", enjoy.


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