Friday, July 27, 2007

Live Earth, Three Weeks & Counting

During the lead up to Live Earth, I got on even more environmental e-lists, and one associated with the event, .... , has asked the question, "When was your 'green light' moment?"

I added this reply to their comments section:

My "green light" moment occurred back when I was a teenager in the 1970s. I joined "The Wilderness Society" when I was about 15 years old. No one else in my family was into wilderness, but I saw that it was, as Thoreau said, "the preservation of the world." And I still feel that we can measure how well we are doing by how wilderness and natural ecosystems are doing. So far, not so good.

When I was 17, in 1975, I wrote a big paper for my American literature class on Thoreau and "Walden," and I was hooked. My first year in college, I latched onto an American Studies course called "Wilderness and the American Mind" after the book of that title by Roderick Nash. So my road has always been one of treading lightly, in some ways reasonably (always recycled for myself and sometimes neighbors, strangers, along the roadside, always composted, only bought cars that got 30+ mpg), in other ways radically (no TV, no children, no investing, no supporting the military, much less war).

For me, this has not been an easy road. Deep convictions cut like a knife -- both ways. There have been pain and anguish and deprivation (by American standards) down this road, but I am proud of my stances and sacrifices, even as I am humbled and devasted, at times to the brink of dysfunction, by what I see around me -- the juggernaut of human nature and of American culture.

My lighter, kinder road is my life's work and its greatest accomplishment.


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