The environmentalist in me immediately thought of the graph of carbon emissions from “An Inconvenient Truth” with Al Gore up on a scaffolding trying to get across the frightening point of our increasing threat to our planet. But I don’t have a photo of that. I do have symbols of how man-made things are eclipsing the natural. I have playground curves with a very small moon…
and outdoor art thrown up against the sky…
and wheels, which have dominated the environment for about a thousand years now.
Finally, I have a symbol of Natural grace, curvy and sharp and wild. A yucca plant.
I think the most dangerous curves are the ones we humans impose.
Ever get “Assembly Required” furniture from IKEA? I remember we got 2 sets of loft beds with student desks beneath them for our youngest daughters who shared a room. There were so many screws and wooden pegs and brackets included. God forbid we leave one out and our child plunges to the floor amid splinters of wood!
“To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” – Aldo Leopold
Why are we not as careful with our planet as we are with our furniture? You see a bug looking at you the wrong way, and you squash it. You see a weed growing in the wrong place, and you pluck it. If you don’t think you’ll need it, you plow it under, rip it out, poison it or shoot it to extinction.
Many years ago, my son in his pre-school ignorance was walking a trail in the redwoods of California with his grandfather when they came upon a banana slug, bright yellow, slimy and directly in their path. “What is THAT?” he asked. “A banana slug,” replied Grandpa George. “How do you kill it?” was the next thing out of my son’s mouth. That little exchange was later reported to me by my father and has haunted me since the telling.
We are all ignorant of the full worth of Nature. Let us be careful to tread lightly and reverently.
This morning, I posted a Photography 101 assignment on Bliss. (You can scroll down to see that or click on the link to the right under Recent Posts.) I “bliss out” when I am with people I love who love me. I am a Lover by temperament. I get all relaxed and happy and dreamy when my love tank is full. It feels very nice, and I tend to fall asleep. This is bliss.
The other side of this, the fierce energy of love, is not far away, however. I CARE about my loved ones. I CARE about the environment. I have a lot of beautiful landscape photos on this blog. Those would depict the bliss I feel about loving the Earth. But it’s not a sleepy bliss. My relationship with Earth is not in the blissful, dreamy lover stage. The Earth is in distress, and I am in distress with it. The election results this week are chilling to me. I got this letter from the Natural Resources Defense Council yesterday:
“Prepare yourself. Yesterday’s election results will put the Senate under new management, and its incoming leader — Senator Mitch McConnell — has made no secret of his pro-polluter, anti-environmental agenda.
Simply put, come January, both houses of Congress will be run by a faction of climate deniers and friends of the Koch Brothers. A list of the attacks they have threatened to unleash is as long as it is alarming —
They want to force approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline … cripple the President’s bold plan to crack down on the power plant pollution that is driving climate chaos … open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling … launch a full-blown attack on the Endangered Species Act … restrict the government’s ability to protect our drinking water from fracking … slash budgets that promote clean energy … and strip the EPA of its authority to block the disastrous Pebble Mine.
… GOP leaders are making a huge mistake — a potentially fatal mistake — if they think this election has given them a mandate to deepen our addiction to fossil fuels and shred our environmental laws.
Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for strong environmental protection. An ABC/Washington Post survey has reported that 70 percent of Americans view climate change as a serious problem and want the government to tackle it.
House and Senate leaders ignore these facts at their peril. …But, historically, there seems to be something about the headiness of victory that makes the fossil fuel lobby overreach and try to ram radical policies down the throats of the American people.
We’ve seen this movie before. In 1994, Newt Gingrich swept to power in the House, brandishing a “Contract with America” that never mentioned the word “environment.” But once installed, the new majority claimed a mandate for undoing 25 years of environmental protections.
NRDC and our allies fought back hard by mobilizing an enraged public; more than one million Americans wrote or phoned Congress in protest. In the end, the House leadership gambled everything — their budget, their power, their agenda — on an extremist assault on nature. They lost, and found out the hard way that protecting the environment is a bedrock American value.
We must do no less this time.
NRDC will bring everything to bear — the grassroots power of 1.4 million Members and online activists like you, the advocacy clout of our legal and scientific teams and the unmatched effectiveness of our rapid response operation — to stave off Mitch McConnell’s Big Polluter Agenda.
But playing defense is not enough. If we are to avoid the most catastrophic outcomes of an overheating planet, we’ve got to prevail on the Obama Administration to reject the Keystone pipeline, deliver on the toughest possible power plant rules and move America beyond all fossil fuels as rapidly as possible.
That is our planet’s last best hope for a sustainable future — and we are not going to let Congress stand in the way.”