22 April, 2012
I like this special day of the year more than almost all others. It had significant impact on my life a long time ago and continues to be an essential element in my "toolbox" of most useful tools.
They say it is observed here but it isn't. It is also said that there is a nascent green movement here but this is also not true outside of the realm of academics and politics. They haven't yet devised a program to awaken the general consciousness of people here to the incredible risks that this society, in its radical leap toward "progress," assumes are essential to being a world power.
I don't much like to use other peoples' metaphors but I often feel like the hummingbird carrying water, drop for drop an attempt to put out a raging fire. While religious fervor demands huge participation by masses of adherents of religions and while conformity to Brazilian social norms build defensive breakwaters and isolate themselves into a place where their ecological misbehavior is rational only to them, I struggle to find ANYBODY with a rational approach to building effective and general awareness about the problems we face here. They are simply not interested [yet]. And I keep hunting for ways to help them discover themselves the need to act much more quickly and vigorously.
Earth Day helps a little bit. It helps me put out a message about a place where a thing happened that began to bring a change in consiousness about the role we play as part of the greater environment and in a way that is not based upon a "feeling" or a "belief" but rather good old science with its scientific method propelling us forward in learning process that allows us to LEARN by our mistakes rather than simply "following" the next new high priest of popular misinformation.
When one moves to a different culture in a different country it gives one opportunity to be retrospect about our origin and our own social values. It can be a painfully marvelous experience as it gives opportunity to be critical of the new environment as well as to reconsider that which we left behind. While I feel no remorse at having made this change in my life I DO very much miss some of the people left behind, people that probably can't even recognize the valuable part they play in helping design Wisconsin's directions and their roles as ethical anchors in how we relate to each other and our plant, animal and elemental surroundings.
So, on this 42nd Earth Day I find it useful to think about what my part in this is in this different place that so needs help getting an ecocentric awareness off the ground and into the popular culture. I also wonder how to integrate here all [any] of the experience that resides in the U.S. for I do not find people willing to look beyond borders to tackle a hugely global problem and folks here unwilling to allow "outside influences" in because of their wariness to traditional colonial relationships. Similarly folks there seem disinterested in what happens here (I'm building an archive of rejections to help I request from U.S. organizations) and, bottom line, nature knows no political boundaries.
I hope that all is well in WI and that you have a great Earth Day.