OK I am participating in Blog Action Day ’07…..
As usual, I’m late to the party, so I just registered this weekend, on the official website, which says takes 48 hrs to approve… so this may not be an approved blog [i feel so illicit]… but the point is the action, right? And the action is to get thousands of web loggers to speak, teach and preach about being green… it ain’t easy, it never has been but how wonderful that we green people are finally coming out and being accepted by the media and society at large! I love to laugh at the way the environmental scene is described as new and how some certain news sources seem to think they are reporting on something novel.
Ecology and environmentalism have been evolving, well, really, as long as we have been, but as a “movement” or “action” it’s definitely been part of this country’s history for at least the past 2 centuries. Remember H.D. Thoreau, Rachel Carson or the Sierra Club ?[pic of founder John Muir on left] Heard of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century? Well, there were plenty of people freaking out then about what those carbon-spewing, unnatural monsters would do to our health, our land and our souls. But business must go on, natch, so a whole lot of laws and lobbyists and press reports were used to make green people seem like outsiders, freaks and geeks. Of course, we cannot erase history now, [and who wants to?! it's too much fun!] what we must do is evolve: learn and grow. When we say things like “I don’t know what I can do!” or ”We can’t possibly be causing destructive global warming because the Earth always goes through climate changes!” we are denying our place in this universe. We are all a part of the system, eco- not just social, and we all, animal, vegetable and mineral, rely on each other to function. Nobody can do it all, but everyone can do something! Apathy, meaning not caring at all, is not how any of our systems have grown or thrived.
YAY !! We have a figurehead!
While I enthusiastically applaud Gore’s decisive victory, I mean the latest one, the Nobel of course, not the Emmy, I wish the media would stop asking him if this means he’ll run again [ "RUN, FOR US, RUN!"] When are they going to figure out what he has learned!?! This is so much bigger than US; like he has said, and many before him, this is a human issue, a moral issue, not a political issue. He and his peers, AND WE, can do so much more good if not playing puppet to the big business forces behind-the-scenes, pulling the strings. Al has changed his tie color, to green, and embraced his roots, [hahaha], the motivating force that originally inspired him to enter public office: Green energy, and I do not mean money. There really are a lot of us out there, and generally, we look like everyone else. Naturally, some of us may be hairier or tanner or thinner, but we are everywhere, and we are not afraid to say “I’m Green!”
I realized I was green, despite having two rather white thumbs, in the late 80′s, as a budding teenager celebrating her Earth Day/birthday. My b-day is not April 22nd but since the official celebrations at the mall and local venues are generally relegated to the nearest weekend, some years it is, and as far as I was concerned the big eco-party was a great way to celebrate my own growth. I knew then that I was only joining a coalition that was far older than I [and Greenpeace and Earth Day and even the USA] I just wanted to figure out my part in it all, and learn as much as I could. I have worked with environmental groups, supported the movement through education, communication and finances, renewed, reused and recycled for all of my adult life, but I still know that I have not done enough. Sometimes I feel like I am not green enough, as the insult goes, even though I know in my heart that I do know, think and do more than a whole lot of other folks, about the green culture.
Yet, now in the 21st century, because of so many years of ignorance [as in ignoring the facts] and backlash against greens [yes, i have hugged trees, wanna make something of it?] there is a urgency amongst us that is causing internal strife. Better-than-thou Greens are fighting each other, debating on which element of our cause is more important [climate change vs. land preservation? solar vs. windpower? paper vs. plastic?] When will they realize that it is all connected? This is one culture with many facets and members. We cannot fight against ourselves, it will destroy us all. As in any peacefully functioning society, tolerance of individuals and differences must be maintained. I recently read a debate about vegetarians being the only true environmentalists. Boy, that was heated, let me tell you. I can understand both points of view; what I cannot comprehend is why people think arguing about these matters is progress.
There are more resources and groups and information available than ever, but do they all matter to the movement? I try to keep updated by hip sites like Grist and Treehugger, and get the e-newsletters from Orion and E Magazine. Sometimes there are great stories and important news; sometimes its schlock. I am beginning to doubt my own greenness because I don’t buy new cars, and seldom new clothes, so I have not invested in a hybrid SUV or organic jeans [which are on my wishlist btw]. And of course I love those book things which trees have to die for [as my mother constantly reminded me when I folded pages down as a bookmark]. So am I not green enough if I buy magazines or ever get a book printed? Think about the thousands of books that never sell and sit in piles in warehouses or the bargain bins. I think about them and shudder. And when I saw a set of encyclopedias thrown in the communal dumpster I almost cried. I know it was outdated, and the Internet is greener, but the thought of books being delegated to the landfills haunts me. I want to find a home for them. But I can’t save them all. I can do what I can, so I do, and I look for ways that I can do more or produce less or recycle things I already have instead of buying more that I don’t need.
Like, I said, it’s not easy being green. I have to battle my own self-doubts, the greener people with stars on thars, the Powers That Are and the naysayers. I have to prove my qualifications to be green, right? I have to get off the comp and go outside and play. Breathe in the not-so-fresh air and enjoy it while I can.