per·i·pa·tet·ic
ˌperēpəˈtedik/
adjective
  1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
    Aristotelian.
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Unearthing Earth Day: The Earth is a Crystal Ball


The Earth is a crystal ball you see
It holds the future for you and me
The crystal held within its sphere
Is salty brine or fresh, it's clear

The people who would make Earth "Mom"
Would truly like to read the palm
The outstretched one that You laid bare
To help them out of their despair

That drowns their thoughts of Providence
And takes away their common sense
As ebbing tide will wash the shore
Or springtime floods sweep forest's floor


There is this trouble about special providences--namely, there is so often a doubt as to which party was intended to be the beneficiary. In the case of the children, the bears, and the prophet, the bears got more real satisfaction out of the episode than the prophet did, because they got the children. -- Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar --

Steephead or drainage swale in Murphysboro State Park

Though SAM and I both were brought up in the '70s when Earth Day began to gather steam, we both find peculiar this strange fixation on the health of the planet. Who would have the audacity to think we (alive and present on this Earth) are any worse or better at changing the Earth--for the worse or better--than the generations that came before us? It takes a pudd'nhead, I guess.

11 comments:

  1. It is good of you to reflect on the planet on Earth Day. I wouldn't place the blame on only our generation since human impact on climate change dates back to the industrial revolution. However, since we are the first generation to see the scientific evidence of global climate change, I believe it is our responsibility to adjust policy accordingly so that future generations can enjoy the planet (including fossil fuels) too. Happy belated Earth Day!

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  2. Earth Day is just another example of a lot of talk and not enough action. We have entirely too many feel good days.

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  3. Sarah, I'm not convinced that any policy change is necessary with regard to climate change since human effect on it is minuscule compared to the forces of nature. Unless, that is, you're referring to the destruction of forests globally to accommodate large-scale farming and ranching and the overbuilding that is occurring worldwide to accommodate the construction industry. And then there is the problem of garbage...

    Marnie, I know what you mean. Earth Day has become entirely too profit driven for far too many nonprofit organizations. I don't need a special day to think about the planet and try to do my part to protect it. It's just another Hallmark holiday as far as I'm concerned.

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  4. I do think that we have a certain degree of responsibility over what's going on with our climate. After all we're supposed to be the rational animals! :-) Go figure.

    Greetings from London.

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  5. I think Sarah put it very well in her comment, though I am wary of more government policies on this issue. I do think every day is Earth Day and that it is up to individuals to do their part to protect the planet. That's how I explain all the dandelions in my yard and garden--no chemical sprays here!

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  6. The vast increase in our technical capacity to effect the earth combined with arrogance and greed offers little hope for future generations... Sarah understated the problem...:(

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  7. ACIL, I think some of us "animals" were absent without leave the day that common sense was rationed out. Responsibility is one of those virtues that are rapidly disappearing from most societies primarily because the governments in control either say "Don't worry, be happy; we'll take of everything (cue the lawmakers and the litigators)," or "Pollution? What pollution? Just wear a mask and get back to work!"

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    Replies
    1. Quite agree! :-)

      Greetings from London.

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  8. Rose, I think you're correct about more laws. We already have agencies and policies in place that are supposed to be monitoring and chastising the "big, bad corporations" that make a mess. And I agree with you on a more natural approach to gardening. I don't spray chemicals and I look the other way when SAM has to use a little Roundup here or there--very little. Just enough to kill the weeds in the driveway and sidewalk cracks, I promise!

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  9. TB, I guess you mean other countries besides the U.S. when you say "our technical capacity," because the U.S. now lags behind other countries on industrial output. We are well on our way to becoming a nation of consumers now, not producers.

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  10. I'm certain the earth is much worse off than it was when I was a child. Places like China and California with air that is almost unbreathable. The huge floating island of plastic in the pacific that is as large as a New England state, killing fish and sea life. The extinction of many species of animals and plants and the decreasing habitat for the survivors. I'm relieved to say I won't be around in 50 years to see what has happened to our world. I agree with you about most humans being AWOL on common sense.

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