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  • It's nature's way of telling you something's wrong
    It's nature's way of telling you in a song
    It's nature's way of receiving you
    It's nature's way of retrieving you
    It's nature's way of telling you
    Something's wrong

    It's nature's way of telling you, summer breeze
    It's nature's way of telling you, dying trees
    It's nature's way of receiving you
    It's nature's way of retrieving you
    It's nature's way of telling you
    Something's wrong

    It's nature's way, it's nature's way
    It's nature's way, it's nature's way
    It's nature's way of telling you
    Something's wrong
    It's nature's way of telling you
    Something's wrong, something's wrong, something's wrong

    (written and performed by “Spirit”)

    I’ve always loved this song. Ironically, I never thought of it as an environmental piece – I always took it personally, at the time that it was out and popular, because nature was trying to tell me, at the time, personally, that something was seriously wrong. And I was hearing it – just felt completely helpless to do anything about it, at the time. This song haunted me – I’d want to say “Shut the fuck up!” whenever I heard it, but it was irresistable to me. It felt true.

    Another song, which when you read the lyrics, really seems to have nothing at all to do with the environment, I have always thought of as an environmental statement, just because of its title, and how listening to it made me feel. That would be “Fresh Air”, by Quicksilver Messenger Service. “Oooh-oooh-oooh-oooh, have another hit, of Fresh Air. Ooooh-oooh-oooh-ooooh, have another hit, of sweet California Sunshine”. It just always made me think, “Yeah! Fresh Air! Where?” I lived in Pittsburgh at the time it came out on the radio, when it was still very much a steel mill town. I wouldn’t have known what fresh air was if it came up and bit me in the ass, but I really liked the idea, and the sound, of it in this song.
  • So, what has me on this bent is, today is Earth Day! Really. You wouldn’t know it to walk out onto the National Mall to look for all of the Earth Day celebrations out there, where it all began 43 years ago. I guess it must have gotten cancelled, due to Sequestrations. That’s o.k. We don’t need the good green earth. Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a choke. We’ll just hole up in our bunker, with our guns, and blast pollution all to hell if it comes knockin’ at our door. Hell yeah! We don’t need no stinkin’ environmental regulations! Endangered speices? Fuhgettaboutit! My buddy in the agency that was supposed to be monitoring the little rascals has watched the entire program that was in place to do just that get placed on the endangered species list itself. It no longer exists. Just like that! Merely a memory. If we don’t know about ‘em, we won’t know we lost ‘em. Ignorance is bliss, right?
  • So, when I consulted on-line to see where in DC I might find any Earth Day 2013 Celebrations, it directed me to Union Station, where there are supposed to be activities all month. So, on my lunch break, I headed over there to check it out. (I am my agency’s new “Greening Initiative” manager, so I am trying to learn all I can about what’s going on around the government in the way of sustainability and greening).

    Here’s what I found at Union Station’s Earth Day celebration. An Army Rock Band, doing standard classic rock numbers – not bad, they jammed pretty damn good – they tour around the country 4 months out of the year, promoting the Army. On the other side of the station entrance were my old pals, the Racing Presidents, basically promoting the Washington Nationals, my favorite baseball team. I tried out for them, not once, but twice. I was too old. I won my races, but I was too old. I see them, and think “Dat coulda been me – I coulda been a contendah”. Not really – I think the Racing Prez are pretty damned cool. But, that was it! THAT was DC’s Earth Day Celebration. WTF?!?!? Is THIS what it’s come to? Excuse me if I have just a little bit of trouble trying to figure out what the hell the Army, Rock’n’Roll, Baseball, and dead Presidents, have to do with the Environment? O.K., I’ll give you Teddy Roosevelt. He did a lot for the environment. But, REALLY?!?
  • We have a good friend at church who was on Senator Gaylord Nelson’s staff when he pushed to adopt Earth Day back in 1970. John pretty much wrote the book on Earth Day. I hope he didn’t come down to the Mall looking for it this year. How disappointed he would have been!

    On that first Earth Day, I was a sophomore in High School in Pittsburgh, and I was doing a writing project on the environment, so I played legal hooky and went across town to the University of Pittsburgh, where a huge hall that held about 6,000 students was filled with folks interested in the environment, as they held a symposium on environmental issues.

    How disappointed that 15 year old version of me would have been – actually was! - at what he found in the Nation’s Capital on Earth Day 2013, 43 years on.

    O.K., well enough about my little rant about the lack of anything related to Earth Day here in my nation’s Capital on this Earth Day. The rest of this will be the piece I wrote on the Metro on the way in this morning, and posted, but it didn’t post because our Cow and our Bird took the morning off to go roaming in pastures of green. Here it is, in its initial form.
  • Coming back into town after our 4 day getaway, I was overwhelmed by all the green that had happened while we were away. The area apparently got a lot of rain, and though it was still unseasonably cool, Spring had come on with a vengeance, green everywhere, to compliment all the blossoms that have been popping for the past few weeks. These signs of new life from nature fill me with a deep sense of joy - we've been rough on her, but Mother Nature keeps coming back, strong.

    I do worry, though, how much longer she will. While awareness of sustainability, sustainable behaviors, and carbon footprints is on the rise, one has to wonder how much of an impact it will have when some of the world's largest governments (China, U. S.) continue to virtually ignore the problem, or just give it lip-service. It seems that if it's not in the best interests of big business, who have such a major impact on putting our elected leaders in place, it doesn't get the support it needs. It's a shame. I hope this will change, soon. It has to, or it will be too late.

    I'm re-reading an old book I read years ago, and Kathy found for me, again, on-line, called 2150. It talks about how the earth nearly imploded, ecologically, in the 21st Century, due to man's insistence on seeing everything from a very limited "micro" perspective. It got so bad, that as it teetered nearly on the brink of complete annihilation, a more sustainable "macro" philosophy was adopted by the majority of the survivors, and working together the people left were able to establish a better way to live and share the earth's abundance, and it rebounded.

    There's much more to the story, but that's a key part of it. Those who couldn't "get with the program", so to speak, were free to continue their "micro" behaviors and existence on "Micro Island", where they continued to kill each other off, fight over everything, and generally be all about themselves, with no thought or care for their fellow man or the world around them. Their impact was thus minimized.

    Fascinating tale. Food for thought.

    Happy Earth Day, my Global friends. Hug a tree, take a walk in nature, recycle, compost, or just enjoy the good, green earth this day, this Earth Day. Then, keep doing it, everyday.

    Love the world you live in - it will love you back. Let's try to make it last for our children, and their children. It's on us to keep it green.
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