Ah, you are so great, and I am so small,
I tremble to think of you, World, at all;
And yet, when I said my prayers to-day,
A whisper inside me seemed to say,
"You are more than the Earth, though you are such a dot:
You can love and think, and the Earth cannot!"
— William Brighty Rands
that poem, always saw it as a rebuttal to people feeling small. I
don't even like the political phrase "the little people."
other hand, looking at the reality of billions of stars in millions
of galaxies, and the fact that many people, while perhaps loving,
don't seem to think very much ... maybe we're not more than the
Earth. Nevertheless, we human beings are an amazing part of nature,
certainly smarter than the average tree, chicken or goldfish. Not so
sure about dolphins, chimpanzees, parrots, Lassie or my cat. Take
Chris Matthews and Rosie O'Donnell. I've heard commentary from
squirrels that made more sense.
the environmental movement perceive Gaia, the earth, as a living,
breathing entity, which may or may not love anyone but Uranus, yet
can be sad about environmental damage and capable of getting even
with those who cause it. However, as the more commonly-named "Mother
Earth," she stuffed herself with oil, gas, and coal for our energy
use (what other reason would they be there?), and is likely to make
excuses for her children's behavior.
many mothers, though, she may warn against waste and a lack of
appreciation, might expect responsible behavior and allow
consequences if the kids don't obey her reasonable laws.
another viewpoint, that earth is just a rock among many rocks,
unaware, uninterested in its inhabitants, which we are either by
accident or God's plan. Regardless, celebrating Earth Day seems like
a good idea to me.
there's a problem: the environmental issue has been claimed by
liberals, some just ditzy, many with political agendas depending on
wildly exaggerated dangers, with whom one doesn't want to spend much
time. I also have this same problem with various social issues. I
can see both sides, but prefer to hang out with only one of them,
when the other side is wrong about the freedom and fiscal
responsibility issues that are my top priority.
thinking about this last week during the Tea Parties, when some
commentators noted that the same people who are attacking Barack
Obama on budget deficits and bailouts didn't organize against these
when George Bush was president. This may be true, but not because we
didn't care. A lot of us were opposed to Bush on the deficits and on
illegal immigration, and in those last months, his bailouts — but
were reluctant to join the people who had been Bush-bashing for the
wrong reasons for eight years. We also didn't want to assist
candidates who were far worse on these issues and very wrong on
there are people who have a similar dilemma, who share some
conservative positions on high taxes and wasteful spending, but
don't want to hang out with people with whom they disagree on
abortion, gay marriage, or war issues.
economy remains center stage for a while, some of the strange
bedfellows may be sharing blankets, even rallies, in protest against
future bailouts by taxpayers of failed Big Business. People on
different sides of the political spectrum, especially young
taxpayers who will have to pay for it all — and their grandparents —
suddenly have a lot to talk about.
environment may still be on voters' minds, but the focus will be on
"green" investments and won't encourage politicians to risk the
economy on job-destroying "climate-change" initiatives. This gives
us all a time-out from Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" to discuss the
actual truth, which by definition isn't politically motivated.
my Mother Earth, am even enchanted by the Gaia concept, which while
not technically true is charmingly lyrical. My carbon footprint is
small, for an American — and I'm not apologizing for being
technology-rich while some people, whose ancestors didn't emigrate,
are still carrying water from the village well, visiting an
outhouse, and moving animal dung for fuel on oxen-powered "honey
wagons." (Yes, I've visited, but I wouldn't want to live there.
Thank you, paternal grandparents, for leaving).
recycle, never litter, plant things, and live a fairly simple life.
But I'm not giving up long hot showers, unplugging appliances at
night or driving a toy car. I think the planet may be warming,
again, as it has over the ages, or it may not, depending on when and
where one measures Antarctica; but it's not my fault, either way. I
recognize that making people afraid of the climate and/or dependent
on government is the goal of some power-seeking politicians, so I
challenge their environmental assumptions.
I do think it's good to conserve resources and avoid conspicuous
consumption. The latter includes mansions and private jets. Earth
Day-wise, I'm more than Al Gore, though I'm such a dot; I can think
for myself, and his fans cannot.