The Resurrection of Environmentalism

Cheer up TreeHuggers. Its spring and our vital signs are good. The 'fierce green fire' of environmentalism has flickered low, it's true, but the flame is ready to flourish anew, fed by the illumination of new images.The following quote is from Fred Krupp, of the Environmental Defense Fund; excerpted from a recent op ed article he published in the San Jose Mercury News.

"When a passionate cause becomes a mainstream value, has the cause died, or lost its way? That's what some environmental "doom and gloomers" are saying about our movement. That's just wrong.

No small band of TreeHuggers aroused the spirit of the first Earth Day. Nor did they force the US Congress to enact the first major environmental laws of the 1970's.

Citizens everywhere saw the symbols of waste and of destruction. Litter. Rivers on fire in Ohio, 1969. Frequent fish kills in the 1960's and 70's. . Neighborhoods destroyed by highways. Parks in disarray. Eroded soil, clogging streams. Landscapes desecrated by advertising. Suddenly, the images were latent and everywhere. Media relished them. Polls were clear. Do something.

A new set of images are encompassed by future's light, illuminating images for new generations.

Kilimanjaro's ice cap lost 82 percent of its area by 2000.

Melting glaciers. Dust storms. Flooded homes. Dry irrigation wells. Brownouts and blackouts. Grid-locked highways. Exploding refineries. Life-draining heat waves.The outrage of ingnored scientists. Urban poor, unable to heat their homes. Outbreaks of "NIMBY" for energy extraction instead of waste disposal. The list grows.

Lawsuits and regulations, impossible to symbolize with a picture, offer solutions not visible to the body politic. Its powder worth keeping dry, but not of inspiration to the grass roots.

With images of optimism, TreeHugging capitalists offer Community Supported Agriculture, Hybrid Vehicles, Fuel Cells, artesan goods built of hand-me-down, reclaimed materials, and low-input homes. These symbols flash brightly, awaiting new eyes to behold them, riding the churn of innovation, sneaking into front pages and home pages. Awaiting juxtaposition.

Sing with the birds TreeHuggers, make innovation your Ode to Spring. Cast your spirt in the light.

by: John Laumer [sitting in for C. Lepisto]

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