Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day``

Why isn't earth day a national / international holiday? I think everyone should have the day off to clean up their neighborhoods, plant some trees, and think about what it means to be part of nature. I think the earth is one of the most important things that we could celebrate. It would be a chance to recognize that we all come from a common place. It would be a chance to celebrate the miracle of all living things. It would be a chance to take stock of how we can help make the world a better place by valuing our natural resources. Think of the positive energy and good will we could generate by displaying such compassion all at once.

Happy Earth Day everyone!


Esther Montgomery said...

This is a bit delicate - and it's going to be a bit long - and it may be painful reading - but - I think the reaction of many people in many countries around the world should Americans suggest we might like to join in with Earth Day would, possibly, be one of anger mixed with 'At last!' and 'At last Americans are beginning to recognise the danger the world is in!'

Until recently, the only news we have had about the U.S.A. and the environment is that the American Government has steadfastly been refusing to join the rest of the world in agreements to cut carbon emissions, that the carbon footprints of Americans are way in excess of citizens of other countries and that India and China will never do anything about their own, increasing, carbon emissions until people in the U.S.A. are prepared actively to reduce their standard of living.

Until recently, we have also heard much from 'scientists' in the U.S.A. who have been pressing the idea that global warming has nothing to do with energy use.

And many people have despaired of Americans ever cutting free from their current levels of energy consumption, petrochemicals, agrichemicals etc., until the connection between its presidency and the oil industry is severed.

However, in the last, short while, changes in California and cities in some other states have alerted us to the fact that there are people in the U.S.A. who are concerned about the planet.

I tell my children that the U.S.A. is so vast, it is inevitable that, within it, some of its inhabitants are bound to be among the cleverest and wisest and most imaginative in the world. We simply mustn't assume their government speaks for them all, nor that the way of life we see in films and hear about on the news is espoused by everyone there.

One of the things I have come to appreciate since joining Blotanical, is the way it has opened up a channel between me and some of those very people in the U.S.A. .

But - if they tried to 'push' Earth Day to the rest of the world - it is likely there would be a resounding cough of incredulity around the planet and many shouts of "hypocrisy!".

Over the last couple of months, some of the blogs from people in America have moved me quite deeply.

But it may be that many people there don't realise that, although some things about America are desired and emulated by people elsewhere, the word 'American' is often used as a synonym for 'bad' or 'wasteful' or 'greedy' or 'uncaring' or 'power-hungry'.

This, ( and I say it in friendship) - is a way I too have felt. Indeed, on the whole, it is the way I continue to feel.

As I mentioned to another blogger in the U.S.A. - some of you on Blotanical are not only writing interesting and entertaining blogs - but you are also being wonderful ambassadors for your country.

But, until I hear that the general public there (not just people who love gardens) are walking instead of using cars, are hanging out their washing instead of using tumble driers, and other things of that ilk - I too will continue to be doubtful about America's overall intentions.

None of this is to say that all in the garden is rosy over here either.

Definitely not.

But I think more people here would consider every day to be an Earth Day than would do so in your country.

The fact that you even have an Earth Day at all might well be considered an indication of how far America has to go to 'catch up' with other countries where it is an issue which is brought to our attention every day.

I am also perfectly aware that there are many people in America who are much poorer than almost anyone in Britain - and that they need their standard of living to be raised, not lowered - but . . . on the whole . . .

Melissa - I hope you aren't offended by this - but I get the impression from many bloggers in the U.S.A. that these are amongst the things they simply don't 'know'.



well said Esther. Thank you


Okay. Esther suggested that I post a private e-mail that I sent to her. I don't want to offend my fellow countrymen or incriminate myself, so I'm going to tone it down a bit...Yes, I know Americans are known as "ugly" throughout the world. This idea is often dispelled when we travel and are met one on one. There are many different points of view here that don't always match the government, media or Hollywood portrayals. And indeed, Europe is far ahead of us in many ways. For one thing, when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease six years ago, I was amazed how it was poo-pooed here. I learned that in Italy they test everyone for Celiac by the age of six. We eat garbage in America and our bodies pay for it.

I think that gardening is one way for people in the US to learn about the environment and what we are doing to it. I think the act of being out in nature helps wake many of us up to what it means to be part of the living world. Additionally, holidays are important to us. Why do we make such a big deal out of Veterans day and Labor Day and not Earth Day? Isn't the Earth our prime support system? Why shouldn't we celebrate it? (I personally love holidays. My birthday is a month long celebration. It is in September-- just in case anyone cares to send a present. If you can't spend your life celebrating, life's gifts what's the point?) Yes, indeed, every day should be Earth Day. But that saying is considered cliché here. A national holiday with markets closed means something to people. (Come to think of it...maybe they should close the Markets in September too!) We should celebrate Earth Day with vigor and I think it is one way for Americans to take the environment more seriously. Perhaps holidays such as ours are not so important to others around the world...but I think the idea of everyone focusing on one ideal all together globally can only do us good. It will remind us that humankind is all one.

Please see my posting "There is no room for ego here." I will post it when I am through here on April 25th, 2008