Marja-Leena Rathje
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earth day


Happy Earth Day, every day! Do you realize that the environmental movement has been around for many decades? It has had its ups and downs in support, but it seems to me that this year there is a greater interest and a sense of urgency amongst more people than ever before. Thanks in part must go to Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth, which, by the way, is quite powerful though it doesn't cover all the issues of concern - a must see if you haven't already seen it.

Earth Day is the brainchild of Earth Day Network, an international organization, which was founded in 1970. In 1971 Greenpeace was founded in Vancouver (Canada).

Vancouver is also the birthplace and home of David T. Suzuki, an award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster, recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology for over 30 years. He heads the David Suzuki Foundation. His message is being heard more and more as he's travelled Canada speaking with people and getting the message to leaders in Ottawa.

Besides the above resource rich websites, there are a number of interesting and practical blogs that offer some help in thinking about and achieving a smaller ecological footprint. Here are just a few that I've been reading that you might also enjoy:

Worsted Witch
Green Living Tips
Grist (this via Frogs and Ravens, who has a list of even more resources).

What are your favourite sites that inspire you to make changes in the way you live your life or perhaps even be an activist?

Marja-Leena | 22/04/2007 | 9 comments
themes: Current Events, Environment


Hm. Interesting question. The "inspiration" is easy (it's all around me - in fact, one is warbling right outside my window as I type), but the making of changes...

I subscribe to Grist's daily email, which is a lot of fun because of the writers' penchant for bad puns and dark humor. Also, their summaries of each story are substantial enough that you don't have to click through if you're pressed for time. So i highly recomment Grist's daily digest for keeping abreast of environmental news.

As for which sites inpire me, though, I'd be more inclined to list some of the literary and artistic blogs I read (including this one). Mere information doesn't really inspire.

Both Chris Clarke, at Creek Running North, and Dave Bonta, at Via Negativa, make me think - and learn - about the earth on an ongoing basis. I get kind of impatient with activist sites: I'm the choir, I've heard the sermon already and am trying to act on it. What I like is learning about plants, animals, rocks, biosystems in the comprehensive, intelligent way that Co-Evolution Quarterly/Whole Earth Review used to do.

Happy Earth Day to everyone & nice to see Marja-Leena giving us something to think about - our future! This day has many special meanings for me that make me think of all the wonderful events in my life. My Dad was a 'mountain-man' who taught me about how fragile planet-earth is - something I carry with me all the time. I have left my footprint on places where there's never been another human and many have done likewise. I know I'll never return to that exact place, but I left it in better condition when leaving. Nature is forever being tampered with and we will regret it sooner than later.

Leslee, Dave, Beth and Roger - Thanks for your thoughtful comments! I totally agree about the inspirations from nature itself, and from the writers you mention. My motivations in writing this were two-fold: to acknowledge some of the long running environmental movements from a bit of historical perspective, and to offer sources for thought and tips for those who might need them, but without stridency. There are people who need the help and education.

Yes, many of us have already been doing much or all of this for a long time. We built a passive solar home, eat organic when possible, compost, garden organically, recycle, turn off lights and turn down heat, drive less without gas guzzlers, cycle, take mass transit, and so on.

However, I strongly believe we all need to do far more now. We need to convince and pressure governments, business and industry at all levels to take this issue seriously with strong action. We're not activists ourselves, but maybe we need to be. We've signed up support for activists like David Suzuki for starters. Everybody has to be part of saving this earth, its soil, air, water, animals, plants and people. All my husband and I have to do is think of the future of our grandchildren to feel the heavy weight of responsibility. We may not live long enough to see the coming dramatic changes, but they will.

I forgot to mention a new website, Lighter Footstep:
a great source of very practical information.

(Thanks, Beth!)

Dave, thanks for the link! It's in my newsreader now and I look forward to checking it out more closely.

Thanks for the link!

I find my inspiration to be somewhat uneven these days; I'm really most inspired when I have regular access to the wild outdoors (I get a lot out of my yard, but it's not the same) and when I'm just hanging out with like-minded people.

These days, both are in short supply where I live, so the internet and books and magazines are standing in. It's nowhere near as good, but it's not bad as a temporary support. :)

Rana, thank you for visiting! I'm with you about the wild outdoors! I've been longing to go on a holiday away from the city - soon! We're lucky though to live in a beautiful part of the world, and this corner of the city feels less city and more wild with the huge trees, the mountains and the sea. Our big garden is a private retreat within this greater picture, and wonderful for the grandchildren to run about in. It's not far into very challenging wilderness in the mountains behind us. The internet is definitely my biggest connection to the larger world out there, of like-minded people and ideas.