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Today we celebrate "Our Mother." The ceremonies, at least the ones associated with this specific day - and the week preceding it, started in 1970. Back then, I was a twenty-two year old who was very familiar with the Be-Ins that were held on Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. I attended them regularly and this time was no exception. It was not unusual to see thousands upon thousands (sometimes tens of thousands) of people gathered to listen to some of the most popular bands in rock-n-roll perform at no cost to the attendees. There was always a feeling of camaraderie there and, besides the enjoyment of music, a purpose - whether it was about ending the Vietnam War, or protesting prejudice and supporting civil/equal rights. But on this day, there was a different agenda, another goal of awareness, and a new call to action.

It was as much a Teach-In as it was a Be-In. Sure, there was lots of music, but there were also speeches about the destruction of our environment, the polluting of our rivers, stream, oceans, air and lungs. We were learning, or reinforcing, the realization that our penchant for "progress" was killing us. Humans, for some bizarre reason, have this self-sabotaging behavior of wanting to destroy our home. We will do whatever it takes to take whatever we want...regardless of the consequences to our planet, ourselves, or future generations.

The speeches that day by Senators Edmund Muskie and Hugh Scott, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, poet Allen Ginsberg, and many others, were calls to stop the madness and to enable us have our home become the pristine place it was not that very long ago.

That first Earth Day has morphed into a tradition and a movement. And, while some "believe" that climate change doesn't exist. Or...that pollution is somehow a result of "progress," with byproducts (like carbon dioxide) that should be taxed or traded. I, sadly, see that we haven't exhibited very much love for "Our Mother" or ourselves in the last forty-two years. Yes, we've made some progress in correcting pollution. But not enough. For every step we take to correct our problems we also add new ones. Our food is now "modified," our water comes in plastic bottles, or taps need filters to clean out what was originally clean, and our clothes contain toxins.

So...what have we learned since, at least, 30,000 people attended that event in 1970? Perhaps we're more aware of how we're poisoning ourselves, "Our Home," and our children. Maybe we've altered our behaviors and don't consume things that we know will destroy us. It's even possible that we're changing, in positive ways, as a global society. But - time is of the essence. Otherwise, it's entirely possible that someday in the future, they'll be no people left to celebrate "Earth Day." Be constantly vigilant. Because...there is only: one Earth, one atmosphere, and one species known as Homo sapiens. Let's all work to make sure they all exist in a healthy manner for a very long time.
8/18/2016 04:12:14 am

It is a good idea. I guess, it could be so much more use of it if everyone realized what it's all really about.

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