JD Souther

Earth Day

Tuesday night there was a magnificent gathering courtesy of Ryoko Suzuki and Jeff Coffin with music by the Alash Ensemble (Tuvan throat singers) and Pedrosaxo (just google him-you wonít believe it but I sat 6 feet from the bell of his tenor sax and he is a human singularity, as real as Earth). We wished everybody good will and greener living for Earth Day and celebrated by using as little electricity as things would run on but then we try to do that any way. I heard someone in the media refer to the first Earth Day in 1970 (named so by ad man genius Julian Koenig, suggested the previous year by John McConnell, and formally founded as a teach-in by Senator Gaylord Nelson on itís annually celebrated April 22) as ďthe beginning of the modern environmental movementĒ. Obviously not, but why such a careless mistake in reportage? This very good idea of trying to at least hold our place and slow our pace on the only planet currently available to us is worth more serious attention. Knowing some history would seem to be important everyone and I would recommend E.O. Wilson, Wendell Berry, Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, Loren Eisley, and Alan Weisman, to name only a few, as those are excellent and varied entry points to a field that has been the struggle of many for generations and the subject of dozens of important books. For thrilling and brilliant reading, start at the end of that (only partial) list with The World Without Us by Weisman. Itís not political. Itís the extrapolation of hard science by a dazzling and imaginative writer. I rarely recommend books other than personally and often by giving a book to someone, but itís the day after Earth Day so it seems appropriate. If it doesnít keep you up late reading it, well, you probably really need the sleep. (Yes, of course, I have an electronic reader but thereís something about handing a person a bookÖ). Iím turning off the lights now. -JD Souther

Posted 04/24/2015

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