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Happy Earth Day! As I sit and…

Happy Earth Day! As I sit and...

Happy Earth Day! As I sit and think about the state of affairs of our planet – as I quite often do – I find myself coming back to a thought and theme I’ve considered for a long time: Earth Day, the environmental movement, are all hugely important and I believe in them wholeheartedly. We are in a crisis on our home planet, and the time is now to act boldly, or suffer the consequences. But, from a 30,000 foot view, it is all an anthropocentric effort. We won’t, as humans, destroy nature; we’ll damage her, wipe some of her finest creations from the favce of the earth, choke her waters and blotch her skies…but destroy her? Never. We’ll only destroy ourselves, the human species; and that, at the end of the day, is really the pressing question of the environmental movement: Do we want the date of our inevitable extinction (all species go extinct, and one day we will, too) to come sooner, or later? Do we want to attempt to strike some harmony in our existence on this earth, to mark our existence as a thoughtful, gentle, compassionate one, or as one of greed, hubris, and ignorance? As Robert Michael Pyle wrote in his classic essay, “Nature Bats Last”: “To me, nature’s batting last is neither a warning nor a threat. It is a cheerfully flip recognition of a certainty. And, a comforting certainty it is: imagine, the glory of the universe going on an on,m free at last of the bad bet that was man on earth! My humanism ends where we become so fond of ourselves that we cannot imagine the mortality of mankind…To think that we could indefinitely put off the end of the age of man by acting right toward the earth for a change is like taking up running in dissipated middle age in the hope of cheating death: it might work for a while. You can’t prolong life forever, not for an organism, not for a species. But you can sure as hell hasten its demise.My outlook, ultimately, is not a pessimistic one. But then my frame of reference does not encompass human fortunes alone.” So, here’s to celebrating our Earth today – and everyday – and the bounty provided by this amazing planet. May we learn to live a little softer, walk a little gentler, grow a little more compassionately, and perhap

Gangotri Glacier

View this photo in Jake Norton & MountainWorld’s Instagram ⇒

About the Author : Jake NortonClimber, guide, photographer, speaker, founder of www.Challenge21.com, and - most importantly - husband and father.View all posts by Jake Norton

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