A few months ago my wife and I took a short weekend trip to get away from it all and relax after a couple pretty hard weeks at work. We happen to live in the Pacific Northwest where the weather is pretty mild and the geography as varied as any region of the US. From the Pacific coast to the rain forest of Forks, WA to the deserts of Eastern Washington and pretty much everything in between, we’ve got it all.
Including a large population of environmentalists apparently.
The weekend we decided to get away from it all was the very same weekend this happened. You can also read more about a similar incident here. (Basically these articles are about a few college students chained themselves to the anchor chains of a large exploratory oil drilling ship in order to prevent it from drilling in the Arctic this summer.)
Back in the 70’s the people who did this kind of stuff were probably referred to as “hippies.” You know, the young and young-at-heart that would sing about saving the forest, living off the land, recycling and sharing everything they could? In our modern era of political correctness, “hippie” probably isn’t the best description of someone who loves the environment, maybe the term “environmentalist” is more appropriate.
Now I don’t have anything against hippies or environmentalists, so please don’t take my tone as critical. In fact I try to uphold many of the same values one might consider such a person to maintain. I do my best at recycling at both work and home, reducing my carbon emissions by taking public transit wherever possible, using as few resources as possible at home like turning off the water when brushing my teeth and various other small deeds.
Indeed these actions are small and at the very foundation of what an aspiring environmentalist might start out doing; but that’s not where it ends. Maybe what really makes someone an “environmentalist” is political action.
Politics is what really separates “us” and “them” don’t you think? Why do we let that happen? Why do you have to be a hippie to love the environment? Why do we try to separate ourselves from people who love the environment by calling them “hippies”? Perhaps some like the term and embrace all that it represents (perhaps even apathy at times of certain types of intoxication?). Perhaps some take offense to the word and prefer a different term, or none, altogether.
Either way, I’ll ask again – why can’t you just love the environment and be one of “us”? Why don’t we try to listen to what our fellow citizens are saying. Must someone actually chain themselves to an oil rig in order to be heard? Of course, that is an extreme political action, but it sure got a message across…but was it the right message?
I’m convinced that the earth is a living thing and it’s trying to tell us something if only we’ll listen. Need a little help understanding what I mean? Take a look the wildfires burning across the country, especially in Washington. The President of the United States declared a state of emergency here where “490,000” acres have burned or are burning. How about the earthquakes we’ve seen over the last few years and warnings we’ve read about? Heck, there’s even a movie about the San Andreas
fault! (really good movie by the way…you should definitely go see it in the theatre or buy it on Amazon soon through my affiliate link – thanks for the support!)
Of course I could go on and on with examples of how I think the earth is telling us that it’s alive, so I’ll leave you with one last example for now – natural hot springs. I had the opportunity recently to visit some natural hot springs and if you ever really want to experience the beauty of nature, visit a natural hot spring. For some reason and I don’t know why, sitting in the middle of a stream of hot water coming out of a mountain was the most surreal experience in nature I’ve ever had.
You don’t have to be a hippie to love the environment. You just have to have enough mental capacity and maturity to think about more than just yourself.
Here’s a good rule, let’s just start with this – Do more good than harm.