“The earth will not continue to offer harvest except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.”
–Pope John Paul II
April 22 – Earth Day – It was the brainchild of Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, a two-term governor and three-term senator, who wanted to raise public awareness that our planet was at risk and put the national spotlight on environmental issues.
“When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves” –Davis Orr
Since the first celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 1970, we have seen the following legislation enacted: The Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Act, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Senator Nelson rejected the suggestion that the economy take precedence over environmental protection:
“The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around.”
Gaylord Nelson and his like-minded colleagues changed the nation’s perspective on the environment. Today we continue to push back against those who would weaken the air and water protections that were established decades ago. And we add new technologies like fracking and offshore oil drilling to the list of environmental concerns.
As we take time this week to think about our planet Earth, here are some observations and images that might shine a new light on our reflections.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s needs but not everyone’s
“It is horrifying that we have to fight our government to save the environment.”
“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the
last fish been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money.” –Cree Indian Proverb
“A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of the land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and slaughters a visible Nature…without realizing that this Nature he slaughters is this invisible God he worships.”
“God has, in fact, written two books, not just one. Of course we are all familiar with the first book, namely Scripture. But God has written a second book called creation.”