Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Listening to Earth" Chapter 1

Upon reading Chapter 1 of “Listening to Earth,” one can’t help but admire the selected authors for the deep respect they have for the environment.

In John Muir’s “The American Forests,” the American forests are described as beautiful, ancient structures. Muir makes a statement about the destruction of these forests by the hand of man.

Mary Austin’s work, “My Neighbor’s Field,” captures the essence of nature through vast imagery. Her writing can be described as a combination of the physical and spiritual.

Aldo Leopold’s “The Land Ethic” takes a scientific approach to the environment and the relationship between man and nature.

Margaret L. Knox’s “The World According to Cushman” tells the story of a property rights-lobbyist and his obsession with land ownership.

“Caring for the Woods” by Barry Lopez explains the importance of preserving the land as the world keeps growing.

All authors in this chapter have one thing in common: They believe that the green land we live on is extremely valuable. Nature has a story to tell, it can be seen in the branches of trees, the aging mountains and vast wildlife. By depleting nature we are also erasing its history.

What if the authors of these passages took a trip to Pensacola? Would they admire what they saw or look in disappointment? We have coal factories, contaminated water, new developments, etc.

They would most likely say that Pensacola is lacking in green décor.

I’m not a huge environmental buff myself, but I know when a place is lacking in land beautification. Living in North Yorkshire, England for three years where green is abundant and then moving here, you can easily spot these differences.


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