Some inconvenient truths
There are fewer and fewer forests, rivers are drying up, wildlife has become extinct, the climate is ruined, and the earth is becoming ever poorer and uglier." ("Uncle Vanya," Anton Chekhov, 1899)
In addition, our coastline might someday soon be covered with marine debris, according to the front-page article "Flotilla of trash trickles into isles" (Star-Bulletin, Nov.11)
Isn't Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" just the latest warning about the consequences of not taking better care of the environment?
"Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed." (Samuel Johnson)
What has been said in the past about the importance of conserving our dwindling resources and protecting nature? Will social problems increase as the quality of our environment declines?
"We won't have a society if we destroy the environment." (Margaret Mead)
What if we continue to think of the world as existing solely for our appetites?
"The more we exploit nature, the more our options are reduced, until we have only one: to fight for survival." (Morris K. Udall)
What is our relationship with nature?
"Our environmental problems originate in the hubris of imagining ourselves as the central nervous system or the brain of nature. We're not the brain, we are a cancer on nature." (Dave Foreman)
Who is accelerating the depletion of natural resources?
"In this very real world, good doesn't drive out evil. Evil doesn't drive out good. But the energetic displaces the passive." (William Bernbach)
Don't we need to get back in touch with nature?
"He who is in harmony with nature hits the mark without effort and apprehends the truth without thinking." (Confucius)
And don't we also need to realize the interconnectedness of life?
"In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it, over it." (Goethe)
What is the role of change?
"Unless man can make new and original adaptations to his environment as rapidly as his science can change the environment, our culture will perish." (Carl R. Rogers)
Is a sense of apathy contributing to our environmental problems?
"In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference." (Rachel Carson)
Is there a connection between water and forests?
"Hahai no ka ua i ka ulu la'au (Rain always follows the forest)." (Hawaiian proverb)
Is there a first step we can take?
"A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit." (D. Elton Trueblood)
What will happen if we don't think of the future?
"Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth." (Albert Schweitzer)
C. Ikehara lives on Oahu.