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Leave Only Footprints

I just read a wonderful book by Carl Safina: “View From Lazy Point”.  In it he celebrates the watery world outside his window (lucky man) and discusses the changes he sees.  He has a very poetical way of expressing himself.  You may not always be happy when you’re reading what he has to say, but you will be enlightened and, in the end, inspired by hope.

One of the themes that emerges throughout the book is compassion, and how as we evolve, our circle of compassion widens.  This is to our benefit as well as the world’s.

As I read the book I was reminded of the ways I am selfish and short-sighted. He’s good at pithy one-liners: “…as a species capable of looking ahead, we should.”   For the moment, my little gas-guzzling Bug isn’t any dirtier than an electric car that gets plugged into a coal plant.  But I look forward to the day when a car could get energized by a wind turbine, or a solar panel.  I will be glad to say goodbye to oil.  In fact, I dream of a day when our country is fueled cleanly, renewably.  Think how peaceful a world could be if dwindling supplies of oil and coal could be just left where they are, unneeded?  Safina takes a gentle poke at us when he says that we are like the last people in the Stone Age stockpiling rocks.

It’s hard to leave only footprints, but I believe there is a middle ground between that extreme and the race to consume that the world seems currently bent on.  I’d like to think we can leave something on the table for the other inhabitants of this glorious planet, and for our children’s children as well.

Illinois Beach State Park in winter

One thought on “Leave Only Footprints

  1. What a lovely painting – winter has many subtle charms. I, too, am in favor of cars energized by wind or solar power. Using sustainable energy sources is crucial to the future of our little blue planet. I hope we find the middle ground before it is too late…

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