In Montana, traveling to see the very wonders we are destroying

Posted April 29th, 2007 in Blog Comments Off on In Montana, traveling to see the very wonders we are destroying

Fostering Ecological Hope
Today from Margaret Swedish:

Lake St. Mary, Glacier National ParkWant to share this reflection with you today, a poignant article on the Op-Ed page of the NY Times’ Week in Review section, entitled, Blotting Out the Sky. I traveled through Montana for the first time in 2005 (in my little Honda, 42 mpg), and spent the entire time in awe. From the railroad towns where I found inexpensive motels and very friendly truck drivers, railroad workers, and motel clerks, to the natural wonders that kept me gasping much of the time, to the smoke of the summer wildfires that settled into nearby valleys, to the inexpressible majesty of the mountains, and those big, big skies — the state lived up to its billing.

And even in that awe, I could sense just how stressed was this land, from the warming climate that was causing glaciers to disappear in Glacier National Park to the poverty of many small towns (I avoided the interstate at all costs, because you cannot really see this land from the freeways), and then, too, the tragic history one encounters of the Plains Indians Wars and the decimation of native American tribes, along with the slaughtering of animals that once covered the landscape, like the American Bison.

I could go on.

But the voice I want to share is that of Deirdre McNamer in this Op-Ed, because she expresses eloquently and poignantly the way we continue this destruction through our maladapted and abusive ways of showing our love for this land.

A recent poll, which I will post about tomorrow, indicates that US Americans, while concerned about climate change, are not willing to change their transportation habits in any appreciable way in order to reverse the drivers leading to global warming. Mostly, they want corporations and the government to find the alternatives that will make it possible to remain as individually mobile as we please.

The poll also indicates that we think global warming a problem, but will let it continue if the choice is to stop driving and flying so much.

We are a spoiled people. It will take a lot of imagination and change of will, values, and habits for us to begin to live differently. Today, I hope we can let this reflection from Montana bring us right up against the contradictions that are our real problem in addressing ecological limits and face us more honestly with ourselves.

[tags] climate change impacts on Montana, Montana global warming, receding glaciers[/tags]

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