Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day 2010

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree

These famous opening lines by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) are perfect to mark earth day, first begin on April 22, 1970. That was long ago.

When Japanese tourists began globe trotting in the 1970s, they viewed the sights through the lense of their camera. They never actually saw the sight they went to see.

The same has beset earth day. Walking around Stanford’s campus, one of the most beautiful in the world, witnesses droves of students, faculty, and staff looking at the screens of their iphones, blackberries, and cell phones to make sure they haven’t missed an “important message.” The only moment they see or appreciate any bit of nature is when the screen of their portable device puts up a picture of a tree as an advertising come on for earth day. Portable phones have turned too many into 1970s-style Japanese tourists.

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