Tuesday, October 4

Then and Now: Some Thoughts about the Environment

by Bruce Sklare

I’ve been doing some thinking lately. Do you remember the 1973 Arab Oil Boycott and the long lines at gas stations and the inflated gas prices? How did we–the collective we–respond to the “crisis” back then? I recall three ways. We:

 1) Reduced our use of energy.

2) Became more energy self-sufficient.
    (Including using renewable energy sources.)

3) Adopted a simpler lifestyle in order to use less fossil fuels
    and became better stewards of the resources we have.

It was shortly after the Oil Boycott that Buckminister Fuller coined the term “Spaceship Earth” to underscore the fact that we are all traveling together on our planet and that our cumulative actions impact our environment.

A few years after the Oil Boycott ended and the cost of fuel dropped, most people returned to their previous habits and lost interest in the ideas of sustainability, environmental awareness, and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. So much for Spaceship Earth.

Today we see a resurgence of the values that were prevalent during the Arab Oil Crisis. Are we any more committed today than we were in the 1970s and early 80s to preserving our natural environment? I have been wondering how we can take what we learned then and apply it to the situation we’re in now. How can we promote interest in preserving our Spaceship Earth when oil prices stabilize and the economic crisis settles down?

One way is through education. Another is through recognizing and experiencing  the beauty of the natural world around us. That’s what the national Earth Day celebration is all about.

I invite you to join in the JCC’s celebration of Earth Day on Sunday, April 22, 2012. If you would like to volunteer to help us plan this campus-wide event to explore the great outdoors contact me at brsklare@JCCindy.org. I look forward to hearing from you!

1 comment:

  1. Who says that the oil prices will stabilize or that the economic crisis will settle down? Many economists say we're headed for a double-dip recession, and honestly, there is only a finite amount of oil on earth. We're going to have to figure something else out soon... or deal with the consequences. Thanks for the blog, Bruce.