Sunday, February 17, 2008

Listening to our Great-Grandparents

This quote jumped off a page I was reading in Environmentalism for a New Millennium:

The central thing for which Conservation stands is to make this country the best possible place to live in, both for us and for our descendants. It stands against the waste of natural resources which cannot be renewed, such as coal and iron; it stands for the perpetuation of the resources which can be renewed, such as the food-producing soils and the forests; and most of all it stands for an equal opportunity for every American citizen to get his fair share of benefit from these resources, both now and hereafter.

- Gifford Pinchot, 1891

This message is 117 years old and it's still relevant today. But is this message falling on deaf ears? I felt more receptive to Pinchot's philosophy as I imagined him to be a great-grandfather disclosing his beliefs and experiences to his naive great-grandchildren. I admire Pinchot's keen foresight into the future. As his intellectual descendants, I hope we are listening, learning, and furthering these words of wisdom.

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