Today is Earth Day, first established in 1970 as a collaboration between environmental groups in an effort to work together towards their shared goals, but the tradition of American conservationism goes back much further, at least as far as Theodore Roosevelt who established the first national parks. For Earth Day, I'm choosing the fairly obscure song This Island Earth by the moderately obscure group The Nylons as my Musical Monday selection, because the song makes clear what a precious thing our world is.
No matter where one falls on the political spectrum, it is incumbent upon us to preserve and protect the planet we live on, because there's really nowhere else to go if we screw it up so much that it becomes uninhabitable. Short of nuclear annihilation, we probably can't destroy life on Earth, but we can probably make it so inhospitable that we couldn't live here any longer, and barring some fairly spectacular advances in technology, there no where else that is accessible that we could flee to.
|See that dot? That's us.|
To us, the Earth seems immense, but it is not. It is small, delicate, and easily wrecked. I think that Carl Sagan said it best in his book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, explaining our place in the cosmos, and exposing the urgent need to treat our only refuge with a little bit more respect than we otherwise might:
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Previous Musical Monday: The Twilight Zone Opening Theme
Subsequent Musical Monday: Doctor Who Opening Theme (1974-1981)
The Nylons Musical Monday Home