Influencing the world LO6892

Dave Birren, MB-5, 608-267-2442 (
Mon, 22 Apr 1996 13:13 CST

A question was recently posed about how much influence we, on this list,
have; something about what it would be like if we could expand our impact
throughout the world. An observation:

It's clear that a revolution has occurred in the area of environmental
values. I'm speaking of Earth Day, and here are a few things I see: a
comic strip in one of last week's newspapers involved a schoolboy looking
at a globe, asking what he could do for Earth Day; there are many kinds of
observances in many places that focus on pollution prevention and
clean-up; schools bring in speakers to share information and strategies
with students; and people greet each other with "Happy Earth Day".

There may be some insincerity, or band-wagon-hopping, in some of this, and
it sometimes seems commercialized (a la Valentine's Day). But there's no
doubt that a sea change has taken place in the past 25 years.

I remember being roundly mocked in grammar school (late 50s/early 60s)
when I shared my father's observation that "man is the only animal that
soils its own nest", so to reflect on the past two decades is deeply
gratifying to me. Working in a state environmental agency keeps me aware
that we have a long way to go, even in one of the most aware states in the
U.S. But it's encouraging nonetheless.

The environmental movement started small. So has the learning movement.
Let's not be discouraged, or think for a moment that we aren't making a
difference. We are carrying out our part of the evolution, each in our
own ways. There's satisfaction in that.



David E. Birren Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources Phone 608-267-2442 Fax 608-267-3579

* ** *** There is no excuse for being uncivilized. ( D.H.Birren) *** ** *

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