We all feel a need to belong. Your family is important to you and you to them. We also like to be appreciated by peers, to contribute work and ideas to groups of people, and generally to be considered helpful and caring.
Perhaps our most important need is to be connected to nature. The city dwellers’ occasional excursions to the country side (weather permitting), adorned with the latest high tech garments and gadgets prove their point. The crops have been planted and are growing, the trees are sprouting new leaves and everything looks just fine. Their green vision is justified and duly reinforced.
Notwithstanding some unsightly and non-energy-producing wind turbines among the farm fields, the country folks may need some further improvements, more green ideas pressed upon them. After all, such are strictly for the common good. How about bicycling to the corner store, or subscribing to a glossy magazine extolling the virtue of multi-million dollar, interior-designer enhanced modern architecture in a perfect landscape setting? (No windmills to be found in those magazines). Now that’s what country life is really all about!
There is a widening disconnect between city and country dwellers. Urbanites crave for the lacking connection to nature and small farm owners can barely survive working their land. Some work two jobs, one on the farm and another in town.
This disconnect also is apparent from the political preferences. For example, in the last federal election, most electoral ridings in the large urban areas of Toronto, Windsor and Hamilton (combined population of approximately 6 million) mostly went to “progressive” (liberal-minded) candidates, while those in the rest of the province went primarily to conservative candidates. The same kind of generalization applies to other parts of North America.
Why Earth Day? The country folks have their traditional festivals and entertainments. The city dwellers can go for their lattes and concerts most anytime. So, how did Earth Day come about and what does it mean?
Officially, Earth Day, correctly termed “International Mother Earth Day” was established in 2009 by the UN’s General Assembly under Resolution A/RES/63/278 and the “International Mother Earth Day promotes a view of the Earth as the entity that sustains all living things found in nature. Inclusiveness is at the heart of International Mother Earth Day; fostering shared responsibilities to rebuild our troubled relationship with nature is a cause that is uniting people around the world.” (Wikipedia)
The true origins of Earth Day date much further back in history, perhaps to the flower children generation of the 1960s. At the 1969 counterculture music festival at Woodstock, near Bethel, NY, some 500,000 city dwellers congregated for a three-day event. It was a giant love-in of music and “nature.”