Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014- Now We've Got To Make A Difference!

This Earth Day 2014 should be different! We now know for a certainty that if we don't do anything our planet is at risk for major change within the next 15 years. The countdown has begun. NY Times articles this past month: Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to ComeClimate Efforts Falling Short, U.N. Panel Says, an Editorial: Running Out of Time and Global Warming & Climate Change (and Chronology of NY Times Articles about Global Warming).

If we all did our part even in small ways to conserve perhaps we can make a difference and in large ways finding the politicians who care about our environment more and are willing to do something aggressive about it!.

 I remember the first Earth Day in 1970 and getting a pin that I stuck in my cork board where it got old before I left for college. That day for me (at age 9) seemed another excuse for a festive party downtown in Princeton, NJ. But, can you imagine what this world would of been now if we really had worked- dramatically- for change? (Wiki on Earth Day)

I spent my summers in The Adirondack Mountains, a switch from the suburbs of New Jersey to the Wilds of The High Peaks Region in Upstate New York. I think the appreciation for the wild and the beauty of the untamed mountains remain with me today. This area is supposed to be protected and is the largest protected park in the United States, but it is actually reclaimed land from deforestation that took place in the 1800's. The government sold the area to loggers and others for a pittance in order to pay for the Revolutionary war. The area was so endanger of being thoroughly whipped out of trees that from poets, writers to politicians it was eventually preserved to be "Forever Wild". 

It has rebounded to such a degree that a National Geographic article quoted someone as saying: " 'The Adirondacks are the Eden of restoration,' says Bill McKibben, writer, environmentalist, and longtime Adirondacks resident. 'This is probably the place on Earth that went brown to green most resoundingly over the 20th century. Many places in the park you need to be a silviculturist to know you're not in virgin forest. Almost all the original species are back.' National Geographic: Adirondack park 

But regardless of the many efforts to preserve the park the wind cannot be stopped and Acid Rain comes in from places like Pittsburgh from Iron and Steel manufacturing, but since the 1980's collapse of this industry there and efforts to clean up the air things have improved- a bit. (Pittsburgh's Dark History: Pittsburgh, the "Smoky City") 

                                       Adirondack Mountains, Art by Amanda Kiplinger

 Somethings seem better in The Adirondack Mountains- I noticed the minnows returned to the rivers after they died out from Acid Rain. The trout are back, but this is because of re-stocking efforts every spring (Trout- Department of Environmental Conservation in NYS) and trout that are raised to survive better.  NY restores Adirondack pond to support trout   But I also notice still there are masses of deadwood under the trees that never was there before. Crazy to live long enough to recognize a whole ecosystem has changed!

 Here's an article that further clarifies the dangers of Acid Rain in the Adirondacks- a sad situation for sure, when this area: The Adirondack Park, the largest in the nation (Wiki on The Adirondack Park) was set up in the 1880's to conserve the area. Adirondack Museum: Acid Rain


The High Peaks Region in The New York State Adirondack Mountains

                                Wildernesscapes Photography by Johnathan Esper

Here we grew up in the summers with the motto: "Forever Wild" and we believed it and hopefully it will remain so.

More Information on The Adirondack Mountains: 

and Happy Earth Day!

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