Inside Out



Drifting Snow, Alaska

“Hidden in the glorious wildness
like unmined gold.”

John Muir

Is it time for another John Muir, or an Edward Abbey and a president with an open ear for the environment and its conservation?

I think so. All this talk about jobs, growth, and profits is so wrong. Maybe it will support this generation and a few more to come, but we cannot keep growing forever. That’s just not possible on a planet with limited resources. What do we do? Do we care?

That is maybe the key question we should ask ourselves. Do we really care about future generations and this planet? Or do we only care about us? Our family, our genes?

I am wondering what Darwin would say about our current state of affairs. Maybe our species is currently the fittest in this world that we have changed. Maybe not.

What do you think?

Half Dome, Yosemite, CA
On the Road

Just do it!

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Politics is not my cup of tea, but I ended up with a paperback about Teddy that a friend recommended to me. I am still in the Teddy’s boyhood days, when he was plagued by asthma and other ailments. Despite this, or in the face of this hardship he shaped his body from a spindly boy to a beefy adult following the advice of his father.

Teddy killed and boiled and skinned apparently lots of fauna as a child. This boy became a president who was instrumental in establishing National Parks. He spent a night with John Muir in Yosemite, which led to the creation of Yosemite National Park.

Reading a great article by Nevada Barr in the Sunset magazine on National Parks. I came upon the following quote: “Some days, we see nothing but pixels”. How true, and sad. She makes the point that watching documentaries on a screen is not the same as experiencing a hot day with mosquitoes, or a late afternoon thunderstorm in the mountains first hand. Get cold, get wet, get out! That’s her message and it is true.

I have not been a fan of National Parks, because I do not like their restrictions and limitations. I remember one evening in Yosemite, when I was pulled over by a Park Ranger for going faster than the 25 mile speed limit on the valley loop road. There was no traffic, no deer. There were also rumors that they used IR-vision and dogs to find climbers that were illegally camping at the base of some rock face, because Camp 4 was full, or too expensive.

Now I understand the rules. Many visitors flock to the Valley, possibly too many. National Parks are a great invention of the American culture. Visionaries like Roosevelt, Mather, Muir, Karstens were going at bat to conserve wild spaces for future generations.

They did what they could with their means, at their time.