Monday, May 4, 2009

Our Duty to the Earth

Robert M. La Follette, aka Fighting Bob


This globe is the capital stock of the race. It has just so much coal and oil and gas. These may be economized or wasted. Our water resources are immense, and we are only just beginning to use them. Our forests have been destroyed; they must be restored. Our soils are being depleted; they must be built up and conserved.

These questions are not of this day only, or of this generation. They belong to all the future.

These are the words of Robert M. La Follette, a progressive governor of Wisconsin, among other things, who said them in--get this--March 13, 1909!!

He was right in his concern, and these certainly are the questions of the day now.

He said that in 1909. What if his words would have been heeded? How much less pollution and more resources would we have now?


But, we won't listen, because that's not our nature entirely. We sometimes listen, but then our own daily concerns get in the way, so we push important ideas to the back.

If you would like to read more interesting ideas and thoughtful observations, check out the April issue of The Progressive. It is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the magazine which was started in 1909. This issue is laid out year by year and highlights what the concerns were and what the issues were. It is striking that a lot of the same problems keep repeating year after year--injustice, unfair labor practices, fraud, war mongering, pollution.

Do we ever learn?

On the other hand, it also shows how all of the bad stuff always gets exposed and is fought against. The bad guys can't hide forever. We'll get them in the end. Take heart.

Some people now are cast in the same mold as Fighting Bob--there are progressives in every era. The trick is to keep exposing the bad and work for the good. Easy peasy.

There. Done and done. That should do it! *claps hands together for a job well done*

Oh, if it were only that easy...

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