Featured

A Day for Our Mother Earth

 

Tom H. Hastings

 

How many holidays do we have? MLK Day in January, Valentines Day in February, Easter in March or April, Earth Day in April, Memorial Day in May, and so forth. Of those few examples, two were declared in my adulthood. New holidays take time to catch on and embed themselves in the culture. They can stray from their roots. Christmas is for consumerism. Veterans Day is to promote war. Thanksgiving is for football.

The first Earth Day, in 1970, was the launch of a new holiday with deep challenger social meaning for many of us. I was 19. I was excited that this new holiday reflected my values, the ones I was raised to hold, the ones that had worked forward from many indigenous leaders to John Muir to Aldo Leopold to Rachel Carson. My Dad taught me the number one value and tactic in life: always leave the campsite a bit nicer than when you found it. We camped across the country and that was our ritual; we broke camp and made sure the site was free of garbage but also had a bit more firewood left for the next ones than what we found.

Earth Day was meant to bring that ethic forward in innumerable ways. It was meant to celebrate the first major environmental protection law, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and to promote more protection from the industrial, chemical, bulldozer, polluting, clearcutting, strip mining, ocean dumping, fuel spilling, poison spraying, habitat-wrecking culture that was turning America the Beautiful into America the Dumpsite, America the Cancer Ward, America the Slashed and Burned.

It is a holiday that had an agenda and still has it. Few purchase glitzy gifts for the occasion and no one gains 10 pounds from rich food on Earth Day. Find the Earth Day section in the card aisle in Walgreens. Ha. Good luck with that. Simply put, Earth Day is anathema to corporate predatory culture and so far has not been amenable to hijacking. As a result, it is largely a roll-your-own day, no one takes off work to celebrate it, and the vast majority of attention it gets is from elementary school teachers who have a value affinity with its meaning and want to pass that along to children.

So thank you, teachers. Thank you, environmentalists. Thank you, naturalists and nature lovers. This is your day. Long may its meaning and message hold forth and may it mark great victories for our environment and clean future. April 22, Earth Day 2015, a day of hope and challenge toward a society that cares for the future of the generations and the rights of the generations to hug huge redwoods, breathe clean air, eat healthy food, drink pure water, and see all the species in their wild places.

 

Tom H. Hastings is founding director of PeaceVoice.

Commentary

A Day for Our Mother Earth

 

Tom H. Hastings

 

How many holidays do we have? MLK Day in January, Valentines Day in February, Easter in March or April, Earth Day in April, Memorial Day in May, and so forth. Of those few examples, two were declared in my adulthood. New holidays take time to catch on and embed themselves in the culture. They can stray from their roots. Christmas is for consumerism. Veterans Day is to promote war. Thanksgiving is for football.

The first Earth Day, in 1970, was the launch of a new holiday with deep challenger social meaning for many of us. I was 19. I was excited that this new holiday reflected my values, the ones I was raised to hold, the ones that had worked forward from many indigenous leaders to John Muir to Aldo Leopold to Rachel Carson. My Dad taught me the number one value and tactic in life: always leave the campsite a bit nicer than when you found it. We camped across the country and that was our ritual; we broke camp and made sure the site was free of garbage but also had a bit more firewood left for the next ones than what we found.

Earth Day was meant to bring that ethic forward in innumerable ways. It was meant to celebrate the first major environmental protection law, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and to promote more protection from the industrial, chemical, bulldozer, polluting, clearcutting, strip mining, ocean dumping, fuel spilling, poison spraying, habitat-wrecking culture that was turning America the Beautiful into America the Dumpsite, America the Cancer Ward, America the Slashed and Burned.

It is a holiday that had an agenda and still has it. Few purchase glitzy gifts for the occasion and no one gains 10 pounds from rich food on Earth Day. Find the Earth Day section in the card aisle in Walgreens. Ha. Good luck with that. Simply put, Earth Day is anathema to corporate predatory culture and so far has not been amenable to hijacking. As a result, it is largely a roll-your-own day, no one takes off work to celebrate it, and the vast majority of attention it gets is from elementary school teachers who have a value affinity with its meaning and want to pass that along to children.

So thank you, teachers. Thank you, environmentalists. Thank you, naturalists and nature lovers. This is your day. Long may its meaning and message hold forth and may it mark great victories for our environment and clean future. April 22, Earth Day 2015, a day of hope and challenge toward a society that cares for the future of the generations and the rights of the generations to hug huge redwoods, breathe clean air, eat healthy food, drink pure water, and see all the species in their wild places.

 

Tom H. Hastings is founding director of PeaceVoice.

Local

NMSU’s sixth annual GLBTQ Awareness Week to discuss laws, rights

 

Celebrating the sixth annual Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Awareness Week, the New Mexico State University Sexual and Gender Diversity Resource Center and Stonewall Queer, Straight Alliance present fun and informative events for April 13-16.

The week features events centered on a safe space and provides awareness to help create an informed and empowered campus culture.

Kicking off the events is the Festival of Colors on the Corbett Center Student Union Outdoor Stage from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, April 13. Live music, information tables and a glitter water balloon fight are planned. The festival serves as a resources fair and networking opportunity for students, faculty and staff. Lunch will be provided by Sodexo.

Tuesday, April 14, a meet and greet will be held at Garcia Annex, Room 235, from 2:30-5 p.m. for students who are interested in becoming involved or have questions.

From 6-7 p.m., comedic juggler Nick Pike of “America’s Got Talent” will perform at the Corbett Outdoor Stage. A Glow in the Dark Dance will follow the performance from 7-9 p.m.

The LGBT Community Panel discussing topics such as marriage equality, transgender rights and laws will take place in the CCSU Auditorium, Wednesday, April 15, from 5-7 p.m. It will provide a safe and comfortable space to get an important conversation started. Speakers include: Bill McCamley, Jess Williams, Carrie Hamblen, JT Perez and more.

“I want to make sure people are familiar with laws concerning transgender individuals in New Mexico,” Stonewall QSA president Gary Diaz said. “Students are now capable of changing their names on documents to their preferred name. It’s important for them to know that SGDRC can help them do that.”

The week’s most popular event, the drag show, will wow the audience in a performance by local performers from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in the Corbett Auditorium, space is limited.

“We will be featuring a more well-rounded group of drag queens this time around,” Diaz said. “The show will highlight the different aspects from transgender, to alternative.”

Events are brought to students in part by the Associated Students of New Mexico State University, SGDRC, Stonewall QSA, Wave and Sodexo. All events are free and open to the NMSU community.

For more information, contact the SGDRC at 575-646-7031 or sgdrc@nmsu.edu.

 

Border

Environment

SWEC: One week to go!

Only One Week Until Prius Drawing!

Okay, procrastinators: it is officially almost the last minute to buy a ticket in the Southwest Environmental Center’s Prius raffle. The drawing will be held exactly one week from today, Wednesday, April 29, at 7 pm, at SWEC. As of today, we have sold 282 tickets, making us all a little nervous about reaching our goal of selling 500 tickets. Click here to buy your ticket now.

Migratory Birds of the Rio Grande Valley

Spring migration is in full swing and there are still spaces on the Back by Noon birding trip this Saturday, April 25. Expert birder and SWEC board  member Ken Stinnett will lead us on an outing to Leasburg State Park, one of the best birding spots around. Great for beginning and experienced birders alike. Call (575) 522-5552 to register.

Film Screening: Gasland2

Join us on Tuesday, May 12, 7 pm for a free showing at SWEC of the film Gasland 2. The original Gasland movie featured scenes of people lighting their water on fire as a result of contamination from hydraulic fracturing. Gasland 2 focuses on another level of contamination from fracking: the toxic influence of oil and gas corporations on our political system. Mark your calendars!

Lady Gar Gar Needs a Home Makeover

After 13 years, our 500 gallon Rio Grande aquarium (home to Lady Gar Gar, one of our longnose gars) needs overhauling. We need volunteers on Friday, May 1, beginning at 1 pm (and possibly Saturday, May 2 if we don’t finish) to work 1-2 hours to help drain and clean the tank, replace the sand with gravel, and install a new base. We also are looking to borrow a small stock tank or similar container to put the fish in temporarily. Please contact Josh@wildmesquite.org if you can help out.

Celebrate Earth Day: Watch This Video

Did you know that Ted Turner made a video to be aired on CNN if the end of the world was at hand? It could have won an Oscar for “Most Boring” so John Oliver teamed up with actor Martin Sheen to create a very funny update that looks back on humanity’s many accomplishments, including its “total domination of all other species.” Happy Earth Day!

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    Commentary

    A Day for Our Mother Earth

      Tom H. Hastings   How many holidays do we have? MLK Day in January, Valentines Day in February, Easter in March or April, Earth Day in April, Memorial... Read more »

    April 19, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    News

    USDA Rural Development Dedicates New Office Space in Las Cruces

    Office to provide program services southern New Mexico ALBUQUERQUE, NM, April 23, 2015 – Earlier today, USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner dedicated... Read more »

    April 23, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    Local/Area

    NMSU’s sixth annual GLBTQ Awareness Week to discuss laws, rights

      Celebrating the sixth annual Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Awareness Week, the New Mexico State University Sexual and Gender Diversity Resource... Read more »

    April 9, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    Upcoming

    Earth Day Celebration to be held in the Colonias of La Uñión and Mesquite, NM

      Caravan tour celebration to dedicate new water systems funded by USDA ALBUQUERQUE, NM April 20, 2015 –USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner... Read more »

    April 20, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    Letters

    Date correction

    Date correction to previous email: The EPISD Bond Advisory Committee will me meeting on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2015 at 5 PM at Hughey Elementary School, located at... Read more »

    April 13, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    Reviews

    The One Book: Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’

     Editor’s note: The second paragraph has been revised since original posting to correct an error that described the 2°C rise in temperature as annual.   Emanuele... Read more »

    April 10, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    Sustainable Living

    Upcoming Seedshare events

    SeedShare at Earth Day NMSU Pride Field (Horseshoe) Sunday, April 19h 12:00 until 7:00 We will have a limited selection of seeds and some kid’s garden packets... Read more »

    April 17, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    Environment

    SWEC: One week to go!

    Only One Week Until Prius Drawing! Okay, procrastinators: it is officially almost the last minute to buy a ticket in the Southwest Environmental Center’s Prius... Read more »

    April 22, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    Arts

    Desert Light Film Festival April 24 in Alamogordo

    Alamogordo, NM— The Desert Light Film Festival committee wishes to announce that New Mexico Film Office Locations Coordinator, Don Gray, will travel to Alamogordo... Read more »

    April 21, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    Border

    Family History and DNA Link New Mexicans to Mexico, Part 2

    Family History and DNA Link New Mexicans to Mexico, Part 2 This is the second article about family history and genetics that link New Mexicans and Mexico. Nicolás... Read more »

    April 12, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    Spiritual

    May 2015 Roundtable Schedule

    Education never ends–come join our discussions. Our goal is to learn more about all aspects of  issues, and more about each other.   The Roundtable Discussion... Read more »

    April 14, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    Events Calendar

    Journey Santa Fe: Santa Fe Public Utilities Lawyer Bruce Throne

    JourneySantaFe sponsors Sunday morning gathering of progressive thinkers who explore, through presentations, issues that influence our daily lives and the lives... Read more »

    April 24, 2015 | Leave a Comment


    Links

  • The Light of New Mexico
  • Green Fire Times
  • Transition Times--Colorado
  • Heath Haussamen: NM Politics
  • Thomas Wark
  • Carolyn Baker: “Speaking truth to power”
  • James Howard Kunstler: The Clusterfuck Nation Chronicle
  • Dada's Dally: defies description
  • Desert Journal: NM online newspaper
  • Bruce Gagnon: Organizing Notes
  • Sally Erickson: The end of empire
  • Steve Klinger’s music and blogs: Songs for change; music blog
  • Progressive Democratic activist site
  • Gordon Solberg
  • Brenda Norrell: Censored and under-reported news
  • Rio Grande Digital: Las Cruce/El Paso/Juarez news and culture
  • JourneySantaFe—Water: Who Controls It?

  • Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.