This picture of Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in Colorado is a perfect combination of stone, sand, snow and light. The Sangre de Cristo (“Blood of Christ”) Mountains were named by early explorers for the crimson light that often appears on them at sunrise or sunset. The red color is especially vivid when the mountains and dunes are covered with snow. Photo by Patrick Myers, National Park Service.
I think the natural world is intrinsically precious and obviously wildlife means an awful lot to me but I wish all the environmental propaganda I heard growing up had actually touched on all that actual human suffering.
I heard so much about all those poor cute little rainforest animals who need our help because they are so defenseless and innocent yet I was never taught about the indigenous human beings who live in the same fucking rainforest and are afforded no more rights than those same apes and birds getting plastered on posters around my elementary school.
Yes it’s sad that climate change threatens the polar bears but why have I heard so much more about the polar bears than the fact that over 20,000 people have had to flee the Marshall islands due to rising sea levels? Oh, hey, most of them fled to the United States, too, so who knows how many now risk deportation while their original homes are UNDER THE FUCKIN OCEAN.
Why did even environmental groups tell me more about what pesticides do to fish than what they do to human embryonic development? What about people starving to death because poaching and overfishing and banana crops and shit have destroyed their resources?
I hear a little more about these things NOW, I guess, but all I heard growing up was just “SAVE THE PRETTY BIRDS AND DOLPHINS” and it’s just no fucking wonder people as a whole stopped caring about the ecosystem. Captain Planet and Fern Gully and all those endless ad campaigns and grade-school programs somehow expected human beings to get on board with preserving nature while simultaneously treating human beings as exclusively monsters and outsiders to nature.
Is everyone wearing green today? Nature’s light show displays a fantastic emerald ripple above Denali National Park in Alaska, a great place to see the Northern Lights. Says photographer Carl Johnson, “Having great aurora borealis images to show for a night out in the cold cannot truly capture the thrill of just being out there and witnessing this amazing phenomenon.” Photo courtesy of Carl Johnson. #StPatricksDay
From the bottom of the deepest glacial fjord to the summit of its highest peak, Glacier Bay National Park encompasses some of our continent’s most amazing scenery and wildness. If we need a place to intrigue and inspire us, this is it. Alaska’s Glacier Bay is a living laboratory, a designated wilderness, a biosphere reserve and a world heritage site. It’s a marine park, where great adventure awaits by boating into inlets, coves and close to its dynamic, namesake glacier. It’s also a land park, with its snow-capped mountains, spectacular glaciers and vast forests. Photo by National Park Service.
They’re in trouble and they need our help! Plant milkweed if you’re able! Encourage others to do so as well. Protect it and allow it to seed. If we don’t do something then we could be saying goodbye to their glorious species!
The beauty of nature is a joy we can all share. Every sunrise is a chance to reflect on how we are all connected to the world we live in. For tens of thousands of years, humans have changed, and have been changed by these lands and waters. At Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida, first came the Calusa, followed by European explorers of the 1500s, then the Miccosukee, Seminole and other settlers to the area. The rugged terrain challenged many early travelers as they established the watery wilderness of the swamp as their home. Photo by National Park Service.