In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day I put together this short video, and it got me to thinking about the many differences between 1970 and today.
In many ways things are better now – the tolerance for trash and other environmental degradation is so much lower than it was (I remember a much more littered and obviously polluted world from being a kid 50 years ago).
But 50 years ago the ideas of Global Warming and Climate Change weren’t really known, even in the scientific community. Now they’re the most pressing environmental issues facing us, a true existential threat to humanity.
I recently discovered the Joseph Campbell quote at the end of the video by accident. I’m rereading The Power of Myth (Campbell being interviewed by Bill Moyers for a TV series and book), and came across the quote observing that the mythology we need now is a mythology of the entire earth, and all of humanity.
And although Campbell probably had violence, war, racism and xenophobia as the main problems to be addressed by this new mythology (the book is from 1987, before Global Warming was widely known about), I think it is even more pertinent today, both for the original concerns as well as the threat now posed by climate change.