Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy 40th Birthday, Earth Day

One of the most amazing rewards to come from the Apollo space program was, simply, perspective. For ages, humanity had looked skyward and seen distant images of the sun, moon and stars. We could not have known (until modern science intervened) how massive those objects really were.

Inversely, until distant photographs of the Earth were taken—from the perspective of Apollo 8, while in lunar orbit—few of us realized how small our little globe really was.

In the spring following our first moon landing (specifically, on April 22, 1970), Earth Day was born. A few months later, the Environmental Protection Agency was formally established. And since that first Earth Day, momentum has grown for the idea that natural resources and places must be actively protected and cared for.

Earth Day was established because the behaviors of a few can hold consequences for many. In 1970, those consequences were bad, and the few were villains. In 2010, it is my hope—no, my belief—that more and more people accept the need for behavioral change, and that the consequences will be good.

Happy 40th Birthday, Earth Day.

© Mike D. Anderson, St. Michael, MN. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Joining the iLCW

Recently, the demands of work have limited my chances to think about this blog. Thankfully, it is a season when little is to be done in the way of hands-on river clean-up, as most of the waterways are swollen with the runoff of the spring thaw. At best, I would be collecting thoughts from various news reports on matters of conservation, as I have done often over the winter months.

That said, I have been making slow but steady progress on a companion blog, one composed of brief pictorial and written essays about the amazing places I have been fortunate enough to visit, whether by kayak, canoe, or on foot. As a part of that project, I have been studying independently (when time allows) to improve my photography skills. By that, I don’t mean just learning how to run a camera… but thinking about how to be a good observer and student of the natural landscapes and wildlife within my reach. This process led me to an organization known as the International League of Conservation Photographers, a group which boasts some of the finest natural photojournalists on the planet. My current photo skills do not provide for participation in that elite group. (Think National Geographic, Audubon, Discovery Channel, etc.) But discovery of that organization has led me to another, somewhat related peer group: The International League of Conservation Writers.

The iLCW is a young organization, founded only this year. But its interests are parallel enough to my own that I applied to join, and was recently accepted as an associate member. Recently, my addition—along with two other writers from Canada and the United Kingdom—were announced in this brief release at the iLCW website.

I have been writing professionally, in one way or another, for somewhere north of thirty years, now. (You might not know it by my skills in grammar or punctuation, but I hope color and character are an adequate substitute for my shortfalls in English composition.) Most often, my writing has had something to do with advertising copy, media production, or more recently, research, consumer behavior, and related marketing matters. But writing is not only something I am paid to do; it is something I enjoy doing; more so over the past several years, as my life has been given the compliment of numerous outdoor experiences, and a new appreciation for the same.

You may never have heard of the International League of Conservation Writers, and perhaps you will never consider it a high-profile group. But I’m really looking forward to benefiting from—and contributing to—a group of like-minded people, who share the goal of helping others appreciate…


© 2010 Mike D. Anderson, St. Michael, MN. All rights reserved.