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ONE MORE THING


Surprise

I turned 80 on 9/11/2021. About twenty years ago I woke up to my first news about climate change and at this momenet (1/9/2022) there is still at website: caringfortheearth.com. It began as inanothersshoes.com in respones to the shootings at Sandy Hook, Connecticut where I had some connections, but climate change took over. I spend two years of 12 hour days working on it and then Donald Trump arrived and life began to feel hopeless. It has gotten worse almost every day since, including today reading a story about Iran and nuclear weapons in the most recent New Yorker. And before that I had read the latest news about omicron and the likelihood that it will be endemic; that is, we will have to live with it indefinitely barring further biological breakthroughs.

Growing up in a corner of Poland in Central Falls, Rhode Island I got the first two or three of five or six classes in American history. From this point it seems that I viewed America as the pinnacle of human civilization, overcoming the countless mistakes since civilization began about 5000 BCE. Now, the mountain that was America has become to me a bump in the landscape with enough evil, corruption and lust for power as anywhere else, plus a history that I had thought was a progression to equality and compasion as riddled with lust for power and money I had not conieved possible. But that is not the worst of it.

My wife, Susan Ziegler, tells me my photograpy is more important now because it documents the warming earth, and when I read of a Texas politician willing to trade the earth for prosperity that was the last spike. I can’t take this anymore.

A year or so ago I was quoted in Time magazine that global warming was “...an insult to the Universe.” The only known inhavitated planet and we have already committed enough destruction to destroy its beauty and livibility. The New York Times just presented videos from 193 countries showing the impact of our spewing gigatons of carbon dioxide and methane for the last 100 years, knowing full well what we were doing.

See A WORLD ON FIRE.

I could say I am speechless (which I am) but the sadness of humanity being some new species I had not imagined does leave me without words, but with incalculable sadness.

I don’t know what we will be left with, but whatever it is it will have been trashed.


My Relationship With The Earth


I had never thought about it.

It is almost 50 years since I went hunting with a view camera. And this morning was the first time the thought entered my mind.

In the 20th century when I first photographed with my 4x5 view camera, there was no second thought: the earth was beautiful and we would keep it that way. Ha!!!

It was a beautiful relationship; I woke every morning expecting something special that I had to photograph. Of ourse, I did not think about it except that bisiness would clean up itself. From today’s perspective these were days of realized dreams. I photographed wonders from the Mass. Pike to the vacant lot a few hundred feet from my home, to Alaska and more, but I took the earth for granted. No more.

As its beauty is trashee by humanity I cry for the days when gorgeous red fall trees were all around me. No more. There is no fall, or spring for that matter.

The earth, mind and the ability to experience life are all gifts of beauty and joy. If only the power and money hungry would look and see, listen and hear.

Time Magazine JW Quote crop
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