There may be no more magnificent photographs than those of Earth from outer space. Humans had to travel to space to see Earth in all of its awesome majesty and its delicate vulnerability. The venture in space for a few was an education for all. We were changed by the image of the little blue orb floating in space.
Today is a celebration of Earth and its mysterious contributions to life. Education is every bit as ubiquitous as human life itself. Today we should honor education as a path toward both our planetary imperative of stewardship and our continuing human development. This is not a challenge for our schools and colleges; they are already overwhelmed with social demands. We are each responsible for continuing our lifelong education in an ecology of human development that is at once both personal and global. We are each unique and we contribute uniquely with a positive or negative valence to the future of our Earth’s ecology. Building sustainable, diverse, democratic communities is an essential step toward protecting and restoring the life support systems of Earth. When our personal community is in good, sustainable order, it becomes our obligation to spread the word; to tell the world what we have found and share the wealth of our knowledge. An education is never complete until it is shared. We will honor our Earth by working hard to learn what must be learned to survive as a species. That means learning to live sustainably.
Earth Day and the Green New Deal are a compatible combination that can speak to the stewardship of the planet with innovative action. A fresh wave of creating Sustainable businesses will emerge when we collectively embrace the principles needed to preserve, protect and restore the ecosystems of nature and society. Natural and societal interests must merge to assure a viable future for humanity because if there is no merger humanity cannot survive. The founder of Earth Day, Wisconsin Governor and Senator Gaylord Nelson said so eloquently: “Our economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment.” Sustainable businesses will leverage nature and contribute to social justice. Earth Day has celebrated our oneness with nature and all we know and all we have yet to learn about the world – the only world – we inhabit. Education is a lifelong social quest for personal and collective human development. The Green New Deal is a global community project that will fulfill our individual and common quest. To paraphrase the famously elegant words of President John F. Kennedy; Ask not what our Earth can do for you, ask what you can do for our Earth.