Thursday, March 13, 2008

Earth, Wind and Fire!

What We Are Trying To Protect

Also, Water!

My friends with the Nevada Desert Experience, a faith-based group that has worked for nearly three decades to stop the destruction of Nevada's beautiful and fragile deserts and mountains, are holding a teach-in on environmental justice.

I wuv these guys! Even the term "teach-in" harkens back to a less cynical, more earnest and fun time when we could all still experiment with psychedelic mushrooms and didn't attend AA regularly...

The event begins Friday and continues through Saturday. In my quest for relentless self-promotion, I have to tell you that I will be doing a workshop Saturday afternoon, but the entire program looks really great. My friend Judy Treichel, who has personally battled the nuclear industry for many years, will be presenting, and Friday evening Gard Jameson, chair of the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada, will be giving the keynote talk at dinner.

All for $20 - more if you can afford it, less if you can't; no one will be turned away. The program begins Friday at 4 p.m. - Saturday at 9 a.m. and will be at the Christ Church Episcopal at 2000 S. Maryland Parkway. Details here.

And the title to the teach-in - Earth, Wind, Fire and Water - name-checks my favorite funky soul group from the 1970s. Here are some of the lyrics from my favorite song by them, September, which if you look at them in the right way kinda apply to what is happening here and now:

Do you remember the 21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away
Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing
As we danced in the night
Remember how the stars stole the night away

From the NDE programme:

When the ancients referred to the basic elements of life, “the stuff of the universe,”they spoke in terms of Earth, Air, Fire & Water. The sun was often worshipped. The clean air blew in their faces and they breathed deeply. Pure water was precious and all land was sacred. Now at the beginning of the 21 century, we cannot help but ask what has happened? The weather has become more violent. The rains have diminished greatly. Our lakes and rivers are disappearing. In many places the water and air are unsafe to drink or breathe and the land itself appears tortured and is dying. What has happened?

The Nevada desert is a land of great beauty and harshness, of gentle delicacies and verysharp and pointed edges. Living here, we know the fire of the summer sun, the importance of life giving water, the winds and the beauty of the land and its mountains. Sadly even with its unique capacity for survival our Nevada desert is now threatened. What can we do?

Since 1982, Nevada Desert Experience has worked for environmental justice focusing on the great injustice of nuclear weapons and the degradation of all of humanity and the earth’s ecological systems, as a direct result of this deadly and poisonous nuclear technology.

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