Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Misters Rogers and Carter again? MH looks back a bit.

I wrote yesterday about an electric car on a 1981 episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. I wrote about it as a mirthful sidebar, a novelty to be enjoyed by you, dear reader. However, the whole thing has been fermenting in the overactive brain.

1981 was the beginning of the Reagan era and the subsequent denouncement of the eco movement. (I was 13 years old at the time.) We were headed into a time of hedonstic self-focus, a time to forget about electric cars, gas shortages, and environmental damages. It was a time to put off such worries...

...until now. Here we are, just beginning to recognize these massive climate changes that are swirling all around us. We are seeing species disappearing at an alarming rate. We are seeing the oceans rise and the snowcaps melting. We keep driving our gas-powered cars and keeping ourselves distracted by electronic devices powered by coal-generated electricity. But we have cat videos and more apps every day. We worship at the altars of the NFL and Apple unless we are rebels, then we worship at FIFA and Droid.

What if we had paid more attention to hippies like Mr. Fred Rogers and Jimmy Carter? What if we had paid less attention to the message that told us America needed to spend its way to self-serving economic greatness? In 1985, the Reagan administration had had enough of that silly clean energy and had Mr. Carter's solar panels removed from the White House. Where would be now if we had continued working toward a sustainable future then?

May we learn from our past. May we preserve and enrich our fututre.