Times are a’changin’, but there is a generalised perception of Americans as somehow ignorant of of global ecological issues, and politically / geographically insular where their direct energy resource interests are not involved. Generally speaking I’m more interested in the perception than the presumption that it might in fact be true or worse still, some “evil conspiracy”.
I’ve seen a fair bit of the globe in my time, spoiled and unspoiled, and having been resident in the US for 4 months now, we’ve travelled a fair bit of this country too. A thought keeps striking me, as we explore rural backwaters, that might give some sense as to why its citizens could easily be blind-sided (media aside) to the world as one interdependent socio-eco-system.
The place is big, with plenty of space (kinda obvious, but not actually all that big considering the distances that can be travelled easily on freeways in a day … don’t talk to me about air-travel). The point is that space, however big it is, is teeming with (a) life, and (b) diversity, and what’s more despite the manicured beautification of sub-urban living, and disneyfication of park attractions, there seems little “respect” for spoiling it. Even the most remote (but road accessible trail-head) trails host discarded food and drink containers at regular intervals.
The quantity and variety of the natural world here constantly amazes me, grasses, flowers, trees, spiders, butterflies, insects and invertebrates of all sizes, birds, snakes, and countless other reptiles and amphibians, before we even get to the larger mammals, and how could I forget the fish. Man’s presence is evident, but any negative impact on the eco-system is hard to imagine. You could easily imagine the garden of eden lives on.