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Caring for the Earth

" The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator. ”

Chief Seattle was a Susquamish chief who lived on the islands of the Puget Sound. As a young warrier, he was known for his courage, daring and leadership. He gained control of six of the local tribes and continued the friendly relations with the local whites that had been established by his father. His now famous speech (extracts above) was believed to have been given in December, 1854.


August Reflection

The controversy surround building on green belt continues. Our countryside is being 'concreted over' at its fastest rate for 25 years, because of a drive to release more greenfield land for housebuilding.
Yes, of course there is a need for more houses, but ‘where and of what kind’ are questions that need careful consideration as ever more green fields are lost to development. Last year alone 8,240 acres, an area equivalent to a town the size of Hastings in E. Sussex were released for building..

I’m writing this on World Environment Day (WED) established in 1972 by the United Nations almost 50 years ago and now widely celebrated on June 5 each year to raise awareness and practical action to ‘Care for the Earth’.

Last year WED focussed on ‘Connecting people with Nature’ – an idea which contributed to the idea of the ‘Three Bees’ – the new Community Wildlife Garden behind the Methodist Church. This year the theme is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ brought into sharp focus in Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 TV series. Sir David called on viewers to help address the devastating and global problems caused by plastic waste. This and other challenging issues are incorporated on the new 3Bs display boards (described elsewhere in the magazine). It is good to know that the Nisa as a group is committed to reducing its impact  on the environment (see( A few committed folk are already regularly clearing litter – I suspect including significant plastic – from the village and surrounding area. Evesham has already set aan ambitions target of reducing the Vale’s plastic by 50% in 2018. Perhaps Mickleton could consider taking up the challenge of becoming a ‘plastic free community’ as others like Aberporth and Penzance have done. Could be good for business, certainly good for the environment.

Perhaps the words spoken by an Indian Chief well over 150 years ago have something important to say to us today?


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