Saw this new study- how sad. Indians were right---eventually we'd wither away in our "concrete houses" Mother Earth is living and breathing beauty. She heals us with her wind, her sun, her green treasures. We just took a trek up to the wonderous North Shore of worlds largest fresh water Lake, Lake Superior. A favorite. I hadn't been up there for 15 years and much has transpired in my life since. I was filled with profound joy and sadness in this emotional etheric review of my past. Walking amongst the waterfalls and lighthouses of our honeymoon and seeing the full moon rise above the lake with nothing but else but its reflection as far as the eye can see helped me clear these things and heal. I'll never forget my childrens eyes when they first saw the Big Lake having never seen the Ocean. Standing barefooted as the waves crashed in to the rocks. Or when they sat on the rocks watching the moon rise and whispering "I'll never see anything like this again in my life!" Each morning I rose just after dawn to sit at the edge of the Lake with the seagulls and revel in the waves and the sun washing over me. Watching clouds, feeling breezes and the sun upon my face. These things heal me. Yet my generation and the generations behind me no longer revel in this miraculous treasure. We visit the beauty of Her less and less and stick our faces in front of the microwaves of TV, Computer and Microwaves more and more. As we emerge over the chasm we must once again become unplugged. How will this occur with so many other artificial bells and whistles to drone it all out? I remember some Sudanese refugees wrote essays about their homeland here recently and they all spoke of how much they missed home. They missed the little rain that did come and how very special it was. They missed the people in the market walking by. The hustle and bustle of watching passerby! Look around. How many in your neighborhood are playing in the rain. I don't care if we look silly when we play flag football in the rain! To me being outside on a beautiful day OR a rainy day is the most healing energy availlable on the Planet. -jw
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Americans are less interested in spending time in natural surroundings like national parks because they are spending more time watching television, playing video games and surfing the Internet, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The study, for The Nature Conservancy, found per-capita visits to national parks have been declining for years.
National park visitation data starting in 1930 peaked in 1987 at 1.2 visits per person per year. But by 2003 it had declined by about 25 percent to 0.9 visits per person per year, said Oliver Pergams, an ecologist at the University of Illinois who analyzed the data for the study.
The data, based on government statistics and other sources, were taken as a proxy for interest in nature in general.
Researchers tested more than two dozen possible explanations for the trend and found that 98 percent of the drop in national park visits was explained by video games, movie rentals, going out to movies, Internet use and rising fuel prices.
Other possible explanations such as family income or the aging population were ruled out.
There was a sufficiently high correlation between declining national park visits and the burgeoning use of electronic media that led Pergams and his associate, Patricia Zaradic, believe the two are linked. "It made us feel fairly certain that there is an association," Pergams told Reuters.
The study, to be published in the Journal of Environmental Management, concludes that the trend has negative implications for environmental stewardship.
"We may be seeing evidence of a fundamental shift away from people's appreciation of nature to 'videophilia' which we here define as the new human tendency to focus on sedentary activities involving electronic media," the researchers said.
"Such a shift would not bode well for the future of biodiversity conservation."
Nature Conservancy President Steve McCormick said the study suggests Americans and their children in particular are losing their connection to the natural world.
"When children choose TVs over trees, they lose touch with the physical world outside and the fundamental connection of those places to our daily lives," McCormick said