What is our environment?  Perhaps a better question: What is not? Our shirts, our pants and shoes are our environment.  Our homes, lawns and neighbors.  Our neighbor’s cat confronted by our own dog.  The trees and birds.  The paved streets.  The oozing cars.  The sputtering motor cycles.  A daughter’s friend who brings reefers and wants her to join and not be chicken.  The policeman on your beat.  The sheriff’s car driving by.  The fire engine.  The newspaper and tv; the school and the university.  The internal revenue.  The doc and the dentist.  The hospital and health insurance.  The wife; the mother; son; daughter.  The daughter’s baby.  The factory.  The gas station. The office.  The bed and clean sheets.  The laundromat.  The heater, the range, the refrigerator, and the air conditioner.  The car, the bus, the D-11 and the 747.  The air; the tap water; the swimming pool, the ocean.  Your body.  Your mind.  The neighborhood and the next town.  The country.  Spaceship Earth.  The moon, the sun, the galaxy, the universes.
All this gives us our comfort, our tension, our fear and irritation; our health and disease; our development and retardation; our joy and sorrow.  The art of ecology is to turn the environment to joy, not sorrow.  There are two points of attack: Changing the part of the environment that does not make us happy, and changing our own physical stamina to meet and cope with whatever environment is encountered.  To accept one of these paths and exclude the other would not do.  We need to do both, continually, while avoiding exaggerations.
from Planet Earth Demands

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