To the editor:
Regarding The Salem News' April 16 editorial ("Fountains an essential urban feature") concerning the value of fountains in Salem:
Rome and Salem were not preserved in a day. Don't get me wrong, what the News editorial states is absolutely true, and I share the sentiment. Fountains are truly wonderful additions to any civic space.
Water, if used in the right way, is inherently healing, and the basis of all things "natural" and environmental.
But I fear that what everyone — from the News to most Americans — is desperately failing to grasp is that the wheels of civic change are inherently painfully slow.
We need to move quicker, better. We need to become more "agile" — to connect the dots, and to act.
As regrettably anachronistic as he may appear to us today in 2012, former Vice President Al Gore was right on target in his approach to our environmental state. Gore chose to devote ample time, money and his own political reputation (no doubt keenly aware of the band of detractors and critics who eagerly waited in the wings, poised to attack), in order to help expedite a healthier, more civic-minded and global return to a burgeoning "green" movement, both within our communities and on the world stage.
The "world" did stand up and take notice immediately following "An Inconvenient Truth" (which won Gore the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007). But alas, Gore's detractors and critics did ultimately prevail with the help of the mainstream media, and we — cynics and stoics that we have become — have mostly chosen to accept their cynical reasoning and stance.
If only more of us would return to, draw upon, and use "An Inconvenient Truth," "Earth Hour," our local Earth Days at SSU and our own common sense, which we too often ignore, clinging instead to the status quo, then something might actually get done.
We desperately need to teach our children the valuable, urgent environmental messages contained within the likes of "An Inconvenient Truth" and WWF's "Earth Hour."
We need to take them to heart, and constantly remind our children of their value and importance.
Fountains are fine; but it's really what surrounds the fountains, within their immediate sphere, within the community — that is really more important. A fountain will not make a community truly "green." Only a truly "green" heart and soul can do that.