The Environmentalist

You call me an environmentalist
As if caring for the earth is some kind of cult
And concern for future generations
Is a subversive agenda to be treated with suspicion

Yet it is the earth that sustains us
And a future that we will occupy together
It is the place that all of us call home
And our children who will suffer or succeed

Being green does not make me a monster
Any more than being black or white would
In the end we all bleed the same colour
And when the earth is wounded, it bleeds too

You think I’m a fundamentalist
As if respect for nature is an ideology
And calling for limits to growth and consumption
Is propaganda with no basis in science

Yet it is nature that makes us who we are
And science that sets the conditions for life
It is a finite world that we all live in
And simple maths reveals the inconvenient truth

Being committed does not make me a fanatic
Any more than being a person of faith would
In the end we all believe in something good
And when we believe in nature, it gives back

You say I’m a conservationist
As if saving scarce resources is a bad thing
And giving space for all life to flourish
Is a zero-sum game where humans always lose

Yet it is resources that feed and clothe us
That fuel our homes and health and happiness
It is the web of life that supports us
And greater biodiversity means we thrive too

Being loving does not make me weak
Any more than being a parent or saint would
In the end we all long for compassion
And when we nurture all life, it takes care of us

You call me an environmentalist
I confess that I am, and so much more besides
So call me a humanist and a possible-ist too
For I believe that a better world is possible (do you?)

Wayne Visser © 2016


Wishing Leaves: Favourite Nature Poems

This creative collection, now in its 3rd edition, brings together nature poems by Wayne Visser, celebrating the diversity, beauty and ever-changing moods of our planet. The anthology includes many old favourites like “I Think I Was a Tree Once” and “A Bug’s Life”, as well as brand new poems like “Monet’s Dream” and “The Environmentalist”. Then as we turned our faces to the moon / Our hands entwined, our hearts in sync, in tune / We felt the fingers of the silken breeze / And made our wishes on the falling leaves / A gust of wind set off a whispered sigh / Among the trees that leaned against the sky.  Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.