There was a very disturbing report on the Morning Edition of NPR February 6, stating that fewer and fewer people were spending time in the "great outdoors." It's speculated that the steady decline since 1991 could be due to rising gas prices, or the popularity of more sedentary, technologically based, activites, such as video games and the TV screen.
Could we be headed toward a time when a generation of young people doesn't have a vested interest in environmental issues? It's true that many people can support a program they don't actually participate in, but we need leaders in these movements in order to keep the cause alive.
The "cause" meaning an appreciation of the natural world; a connection with land and spirit you only experience when you're actually out in it. Through this appreciation and love, a passion is nurtured to protect the land and the living creatures on, in and next to it.
There's a book which may be worth reading in order to give us all ideas on how to reestablish the connection between our children and the natural world - Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv. Louv says young people are "so plugged into television and video games that they've lost their connection to the natural world." (Morning Edition, May 25, 2005. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4665933 )
Sad. So very, very sad. What are some ways we can turn this around, before it's too late?