As a sustainable life advocate I’m continual educating myself about sustainability in all its forms. Just this month I discovered the The Outdoor Life Conservation Pledge the pledge was written in 1946 for Outdoor Life’s membership and appeared on every page of the magazine. They boast that Presidents Harry S Truman was included in their membership. President Truman was a champion of conservation. The pledge is short and to the point.
“I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of America. I promise to educate future generations so they may become caretakers of our water, air, land and wildlife.” Outdoor Life Magazine, 1946
Al Gore was also a member of The Outdoor and took this pledge. What keeps running through my mind; why weren’t we all taking this pledge? The Conservation Pledge clearly supports sustainable industry.
Instead I grew up like most, taking the Pledge of Allegiance.
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Exactly what does this pledge mean?
- Pledging to abide by the rules of display and care of our flag.
- Pledging allegiance to elected individuals and giving them power to organize my state or country.
- Pledging allegiance to one Nation under God. (there is continual debate to take ‘under god’ out of the pledge.)
- Pledging to never divide or separate (to separate into two or pieces.)
- Pledging to liberty (the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely).
- Pledging justice for all (the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals).
The Pledge of Allegiance was composed by Colonel George Balch in 1887, revised by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as our nation’s pledge in 1942. The last change took place in 1954 when the words “under God” were added.
Congressional sessions open with the recital of the Pledge, as do some government and private organizations, schools and the Supreme Court.
Now, as I look closely at the Pledge of Allegiance it seems somewhat narrow and self-absorbed when compared to Conservation Pledge. The Pledge of Allegiance does nothing to address the sustainability of our nation and does nothing to make sure our basic needs as a people are secured; our air, water, land and wildlife are kept safe.
The Pledge of Allegiance instead leaves it up to a few people to decide what our priorities should be. Our centuries of imitation prove that we have let a few men and industry dominate and create a diabolical trail of destructive development. The masses of people have worked and played idly by while industry continues its destructive behavior. ‘The times, they are a changing’! We the People are taking a new pledge. A sustainable pledge. You only have to look at the growth of the Organic Food Industry as an example: 3400 % growth in 20 years! An incredible customer base! All looking for industries that are in line with sustainability!
I’m not baffled by why President’s Truman and Al Gore did not insist the Conservation Pledge be adopted by Congress. Why? Doing would not have been in the best interest of industry. And, industry for centuries has always held the purse strings of ‘elected officials’. Obsolete industry (environmentally unsustainable) will never be okay with a Sustainable Pledge. They will never will be okay or allow a pledge which cares for our natural resources and educates future generations so they may become caretakers of our water, air, land and wildlife. So, I am not baffled that the 1887 pledge, with such narrow and self-absorbed content, has not been re-written.
We the People need a pledge to sustainability! Such a pledge nature will bring us to a vibrant planet with a population in optimum well being. A Conservation Pledge on the mouth of babes is where we need to go with this pledge!
Happy Conservation Pledge Trails!