David Foreman, founder of the radical environmental group Earth First, had hundreds of people howling like wolves as he stressed the biological connection between people and animals in the wild. Foreman spoke yesterday to a packed Houston Hall Auditorium, making many pessimistic points but ending with the hope that people can regain their emotional connection with the planet. "We are living at a time when species are being made extinct faster than when the dinosaurs were wiped out," Foreman said. The group Foreman founded, Earth First, supports the idea of "no compromise in defense of mother earth." He has since left the group and is currently acting as an independent advisor to a number of less radical environmental groups, and his book, Confessions of an Eco-Warrior was published this year. Starting on a humorous note, Foreman commented that he had to give his talk in front of the podium, because behind it he felt "like Captain Kirk on the Starship Enterprise." He then moved on to more serious topics, apologizing for the downbeat nature of the talk, but explaining that the environmental situation was grave. Current environmental problems, he said, are due to the arrogant attitude people take that the rest of the world is just a resource to be "exploited." "The pilgrim fathers thought that the forests in New England were inexhaustable," he said. "Then people thought that the Pennsylvania forests were inexhaustable. Now they're logging on the Pacific coast, and only 4 percent of the Redwoods remain." He argued that each individual has a responsibility to protect the environment. "I've been arrested all I care to be," Foreman said. "But I still recommend it. Not everyone can do that. But you can write to your senator or congressman and protest against George Bush's energy policy." Foreman added that modern people have lost their love for the earth and the feeling that they are part of it. "We build walls in front of ourselves, and cut ourselves off from the foodchain," he said. "I'm not a machine. I'm an animal. Computers don't howl, but wolves howl, and free men and women howl." He ended the talk with a rousing wolf-howl which received a responding howl and a standing ovation. Engineering senior Andrea Ranger called Foreman's speech "empowering." "Often at Penn I feel that maybe my ideas are wrong because they're outside the mainstream," Ranger said "Foreman justified why we have to have these ideas about the environment." Graduate student Eddie Clift agreed, saying that the activist's charisma added to the talk. "Foreman was a real personality," he said. "He made an emotional connection with environmental issues."Comments powered by Disqus
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