While we’re observing Earth Day, looking at Earth Days gone past, and considering the fragile nature of Earth Day present, a few words from former Eagles Founder and environmentalist Don Henley, who was accepting an award from Earth Day International on June 10, 1993. This Press Conference, recorded shortly after the awards ceremonies, focuses on Henley’s then-recent purchase of the Walden Woods and founding the Walden Woods Project in 1990 for the preservation of Henry David Thoreau‘s legacy and protection of the lands from development.
The project, which wound up consuming an equal amount of time from his tours as solo artist and his endeavors in the area of environmental awareness, became the catalyst for a series of concert fundraisers as well as albums devoted to the environment and
not only the Walden Woods Project, but creating an awareness through education and political organizing.
The interview covers a number of bases, from the thoughtful to the obvious “How about getting the Eagles back together for a fundraiser?” – Henley makes an emphatic stand on the celebrity-as-political-conscience. In 1993 a backlash in the press was forming regarding members of the Hollywood community taking part in political causes. Some felt the presence of celebrities cheapened the cause and turned a serious issue into a vanity display. Henley points out (rightly) that members of the Music and Entertainment industries are first: tax payers and second: public figures – that a Hollywood figure had just as much right to voice an educated opinion and to be politically involved as the next person (something people sometimes forget about).
The bottom line was; the concerns of the earth and our environment are shared by everyone on the planet, no matter who – it is not the exclusive property of the activist or the politico – it is something shared by every person who breathes the air and drinks the water. We are all on this boat together.
It was true in 1993 – and it’s just as true in 2017. Only now, the stakes are higher.