Ecocentricity - October 26, 2015

In the past decade, bold claims have been characteristic of the environmental movement. As more and more corporations have come to realize their responsibilities in restoring our ecosystems and conserving our resources, many have made claims about lofty environmental goals they will achieve in the coming years. Some are bolder than others, but each claim has an incredibly important effect: it holds the business that made it accountable to a higher standard. I believe this accountability is incredibly valuable.

I know the date was October 1, 1932. I don’t know the specific time, but it had to have been during the day. Wrigley Field didn’t have lights yet, after all (and wouldn’t for another 56 years).

More specifically, it happened in the fifth inning of game three of the World Series, with the score tied at 4 and the Yankees ahead of the Cubs two games to zero. Babe Ruth took a strike on the first pitch. He then pointed with his bat out towards center field, or so the story goes. He took a strike on the second pitch as well, falling behind 0-2.

He pointed again.

The next pitch was a curveball that Ruth deposited over the fence about 440 feet away, roughly in the spot to which he had pointed.

Whether or not Ruth called his shot has been a point of discussion for years. Some have argued that he was simply pointing at the pitcher, and maybe he was. But the story is a good one, and I for one prefer to believe it.

Suppose, just for a moment, that the Babe did know exactly what he was doing. Suppose further that he wanted that poor pitcher, Charlie Root, to know that he was predicting a home run to center field. That might be the boldest prediction any athlete has ever made and then fulfilled. Imagine what must have been going through his mind: any fear of failure would have been crushed by the immense confidence he had in his ability to succeed.

Bold claims have a power to them. They are designed to be attention-getting, and if bold enough they nearly always succeed. Joe Namath and Super Bowl III. John F. Kennedy and his “We choose to go to the moon” speech. December 21, 2012 being the end of the world based on an interpretation of the Mayan calendar (hey, it doesn’t have to be right to get our attention).

In the past decade, bold claims have been characteristic of the environmental movement. As more and more corporations have come to realize their responsibilities in restoring our ecosystems and conserving our resources, many have made claims about lofty environmental goals they will achieve in the coming years. Some are bolder than others, but each claim has an incredibly important effect: it holds the business that made it accountable to a higher standard. I believe this accountability is incredibly valuable.

To that end, I’d like to make a claim, though I can’t profess it to be bold. Going forwards, Ecocentricity will have a post once a week. I look forward to having guest writers help me in meeting this goal, but in general you’ll be hearing more from me.

So I hope you’ll be a regular reader! We have RSS feed capabilities now, so I encourage you to subscribe, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. Cheers y’all!

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