Monday, November 30, 2009

This Darkness Has Got to Give

While away from home the past several weeks, I've had a few clear moments to reflect. As the year turns towards the winter season, and 2010 approaches, peace, justice and sustainability continue to face dramatic barriers to implementation. More than implementation is how these entities are felt throughout the total biotic community on Earth.

A recent thought has begged me to pose a series of questions aimed at understanding the present paradigm of humanity on Earth. Reflecting on the state of the nation I call home, I remember a Thanksgiving dinner six years ago when in the US it seemed, "if only Bush wasn't in office", everything would be better. This statement was closely followed some years later during Bush's second term, "if only Al Gore was president, imagine where issues on climate change and the occupation of Iraq would be".

While digesting thoughts and ideas for greater ways to contribute, I recalled these thoughts and applied them more recently. These more current thoughts went something to the tune of imagine if McCain and Palin were in office as opposed to Obama? Well, what if they were "in charge". How different would things be? People continued to argue during the Bush era that the war in Iraq would be over and the US would be fighting climate change in a more steadfast manner if only he were not in power. But now there's Obama, and he was just awarded the Nobel Peace prize, and carried the US on a float of "Change and Hope". But the US is still at war. Iraq is still occupied, bombs continue to fall on Pakistan and it seems more likely there will be a US presence in Afghanistan for many years to come. Nothing dramatic has happened to lessen coal fired power plants from supplying most of the electricity in the US, bring about energy independence, and apply the governmental support to renewable energies that the fossil fuel industries have relied on for decades.

What's so different?

We know human centered models of government have largely failed. Even those seemingly better (and truthfully better) political systems that give their people health care, education and housing, they still have their problems. Of course there's also those systems people argue have worked, but truthfully they only work if you're in the elite 1-3% of the population.

I wonder when critical measures will finally come down to try and take the best of all the many implemented models of human governance to foster a "system" that can handle and promote what's needed. Maybe a system that's not really a system? Autonomy based on bioregional and culturally relevant means? Regardless, this change can not be the change that recycles the same old barriers as usual; a standard status quo approach. Rather, to recognize the state of the US, the deepness of the moment in US history, and that no matter what ambitions Obama has, his barriers to promote Holistic Sustainability are blocked by the overall structure by which he attempts to make progress. The most clear thought here is that those barriers will continue until the actual framework by which US politics are created is greatly altered.

When a Nobel Peace prize winner is the leader of ongoing military offensives, when the country whose people consume the most and have provided the economic model by which other "developing" nations seek to follow cease to lead on environmentally and socially just fronts, and further marginalization of low income people, people of color and the Earth continues unabated, when will the masses act? It's clear what action has paved the way for where things are at now have been helped create a path, but is it not even clearer that something has got to give in a more profoundly different way?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

There are still some skeptics out there, and some of them happen to help run the US

Climate change legislation continues to make its way through Congress. Although I understand there could be benefits from a cap and trade program, I still strongly feel that it doesn't come close to facilitating what's needed. I guess it really doesn't matter anyway as today some interesting news that Republican Senators are going to boycott work sessions on climate change this week. The Senator of Oklahoma is among those constituents. He has repeatedly attested to the "fact" global warming is the "greatest hoax ever perpetuated on the American people".

They are doing this as if the regular process in and of itself wasn't slow enough. That coupled with the actual fact that climate change and its numerous, widespread, diverse impacts is most certainly not something that can be fully halted, at least anytime soon, calls for a reading of this useful article from the online magazine Grist. It may not answer everything, but climate change is a definitive umbrella issue of ecology, society, economics, politics, as well as peace, justice and sustainability.
The only constructive action is to build solidarity so that every single person actually wants to be another cog in the chain for helping deal with something that has a dramatic affect on the total biotic community of Earth. And at least if this mentality is employed there will be positive change in some way and shape while real progress takes form.