Archive for April, 2015
Read this: Today is Earth Day, which for too many of us has become just another day to party. Another “important day” that pops up on our electronic calendars, which has a multitude of events to go to and products to buy, with neat logos or slogans abounding. Most of us are pretty comfortable today. Sadly this is a bad thing for democratic participation. This article in The Nation Magazine, by Zoë Carpenter, emphasizes this point, how worthwhile causes / policies often get lost in our daily lives. Ms. Carpenter notes that “In The Nation in 1970, the journalist Gene Marine argued , ‘The American people, … are waiting for someone to notice that ecology is an issue that brings us all together.’” This was the “zero year for the environmental movement”. Vietnam, Civil Rights, Communism and the atomic bomb were the main focus. But the first “Earth Day” soon followed. All kinds of things suggested an unstoppable movement. Marines’ reports were “brimming with optimism”, but he also noted “we do not, when we are put together in groups, fight about ecology”. We occasionally participate and are, too often, willing to compromise or look the other way.
Today, groups like 350.org profess the dire warning of a short window wherein we can hope to halt and maybe reverse the CO2 buildup in our atmosphere. “Fear of extinction still animates the environmental movement—though carbon dioxide has taken plutonium’s place in the narrative.” Sadly, “Obama maintains his long-standing commitment to an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy that is irreconcilable with the goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Republicans “won’t even acknowledge the implications of climate change”. And many Democrats follow a similar script. Ms. Carpenter notes some other impediments to environmental policy changes:
There is a lot more in the article. I have only picked out pieces to get you to read, think and get serious.