We, the people, get it. Why not our leaders?
By Tom Church & Sheila Gallagher
We were just back from the D.C. rally - Forward on Climate - attended with 40,000+ of our friends and neighbors. Marching past the White House, past the fence where several days before Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune, the Club’s President Alison Chen, 350.org’s Bill McKibben had hand-cuffed themselves. How seriously do they take the concept of Global Warming? These scary, awesome weather events and impacts to our homeland that continue to occur at astounding rates.
Bill was arrested last summer. But this was the first time in the 120-year history of the Sierra Club, that the usually non-combative organization, went beyond their lobbying role … allowing Mike and Alison to take “one giant step for mankind,” outside our legal system, and plunge themselves into civil disobedience. Polls now show that most people believe, not only that the climate is changing, but that we humans are responsible and that we continue to dig a hole we may never be able climb out of. Most of our “leaders” are still sitting on their hands. They are not leading. In fact, they are not even following. Not following the science or common sense. They were elected to protect the interests of the people they “serve”. Who are they serving if not the “people?” The “personification” of corporate business interests is affirmed by the Citizens’ United Case? Following their tails? We don’t really know. They don’t get IT! Yet!
Not too long ago, people, and yes, the corporations were asked to recycle. Many dragged their feet. Some even lay down and had tantrums. Others had to be dragged kicking and screaming. Remember the TV ad that had an employee telling his boss being green by recycling saved his company money? Saved money is made money. Suddenly, the executive was growing leaves. Getting on the bandwagon. Getting with the program. Getting IT.
All over the world other governments are taking Global Warming challenges very seriously, making serious headway toward sustaining their futures. Meanwhile our supposed “leaders” are stuck in their uncompromising gold-plated bubbles. Or if they somehow believe that the ice caps are melting and the seas are rising, they also believe some miracle will preserve their status quo.
Guess what? We won’t beat Mother Nature. We can’t even compete. We’re not in the same league. We are the “wanna bes” and if we don’t join Her team we are surely gonna be the “has beens.” We think we’re winning in a Universe we’re still struggling to understand? Parasites sucking the bodily fluids, mining the minerals, and pumping toxic wastes into our host as She suffers, and eventually dies. We continue to kill our pollinators and poison our food supply with pesticides, or worse. Why? Have we not learned anything from the ancient civilizations? They succeeded in destroying themselves. We study them, criticize them, and skip merrily down the same path. But this time, it’s our planet Earth that’s at stake, not the Roman or the British Empires. This is the only Earth we have. Or are you counting on the one leader we haven’t found yet? Do you expect to be transported to some other “pie in the sky” when we are done eating this one?
In our house we’ve stopped reading the newspaper. We’ve stopped listening to the politicians on the TV. It’s akin to watching the Marx Brothers or the three Stooges make fools of themselves. We liked watching the old comedians. They were supposed to be fools. They made a great living being fools. Well, come to think of it …. our leaders have too. As we marched down the street toward the White House, Tom spouted stories about working for a natural gas company back in the 1980s and 90s, experiences that that might have funny if they weren’t so dysfunctional and upsetting.
It is time for all of us to transition from the parasites we’ve become. It’s no longer a “want; it’s now a “need.”. We need to be hanging out with others from around the world laughing and telling stories. Real ones. Funny ones. Sipping Margueritas cooled by our renewably, naturally powered refrigeration. Getting it FREE because our energy links are harnessed to nature - the solar, the wind, the waves. We can’t continue to exist on Mother Earth without consequences, without sacrifices on our part. Sprinting toward disaster is stupid. If we aren’t aiming our incredible ability to solve problems to achieve a symbiotic relationship with our Host, that is insanity!
Will we, with our “leaders” still be standing here in our dirty coveralls, screaming to be heard over the din of the drilling rigs, over the “dirty” politicians and the naysayers of the “Know Nothing” parties?