Facing the truth will sustain the planet

The earth, all that sustains us, is in deep trouble. The soil, the air, the water, the creatures that sustain our ecosystem are crying out and we are afraid to hear them. Here is just one example that moved me to write today:

“In 10 to 100 years we are going to find out that most of our groundwater is polluted,” said Mario Salazar, an engineer who worked for 25 years as a technical expert with the EPA’s underground injection program in Washington. “A lot of people are going to get sick, and a lot of people may die.” (propublica.org)

So how do we enjoy our lives and the gifts many of us have and at the same time we acknowledge such facts? Indeed, it is not healthy to dwell on a constant diet of terrible facts. So there are also the facts of human kindness, the companionship and wisdom of animals and plants, and the grandeur of nature around us. To acknowledge all of this makes us whole.

It is possible to acknowledge suffering caused by climate change “elsewhere” and to other people and species. Such suffering of “others” is our own future. Looking at that squarely allows us to use a great gift humans have been given: creativity. If we have lived long enough, we have all faced terrible personal problems and most likely endured and created a better future with the help of others. So it is possible now, as we and all we love face a terrible collective future, to support each other and call on our deeper honesty, speak the truth and be creative. Let’s admit that our air, water, soil and food are being spoiled for short-term profit. Let us admit that the gifts we older people had in our lifetime will be denied to our children and grandchildren. Let’s come together and be creative.

But first we have to stop lying to ourselves.

We have to admit that our natural resources are limited. We have to admit that our politics are broken. We have to admit that our political and economic systems are fixed and when something is fixed it cannot function naturally and freely. It eventually withers and dies. We have to admit that those politicians, regardless of “party,” who do not speak and act truthfully should not have our support. Let’s admit that our current economic austerity has been manufactured.

Let’s not be afraid. Let’s rejoice that “We all do better when we all do better.” Let’s call forth our human creativity in all of our individual ways and use it collectively to sustain life on our planet.

  2 comments for “Facing the truth will sustain the planet

    June 29, 2012 at 11:51 am

    We’ll get somewhere once there is instituted in US tax law a “Solar Depletion Allowance.” That way the energy firms can insure an egregious rate of return, allowing them to gouge us with flexible impunity. These firms often refer to the high risk attending their business. These remarks only address the financial side of things. The rest is up to us.

    Hey; how can we switch to renewable energy? There’s nobody to bomb to get more of it.

  2. Gregory Iwan
    July 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I see that smoke from our wildfires has reached at least as far as Greenland. How I wish Denmark or SOMEBODY would please SUE US in the World Court. Instead of damages, ask for an injunction against the GOP. A PERMANENT one. Considering the breadth and depth of the OBVIOUS evidence of climate change, particularly (and not periodically) during the past two years or so — e.g., February’s depleted harvest in Argentina, another large grain producer . . . February in the Southern Hemisphere is like August up here, you conservative rocket scientists! I have a sister-in-law who really has suffered from the widespread and pervasive smoke. Allergies, etc. But we’re not going to do anything about it, like institute a carbon tax. No, sir. Because even though that might LOWER all other taxes round and about, it might be seen as even a small impediment to such industries as oil and gas, or coal. Hey, Denmark: maybe you should name the Koch Brothers as codefendants in your action. You’d know them. Just look for a pile of offal that smells like currency. They rake in cubic miles of cash, then spend it to get more cretins like Mitt Romney or John Boehner elected. Shows true intellectual horsepower, doesn’t it? Horse something.

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