LIFE INSURANCE FOR THE PLANET:
There is no life insurance policy for planet earth. The fate of our planet is painful to think about. It is decades since we first became concerned about pollution, water scarcity, wastes, pesticides, overpopulation and erosion. Under Ronald Reagan the country turned away from such problems, but today they are the problems we fear most. They are global and potentially irreversible. They include the build-up of greenhouse gases, the thinning of the ozone layer, destruction of rain forests and accelerating extinctions of other species. Some would say they are impossible to stop. The world’s economy is built into them.
Yet, as Jonathan Weiner writes in The Next One Hundred Years, the changes trouble even those who try to ignore them and worry only about whether the old garage is sagging or the mortgage is due. A question mark curls above our roofs and makes a mockery of our hopes. If the earth is falling apart, there go the plans for summer vacation.
As we locally chop down trees and cover arable earth with concrete, we should bear in mind the ecological limits of what we do. The same is true of the industry we attract and of the population we propose to support in our regional environment. In Multnomah County, Oregon, they plan to add more hundreds of thousands of people by deliberate design, less an act of planning than of whistling while walking through the graveyard.
There are public policy questions that have not been adequately presented and debated. Local media, elected officials, governmental staff and economic development and business communities have consistently pursued the “cutting edge” of the latest “growth opportunities” without equally weighing the adverse impacts potential in each of these proposed, but too often unrelated developments. Never has the time for comprehensive and thoroughly cooperative deliberation and action been more urgent.
Common needs for clean air, clean water and a livable future have been subordinated in the rush to insure our immediate economic well being. While motives may be benign, it is patently obvious to all but the most self deceiving or self serving that we are in the midst of a global crisis which calls for a philosophy which protects, defends and advances the common interest. In the context of a rapidly diminishing resource pool, in the face of rising and conceivably irreversible environmental damage, it is beyond foolishness to persist in an economic expansionism that degrades and erodes the livability of our common home.
All local elected officials should plan from a basis which explores the possibility of sustainability, including revenue sharing to decrease conflict over development opportunities and inappropriate public incentives which pit one community against another. No jurisdiction should function without regard for its neighbors and friends and our shared earth.
Never in world history has humankind been so powerful in its geophysical impact on the planet. As hard as the weaning may be, business as usual no longer makes sense. If we are, as some scientists term us, homo sapiens sapiens, man the doubly wise, let’s prove it before we lose it.
LET’S HEAR IT FOR BIOMASS!
“To the massmoss with this wingéd fruitcake!” – The Tyrant, Barbarella.
Hemp biomass for fuel would be cleaner and more economical than any other source. Corn is the least efficient and most costly. Hemp is easily grown almost everywhere, and completely renewable. It is a carbon sink, cleaning the air. 10,000 acres of hemp yields as much paper as 40,000 acres of wood pulp. It gives a far greater yield per acre, and is better for the overall health of the land.
Sources below will tell you what there is to know in great well-documented detail. Plus, you get to “meet” Jack Herer – a man the mystics call a “great soul.”
Emperor of Hemp – narrated by Peter Coyote, VHS, DVD, 59 min. Bill Maher calls it “A triumph for the open-minded.” The story of Jack Herer, author of:The Emperor Wears No Clothes, best selling book that blows the lid off the anti-hemp conspiracy and explains all there is to know about one miraculous plant. Available at the web site: www.emperorofhemp.com; Jack Herer’ web site home is at: http://www.jackherer.com/Both are also available through www.Amazon.com
VIDEO: Obama Preserves Inherited Bush Abuses Friday, July 30, 2010 by The Rachel Maddow Show. http://www.commondreams.org/video/2010/07/30-0