As we all see little snippets in the news about the raging wildfires in Russia, complete with record high temperatures of over 100-degrees and people chest deep in flood waters in Pakistan and India, we may be missing the much wider implications of these environmental disasters.
For years and years, climate scientists have been warning us of the social and poltical fallout of unaddressed climate change. They have warned of millions upon millions of “climate refugees” that will create a huge burden on world governments, pushing nations into escalating conflicts over land and potable water. We have been warned that our current oil wars will pale by comparison to the upcoming water wars as the world runs out of enough clean water to keep those who are already living, alive. Already, the American West is in drought that is predicted to continue to the foreseeable future and water tables across the country are sinking.
Al Gore’s documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”, which should have been mandatory viewing for every child in America, was so villified and mocked by the far right punditry that those who most needed to see it vehemently resisted or refused, despite the film’s solid regard by the “unbought”, legitimate scientific community. For his “telling it like it is” and sounding the alarm before it was too late (as it is now), Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize – no small achievement. Still, the far right smugly scorned his humanitarian warning, which is akin to ignoring the canary in a coal mine.
The far right has been highly successful in stirring up such ill will against anything it identifies as “liberal”, that unfortunately, people who would have otherwise seen the movie and checked out its assertions and documented data for themselves, bypassed it altogether as some kind of political maneuvering rather than the academic national and global alert it was.
This political polarity has doomed us all who are passengers on this tiny blue, once-beautiful and self-supporting planet as it hurtles through space. We have run out of time and many of us, who have taught environmental ethics or worked in the field of environmental science, are beyond despair as well-heeled powers with profit and greed as their motives continue to control what we are told and what we see. They open or close the floodgates of information at will, leaving us easy prey to the lies and mass beliefs that will ultimately be our undoing.
If we are to survive, we must be brave enough to open our minds to all kinds of possibilities; to the possibility that we are being played by the wealthy and the powerful and to the possibility that (in case we haven’t noticed it by now), we are becoming poorer and more Americans are suffering through no fault of their own as banks, Wall Street, and government all work only on their own behalf without conscience or concern for the carnage they leave behind both here and abroad.
We need to quit being political and start being American citizens, pure and simple. We cannot be Republican or Democrat and get the job done that needs to be done – holding legislators accountable for their votes as they continue to protect the powerful while gutting the rest of us.
In other words, we must all look further, read more, do our own reseach, maintain a healthy skepticism as we listen to the “news” and call legislators of either party to task for any moves they make that leave us in the dust. One final point. There IS no “liberal media”. That is a buzzword so that people will bypass the only media outlets that don’t hearken to the far right rhetoric of Fox or of the Beck’s and Limbaugh’s out there. Journalism as it was meant to be is dead in America. All we have now is corporate control of our televised “news” media, and sadly, of our government.
We now each have the individual responsibility to learn what is true and to come together as citizens to act on what we have learned if we are to rebuild this once-great country before things get any worse. Our children are depending on us to wake up and to act on their behalf.