How to Save the World
Politicians always seem to campaign on “jobs” and the economy, but this is like knocking on someone’s door to talk about Jesus while their house is on fire. Although many of us have met our basic requirements and are striving to reach our fullest potential, many more are falling behind, and seeing our disposable incomes shrink. What is of even greater concern than rising income inequality – but connected to it by the same cause – the planet we live on is becoming less and less able to provide for our most fundamental needs. This is because we have poisoned our biosphere to the point that clean air and water are incresingly scarce. We have collectively “sinned.” The word ‘sin’ has the same root meaning as the score in archery when you literally “missed the mark.” The correct response to this sin is not punishment or vengeance. The only sensible response is to say “you can do better.”
My callout to politicians everywhere is the same. You can do better. The most pressing issue today is the human destruction of the planet that will kill and sicken many of our children and grandchildren. The ship of state is very large and we all understand that it won’t turn on a dime but the time to grab the wheel and start is not the next election: the time is NOW!
If you want to save the world, there are many ways to do it. In his essay “Reality Check from the Brink of Extinction,” Christopher Hedges makes the point that hanging your laundry outside is all well and good, but you need to understand that the vast majority of great harms done to the planet are by large corporations. Even if we all stop buying beef and bottled water, the earth will still die if we don’t stop corporate greed and malfeasance from undoing all the best efforts of individuals. If you haven’t yet watched the documentary film “The Corporation” you need to check it out. Consider the two-and-a-half hour investment a small penance for your previous sins against the planet, if that’s what it takes.
The next film to watch is called “Do the Math” by Bill McKibben, which is only 45 minutes. Once you’ve done that and you realize that the planet – our house – is on fire, how do you feel about politicians who talk about nothing but the economy (abstraction = distraction) or your monthly telecom bill? Exactly. This is why taking democracy back has to be among the first actions we take collectively to save the world. Fortunately, we don’t have to start from scratch. In Canada we already have LeadNow and DemocracyWatch. In the U.S. you have MoveOn and DemocracyNow. Please post in the comments any other organizations that are working towards transparency and accountability. The ability to recall politicians who fail to do the will of the people is crucial, so recall mechanisms are necessary in all healthy democracies. In Canada we need to turn up the heat and put our first-past-the-post issue on the front burner. There is no issue in any upcoming election that is more important than democratic reform. You can help save the world by making sure every candidate gets this message.
Posted on October 23, 2013, in Revolution, Terrestrialism and tagged Bill McKibben, chris hedges, climate change, climate justice, Corporation, democracy, DemocracyNow, ecocide, extinction, first nations, indigenous, mother earth, native, planet, revolution, sustainability, sustainable, terrestrial, terrestrialism. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.