Wangari Maathai: When I first started, it was really an innocent response to the needs of women in rural areas. When we started planting trees to meet their needs, there was nothing beyond that. I did not see all the issues that I have to come to deal with. For me, one of the major reasons to move beyond just the planting of trees was that I have tendency to look at the causes of a problem. We often preoccupy ourselves with the symptoms, whereas if we went to the root cause of the problems, we would be able to overcome the problems once and for all. For instance, I tried to understand why we didn’t have clean drinking water, which I had when I was a child. The link between the rural population, the land, and natural resources is very direct. But when you have bad governance, of course, these resources are destroyed: The forests are deforested, there is illegal logging, there is soil erosion. I got pulled deeper and deeper and saw how these issues become linked to governance, to corruption, to dictatorship.
John Barrett/Globe Photos/Zuma
I began to appreciate that there was something that inspired and sustained the GBM (Green Belt Movement) and those participating in its activities over the years. Many people from different communities and regions reached out to us because they wanted us to share the approach with others. I came to realize that the work of the GBM was driven by certain intangible values. These values were: love for the environment; a gratitude and respect for Earth’s resources; a capacity to empower and better oneself; and a spirit of service and volunteerism. Together, these values encapsulate the intangible, subtle, nonmaterialistic aspects of the GBM as an organization. They enabled us to continue working, even through the difficult times.
Life is always interesting down at the ranch. Especially when you arrive at 5 am or so, the quiet time, and you are just peacefully strolling around in the dark, distributing feed for the animals, and something like from outer space that you didn’t know was there screams at you from the other side of the fence.
And look at the neighbors grass. It’s like — dead.
Many people die of smog in the USA. The media try not to tell us this, of course. And it’s getting worse, but nevermind the whole USA, I looked out the window this morning to a toxic mist made up of air and pesticides that I could smell and something that makes my nose bleed and something else that turns my stomach. Maybe you can’t see this miasma, but when I came to this valley the sky was crackling blue all the time unless it was cloudy. Now our sky is like sour milk — and the incidence of asthma in little kids has soared.
And not only asthma, smog causes many deaths every year. It’s easy to deny this, because all deaths are caused by multiple different things that happen inside the same body. Something stops working, something else stops working, something else is inflamed, we are under stress. If they all happen at once, we can die.
My mother died once; but that was after she had been “saved” about six times. And I always wonder, saved for what? Good health, happiness, joie de’vivre? No way. All that in-between time was something I would not want, but for the nurses and doctors it was a success story. They thought they had saved six lives. But anyone can do the math, and we only die once. For the corposystem, the multiple life saving was even better than for the medical community, bringing years and years of bundles of money into their coffers. So I don’t believe the corposystem ever cared about my mother’s health, because in all that time the corposystem never stopped spewing its waste products into the air we breathe and running its poisons into our water. For me, this scenario is a major betrayal of trust.
And think of all the people in this country who have asthma or emphysema. I never even heard of these things in my youth, and if the proximal cause of asthma or emphysema is smog, then they primarily died from the smog, and in-between the corposystem made a lot of money treating them.
Then listen to the radio tell you it is a “lovely day” when the globe is warming, the sky looks like rancid skim milk, and my stomach is roiling from the smog. And now there are some people don’t even know what a lovely day feels like, because they have never experienced one. For me, this is a betrayal of trust.
Nature does not have “trust” as an ethical obligation. Nature has functions, like gravity, energy flow, and cause and effect relationships, rather than trusting or ethical relationships. Nature’s laws are at the very root of physical reality, because they are how reality is, or it wouldn’t work. For example, starvation is what will happen if we don’t get enough food energy. That’s a natural function, and it’s not something for which we are responsible, so natural starvation is not cruel. Dying is not cruel – it’s natural. It’s what we all get – naturally – and if we didn’t the whole ecosystem would come to a halt very quickly, because without death there can be no life on earth.
People forget to tell us those important things. But the laws of nature are functional relationships, not emotional relationships, so they are neither tragic nor cruel. We are grateful to the laws of nature for giving us this amazing experience of life.
We humans can not change the laws of nature that cause suffering. But we do have responsibility for those relationships that we can control and for which we are responsible. Like nurturing our children and studying the laws of nature so we can plan sensibly for a sustainable future. Like refusing to countenance smog in the Brazos Valley that could be prevented or cured and causes suffering for other people’s children.
Like any betrayal of trust.
Filed under: bare bones biology, BBB Audio Transcripts | Tagged: air, asthma, betrayal of trust, cause and effect relationships, corposystem, death, ecosystem, emotional relationships, emphysema, functional relationships, health, life, money, pesticides, poisons, waste, water | Leave a Comment »
This is not the best video I have seen, but the Post Carbon Institute has available by far the best information on the changes we are watching in the world and how they relate to you. I have an exra copy of their recent book if anyone wants it.
Well, there is a close second I’ll tell you about some other time.
Every normal person cares about the future, and we also know we need solid facts to build a solid future for people on this earth. There is no way that self-serving propaganda can build a viable, sustainable future, and it’s still possible to find good factual information if we try. Several fact-based information programs are available on our local, un-afilliated radio stations. And we can still find honest facts on the internet. Step one, of course, is to make sure these really are facts by following up the references. And then we need to use our good common sense when we use our information.
Today I found an example on the internet of two people responding in different ways to an obvious fact. I copied them into my blog as they were written, partly to show you that we do NOT need to be highly skilled in the intellectual arts to have and to use our good common sense.
The fact is we are in a drought. The reactions of the two people, first:
“I live in Texas; right noe, we are PRAYING that tropical storms head our way; dsperately NEED the moisture they are picking up in this area; once we get the rain cycle sarted, we will be doing better; so lets NOT gripe about the storms coming in, prya that we DO get them in this area!”
And here is the answer:
“how about no. NO storms for the gulf at all. Last thing this economy needs is higher oil and gas prices because of stupid speculation of a storm or hurricane threatening a oil rig shutdown. “
So he wants lower oil and gas prices. Let’s forget about whether or not storms in the gulf raise the price of oil and gas. I doubt if they do. But I’m pretty sure a shortage of corn would, because about 10% of gasoline is now alcohol made from corn, and we do grow quite a lot of corn, or we did before this year. So a little storm in the gulf might help lower the price of corn.
And our food that we eat comes from supermarkets, right? To where it is shipped in a zillion trucks and airplanes from somewhere else, mostly using diesel and mostly not necessary because we can grow food right here in the Brazos Valley – or we could before the drought, so the price of food goes up.
And hay for the animals comes from the feed store. But, in the drought our local farmers can’t grow enough. So then the cattle breeders stop producing calves when there is no food for them to eat. Again the price of food goes up.
And then, where is the water to fill up the water wells and farm ponds and aquifers? Can we open a spigot and it pours out from – where? The price of water will go up – and worse as we start scraping the bottoms of those aquifers. It’s already pretty expensive, way too expensive to water a cornfield or fill up a farm pond that can’t take care of itself. The price of water goes up.
Then what happens to the wild life? Let’s take bees for example. Bees and wasps and all those bugs are always buzzing around my place, but I haven’t seen them this year. Not even flies. And this year for the first time my property produced no fruits – no wild plums or grapes. Normally I have enough wild plums to last for two years. This year – lots of flowers but no bees to pollinate them and not one fruit.
It’s way past time we wake up to the fact that the healthy earth provides our clean water, our normal weather patterns, our breathable air, and soil to grow our food. The gas and oil will run out anyhow in whatever future we plan, and our economy will not recover, because it is based in Ponzi economics. But – unless we mess it up so badly that it can no longer function as it has done for us, the good green earth will still be making our air, water, weather patterns and soil.
Without those, I’m not much worried about the price of gas.
Bare Bones Biology 072 – More Corposystem Games – FactFictionFancy
KEOS radio 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
Transcript at http://FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com
Audio later this week at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com
Filed under: bare bones biology, BBB Audio Transcripts, Common Sense, Power of Good Information, Power of listening | Tagged: common sense, drought, good factual information, price of food, price of gas., price of water, propaganda, solid facts, solid future, storms in the gulf, sustainable | Leave a Comment »