We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

World's oceans in 'shocking' decline

Click here to access article by Richard Black from BBC News.

Once again, scientists are issuing alarming statements about the dramatic deterioration in our environment, this time it's about the oceans.
Life on Earth has gone through five "mass extinction events" caused by events such as asteroid impacts; and it is often said that humanity's combined impact is causing a sixth such event.

...the trends are such that it [the sixth] is likely to happen, they say - and far faster than any of the previous five.
And like most such reports, they can only blame "humanity", not that section of humanity, about 1%, who are addicted to the hoarding of wealth and associated power, and the system that delivers this drug to them-- capitalism. 

This piece reminded me of a visit I made to my sister in Florida in the early 1990s. She took me to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park where I went out on one of their boat excursions to do some snorkeling. I immediately recognized the underwater scenes from movie clips I had seen as a child in the 1950s. The scenes depicted an underwater coral paradise, a myriad of colorful fantastic coral plants and a Christian cross planted among these shapes. Well, on this visit I was shocked to see only a graveyard of gray coral.

Then later when I told people about this experience I always received a peculiar dumb look and no response. And this experience has happened many times in my life when I related this experience or some scientific finding to suggest an ecosystem disaster in the offing. Apparently such messages just don't "compute" with all the brainwashing people receive from the consumer culture of capitalism.

It appears that all the reassuring Big Oil ads are paying off for them and for their unlimited growth policies. Check out the recent results from the conservative Rasmussen Reports poll:
...the number of voters who believe protecting the environment gets in the way of a growing economy has reached its highest level in just over two years.
Most of the public apparently insists on maintaining a growth policy as suggested by data like this:
A solid majority (60%) say finding new sources of energy is more important than reducing the amount of energy Americans now consume.  Thirty-one percent (31%) feel the opposite is true.