So today is the day. Get out there and vote people. I have to admit I am Obama all the way and it's not because I am a life long Democrat. I actually grew up in a conservative household always given the choice however to make my mind up for myself whether it was in regards to politics, religion, or what I wanted to eat for dinner. Although I was given this liberty to think for myself, I found myself with conservative leanings probably up until a few years ago.
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I am still not a Democrat today however, I find myself having a very hard time identifying with the current GOP candidates mainly due to environmental issues. Sure I have my boyfriends's band's Obama track in my head (www.thecrystalmethod.com –it's a free download) however, this is truly about what each candidate is standing for not who. In all fairness if it had to do with character, I feel John McCain seems like a nice old man. [more]
As I have and will constantly tell people … our green path is a journey. Unless you were raised by hippies, rebelled from a young age, or were fortunate enough to live in a conscious community, most of you have become accustomed to some level of blindness to the world –not thinking of what our individual impact is when we eat at McDonalds, when we buy something with unrecyclable packaging etc. As long as you were taken care of, hey … there are people out there that fight battles for us –and I'm not talking about the military … I'm talking about feeding children, saving whales …oh yeah, I'm going there.
So this morning I have already gone and done my service. I now where a sticker (who knows where from or what it was printed on) that proclaims "I voted". I decided to sit and read my new Co-op America Quarterly I just received in the mail a couple days ago only to feel my heart breaking. I felt some gratitude as well however I initially felt sad. I was reading about something I had never heard of before, specifically that is, I had never heard of the Coal River Mountain Project. Now it's funny because the project won the Building Economic Alternatives (BEA) Award … I was just sad I had not heard of this before and I feel that I am trying my best every day to keep on top of news … there are so many things going on in the world not one person alone can keep up. So what made me sad was that I realized how many people in general would not know about this now or never or wouldn't care even if they did hear about it.
The article had to do with what is called MTR coal mining which means, mountaintop removal mining. This process includes clear cutting forest, and in this case, exposing the tops of the Appalachian mountains. Permits for this project would allow the Massey Energy company to fill in creekbeds with the resulting debris. The mountaintops would also be blown up to remove layers of rock to mine for exposed coal. Waste rock would be dumped in nearby valleys. We have allowed this to happen already to 470 Appalachian mountains. We have less than 3% of our original forest here in the United States.
This project would only have a time span of 15 years whereas the Coal River Mountain Wind Project would create jobs indefinitely but much longer than 15 years and the project itself so much less destructive. A good 20 minute short movie to watch for a general consensus of production and destruction for our consumption habits is The Story of Stuff.
Some of us are so trained to think that our current industries are good and any job creation is good that we should perpetuate such industries. I could be talking about anything but since I am a green girl guru I mean the old energy industries. I woke up this morning to NPR and one of Senator John McCain's rally speeches he gave yesterday exciting people about how we should drill, and how we should keep mining for coal. "We don't want the coal industry to go bankrupt" he exclaimed. But… why not? Why?! Why must we perpetuate these dirty, destructive industries when there are better options?! Is it not a terrible thing to let these people that go to work for such companies build their American dream upon such destruction? To me it's like funding terrorists. Why would these people EVER want to give up their jobs and livelihood? When I was in Vancouver recently I read in the local paper that teenagers up there are dropping out of highschool to go get "good paying jobs" with the oil companies. Generally people like to live comfortabley. Generally people don't like change. Generally people get tied to their jobs and want to fight to keep them. This is what I mean by perpetuation. Why then would we consciously allow ourselves to allow this to happen? Why can we not create plans to pacify these industries and these people to push them toward not only clean but most importantly renewable energy sources?
I could have waited until tomorrow to speak my beef. Surely that would be smarter. I would know who won. Here's the deal. I find it extremely sad that anyone would vote for a candidate who is playing upon dead dreams. By dreams I mean what people think could be a reality. We all live in some sort of dream we create. We live in personal ones and then there are those dictated almost by our culture, nationality, etc. These people need to wake up to a new reality that we cannot go on with life the way we know it. We need someone in office to be strong enough to tell the American people there needs to be a new way and not to allow them to think that it should be business as usual. I understand that Obama conceded and said we might have to drill. What I know however is that he doesn't want to. What I do know is we have Ms. Palin touting "drill baby drill". It's disgusting that she or anyone could think that concept is something to be excited about. If we have to do it I would hope people would mourn the decision we felt we had to make. Coal … it's got to go. Not renewable, come on people! And nuclear. I don't care what France is doing and how it's working out for them. Nuclear energy creates nuclear waste that does not break down for a long long time –and it's toxic! My main argument though is –what is it that we want to perpetuate or create (which all creation perpetuates itself for some time after)? Why should we invest billions of dollars into dirty, non-renewable, or potentially toxic industries for a short term fix? What we create will not die or not soon enough. If we go putting in billions of dollars into old school technologies we will create or perpetuate powerful lobbies of people fighting to keep these industries alive. And for their own protection they will lie to the rest of us. It will come in the form of advertising and they will go out of their way to make the message so positive we become utterly confused. Why do we want to do that to ourselves? It makes our brain work harder at the end of the day over something that we could have solved before. Instead we are choosing a painful path of trying to figure out what's best for us when really we knew before, we just could not look beyond ourselves or care about the future in front of us.
So I don't know what is going to happen. I can only hope whoever gets in will install real legislative change and help the psyche of the American people see change can be delightful. So I am tired of the fear. I know no matter who ends up in office I have a job to do and that is to show people that all of this green business and working together can be fun –makes you feel good, the connectedness …which is the spirit behind the green movement. I said earlier that I had felt sad but I also felt gratitude.
The gratitude I felt was knowing there are other people out there that at this very moment are engaged and doing something for the betterment of the world. So I am grateful of those people and I am grateful to know that not one person can do everything –we need all hands on deck to steer our way to a beautiful horizon. To me that means there is plenty of room for each of us to inspire each other to do better each and every day and I'm grateful for that.
In my last blog I said people, greenies on the path of green, whomever …get out there and do something! Join us! (I cannot say this enough) Be the change you wish to see in the world.
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