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View Diary: Democrats and silos: What to fight for? Hint—everything (200 comments)

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  •  Save the environment -- water, land and air (1+ / 0-)
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    I wouldn't say "help the environment." Say it's a fight to preserve the future. Not a better future. Any future.

    We're literally using up our drinking water supplies. For me, this might be the worst aspect of fracking -- not the risk of inadvertent contamination, but the deliberate contamination of millions of gallons of water for each fracked well. I'm sure we can put scientists to work on synthesizing new water or finding a substitute.

    Also, we're destroying our oceans and overfishing, but I guess that can wait -- even if it means fishermen, fish product workers and fishmongers will all be out of work in a generation.

    Land? Garbage everywhere. We have to stop producing so much waste, because we're practically out of room to dispose of it.

    Air -- skipping past the health effects of pollution, lets just focus on saving the world for future generations. So, they can have jobs, too.

    There are solutions and, in fact, many of the steps we need to take on one aspect are steps we need to take for the other problems, as well. We need to stop producing so much GHGs in producing nitrogen-rich fertilizers and pesticides that are destroying our health and our water and oceans. We need to stop producing so many GHGs that are making farming almost impossible anyway. By eating local we can dispense with a lot of wasteful packaging....and we can start composting on a wide scale to produce fertilizers naturally, provide cover for soil to reduce GHGs, and reduce waste.

    Then, of course, there's the alternative energy sources, which will be less polluting, use less water, etc....and maybe provide reliable income and power for agriculture.

    And, all of these will offer jobs...but, I  gotta tell ya, that shouldn't be the best way to sell these things. The pitch has to go like this:

    "We've doing things the wrong way, and the good news is we now know there are better ways to do these things. We have run out of time to hide our heads in the sand.

    Our scientific understanding may be new, but the general ideas aren't new wisdom unknown to past generations of Americans and greatest leaders.

    People have resisted the promise of the new, greener economy, out of fear for their future...their economic future. FDR understood this -- that the thing we have to fear most is this fear, because it's crippling us. The only thing we have to fear about the future is no future.

    That's what we'll have if we keep pretending we can produce energy the old way, without regard to the consequences. That's what we'll have if we don't develop smarter uses for our water supplies, for disposing of our waste, if we don't take our role seriously as G-d's steward for the planet, and all the creatures on it. Because our ultimate prosperity and even our survival may rest on how well we do that job.

    We can't continue to live as we did when there was one or two billion people, most of whom were living in pre-industrial culture. We can't live as we did when fossil fuels were so abundant that our supplies were much bigger than demand and the resources seemed they would last forever...not as we did when we didn't know that burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and other power was sowing the seeds of a future climate calamity. We can't continue to consume as thoughtlessly we did then, or to dispose of our waste as thoughtlessly as if we believed there were no consequences.

    The thing is we can maintain the same quality of life, if we just live more consciously and conscientiously.

    The planet is at 7 billion people and possibly heading to 9 billion...and the third world is industrializing faster than we ever did here.  It's in everybody's interests that we find ways to use the Earth's resources more intelligently. If we lead the way in this effort, we might be the ones to benefit the most economically, but we will all benefit for having saved the planet's resources for our children and their children's children.

    It's going to take a collective effort. We can't have free riders -- not in other countries, and not here, either, because they're going to sink this effort for all of us.  We, as a nation, as a civilization, and as a species - we have reached a tipping point, Either we find the proper balance, or we're all going to slide into the abyss.

    Our fates are linked...intertwined. We have to work cooperatively to win the future for everyone. That's something the Founding Fathers understood when Ben Franklin said "We must all hang together, or we will all surely hang separately."

    This is a time of unprecedented peril to the environment that sustains us, but the solutions are within our power and within reach. All we have to do is agree to change our path away from the abyss, and to embark on this new course where the future will be just as bright as the past has been.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:30:26 PM PDT

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