Fiscal Cliff or not, there are so many issues that people feel are more important than Climate Change and the other issues our planet is facing and yet we fail to realize that the real cliff has to do with the one Darwin outlined, survival.
I know people really hate hyperbole, it's overused and rarely relies on any intellectualism, it's more light the bottom of your pants and run for the exits. But this is one of those times where the point needs to be made clearly and often.
Our economy, our wellbeing and our ability to survive on this earth is based on the environment and the resources we use daily. That's the bottom line. The cliff is approaching.
And right now all the profits have been privatized and the amazingly craptastic outcomes have been publicized. Superfund cleanup sights? Guess what, we pay for that? Non-Point source pollution, that pollution where we just don't know where it comes from? WE pay for that!
Nonpoint source pollution can include:
Excess fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areasThere are so many instances of the profits being privatized and the damages to our environment being born on the public's back. The cost of health issues is not just a monetary one, people who live most with pollution due to industrialization are more likely to be poor and minority families.
Oil, grease and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production
Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding streambanks
Salt from irrigation practices and acid drainage from abandoned mines
Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes and faulty septic systems
Atmospheric deposition and hydromodification
States report that nonpoint source pollution is the leading remaining cause of water quality problems. The effects of nonpoint source pollutants on specific waters vary and may not always be fully assessed. However, we know that these pollutants have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries and wildlife.
And now guess what?
After fracking began at 32 sites within a couple miles of her ranch, Schilke’s cattle started dropping dead and Schilke herself started suffering from poor health. Ambient air testing found high levels of a bunch of nasty chemical compounds associated with fracking, and with cancer and birth defects.My God, what are we doing to this land? It's a good fucking question isn't it? Our resources are limited, from fossil fuels to clean water to even fertile soil (yes, we've been screwing with our soil as well, ask China about desertification).
State health and agriculture officials acknowledged Schilke’s air and water tests but told her she had nothing to worry about. Her doctors, however, diagnosed her with neurotoxic damage and constricted airways. “I realized that this place is killing me and my cattle,” Schilke says. She began using inhalers and a nebulizer, switched to bottled water, and quit eating her own beef and the vegetables from her garden. (Schilke sells her cattle only to buyers who will finish raising them outside the shale area, where she presumes that any chemical contamination will clear after a few months.) “My health improved,” Schilke says, “but I thought, ‘Oh my God, what are we doing to this land?’”
What are we doing?
Natural Gas is not the answer! This is what is going to solve our reliance on foreign oil? Killing our water and food supply? Seriously?
This is not some fringe issue, the environment should be the most important issue of our time. It touches every other issue that is vital to our very survival, from our food to our very ability to live. And because so few of us see the direct impact we think it's all fanfuckingtastic.
And until we can convince people that they are paying the price for this hubris and that they are paying dearly for the profits that so very few reap by the continued refusal to move past fossil fuels, outdated and dangerous farming practices, from refusing to invest in new technology and from pushing to help less developed Countries make their leap into being industrialized Nations without taking us all down with them then we can kiss ourselves good bye.
I don't know if you've witnessed a Nine-year old sobbing at the thought of all big cats going extinct, but I did. My daughter was distraught and she asked WHY? What can we do to stop this? And to try to explain to her about habitat loss, climate change, poachers and trophy hunting? Senseless killing, profits over humanity, it just didn't compute to her. She didn't understand why we wouldn't save these glorious animals.
And having seen this despair through the eyes of my daughter and knowing that doing nothing is not good enough anymore, I promised I would do more.
It is not acceptable that our water, our resources and our planet is being used by so few to line their pockets while robbing future generations the right to have a home that is as pristine and diverse as it is today. There are still places that are beautiful and whole, but for how long?
And I ask myself, why does the world not act? What do people know that we do not. And I refuse to sink into the pits of Conspiracy Theory, I know it comes down to old fashioned greed and hubris that we can fix this and it will all be okay (although I do have moments where I think maybe someone, somewhere knows we're all screwed anyway, just take the money and run).
But you can do something. And I don't mean stop buying shampoos with Lauryl Sulfates (Although that doesn't hurt) but just start talking more, writing letters, telling your representatives that everything comes back to this!
Healthcare? Related to the environment, from toxins, to what we eat, to GMO's and all the wrong foods we subsidize.
Economy? Natural resources, fossil fuels, it's all about the environment. The argument is that regulation halts growth, the problem is we haven't done it right, we haven't taxed the right things! Tax pollution!
So many issues come back to the environment.
Please remind your representatives this simple fact and that you depend on them to care for it. And support your local organization, from your League of Conservation Voters (who help pick good local candidates) to your State League. And press the President to move on climate change, it's important.
We need to hold him accountable on this.