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As the world is slowly waking up to the fact that our behaviour is killing us, things from the mists of time come back to me.

While President Carter was having solar panels installed on the roof of the White House we were building a passive solar house in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, in company with friends and neighbours - the Okanagan Solar Energy Society. Sort of like a barn raising gig - we helped each others' families out.

At that time of the oil importation crisis President Carter was trying to get Congress to pass legislation that would encourage the development of alternative sources of fuel, to no avail - even then the power of the fossil fuel industry was too much to overcome.

Then during the election campaign Ronald Reagan famously said "government isn't the solution, its the problem". And we Canadians said "Whuh???? Don't we need government regulations to make sure that the oil companies don't destroy the planet just so they can make more money?"

And when Reagan was elected he had the solar panels taken down. That really hurt.

So here we are 32 years later, having missed the opportunity of our lifetimes, with the fossil fuel industry still controlling Congress and state legislatures, poisoning the air and water, bamboozling the public into thinking that natural gas reserves will save America and creating another stock market bubble. And blocking subsidies for the creation of alternative energy sources while throwing billions of our tax dollars at the oil, gas and coal industries.

And its not just us - in Australia there is a titanic battle between the extraction industry and environmentalists (you are an environmentalist if you are pissed that someone has drilled a coal seam gas well on your property and your kids are dying of cancer) while the country is in flames because of a catastrophic drought.

In Canada the illegally elected Conservative government led by Stephen Harper is destroying environmental protections and screwing First Nations people out of their land so the Chinese can come in and extract resources without any regulation or oversight.

Someone please tell me - why are we so stupid as to allow those who enable this destruction to have even one iota of power in our governance.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We've built a civilization based on fossil fuels (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, Brown Thrasher

    Most people in the developed world do not live right where their food is produced, and do not live within a short walk of where they work. Cheap fossil fuels made that possible, first with coal and steam engines, then with oil and internal combustion engines.

    Then of course, the robber barons of that infrastructure were able to amass fabulous amounts of private wealth -- particularly in the US. When it became apparent to them (after the blowout failure of Barry Goldwater's presidential run) that they did not control what the masses believe, they set about using their wealth to change that. They took control of the media, of education (largely), of academic fields useful for propaganda (economics, psychology), and, with the Reagan Revolution, of government. (They already had control of the military industrial complex.)

    They don't regard themselves as members of a "society" with us. Our fate is (they believe) irrelevant to them. They will simply keep their position as robber barons until they have stolen the last nickle from the dead corpse of what we call "civilization". No, they don't expect to die in a collapse. They expect to come out of it with the only functioning industries and militaries, and establish themselves as Kings over the survivors.

  •  and we let our universities help them sell denial (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher
    Someone please tell me - why are we so stupid as to allow those who enable this destruction to have even one iota of power in our governance.
    team limbaugh are the major enabler of those  flat earthers  in the GOP and neither the dem party nor our major environmental orgs have any organized opposition to it.

    and our universities continue to endorse RW radio with sports broadcasting so those soapboxes that spew  24/7 denial have those team logo stickers on them. (see sig)

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:51:26 PM PST

  •  Good questions. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Time for us to get off our collective butts, take back our power and tell them that we're not going to stand for this any longer. As, indeed, the Idle No More movement in Canada is doing right now.

    Lefty Coaster has a great diary on this, btw, out just today:

    Climate activists unite: we need a symbol. A name. A vision. Join the discussion.

    by Eowyn9 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:10:13 PM PST

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