Monday, September 30

Point of View

"Do you want this fixed?" Our contractor touched a gaping crack over our stairway that had irritated me for so long that I had learned to ignore it's ugliness.  The obvious flaw was still there.  He was touching it.  But, I had to really adjust my eyesight and my thinking to acknowledge that it was there and needed to go away.

My view of world affairs, especially American politics, is very similar.  I've been irritated with its ugliness for so long that I've effectively blocked the flaws until one or more of them resonate with other people outside my mental bunker, then things become interesting.  Just yesterday on the PBS Moyers & Company show, Moyers interviewed the head of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, in an interesting episode titled, Saving the Earth from Ourselves.   My 90+ year old mother in law was watching and became agitated and outraged that big oil companies are now drilling and polluting the fragile Arctic - taking advantage of the shrinking ice sheet due to global warming.  She had never heard of Greenpeace and was grateful that at least one organization in the world can see past the short term economic advantages of tearing up the North Pole

We both wondered how the seven countries which claim this vast frozen space can overlook the dangers of destroying one of the lynch pins of human life on earth, and wondered if they believed their own propaganda. From our point of view, the earth is a precious resource for supporting human life.  From the corporate point of view, the earth is a vast money pit waiting for a drilling rig or giant fishing net so it can benefit stockholders.  Everyone knows that the corporate and political rhetoric of jobs, cheap energy and "don't-worry-we'll-clean-it-up-when-we-are-done-destroying-it" overlooks the long term dangers of such a massive undertaking.  Ask the oil rig workers families killed in the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill about the jobs available and ask American consumers about cheap energy at the gas pump and in our homes.   When the oil companies say they'll take care of mother nature, most of us understand them to mean not in a good way.

I've ignored the ugliness of oil production and it's termite-like destruction of American life for so long, almost as long as Greenpeace has been around until Moyer's Arctic drilling expose.  I can't say that the problems of relying on oil have completely escaped my notice.  Who can ignore or deny the damage of oil spills which occur on a regular basis around the world.  (I reluctantly raise my hand.)  Do I want to fix this problem?  Yes.  The next question is how do I fix it.