Sunday, June 27, 2010
Short Term Profits, Long Term Problems
There is an endless supply of white men. There has always been a limited number of human beings. If things keep trying to live, white men will rub them out.
~Chief Dan George as "Old Lodge Skins"
Heavily under the influence, to the point of being blinded by, greed, our captains of global industry are barreling down the tracks toward a canyon wall. The docile cargo of the lower classes are finally becoming aware of the existence of the wall, too late to really stop the impact, but not too late to slow the train down enough to make the impact somewhat survivable.
We've all heard about the poisoning of a section of our waters and coast of course, but we haven't really been told of the destruction of large sections of our land through mountaintop removal and other hideous forms of exploitation developed by the extractive industries. When I heard candidate Obama mention "clean coal" I knew that the two major political parties were not that far apart on environmental policy and that King Coal had covered their bets by buying them both off. Our current Secretary of the Interior, "Cowboy" Ken Salazar has been a nightmare for those who thought wolves were finally safe in the northern Rockies or endangered species were actually going to get a break from the relentless assault by the monied interests. The beat goes on, with people placing more importance on the quarterly reports of their portfolios than the long term survivability of the planet.
The 2010 mid-term elections present the choice between keeping the train going at roughly its current speed, or accelerating towards an even worse impact. Where is the real alternative? Where is the long term plan to forge a sustainable economy? As long as we are using the paradigm of quarterly profits, I doubt it will ever arrive and our fate will be sealed.