The Environment Is Not a Political Issue (Ego); It’s a Life Issue (Heart)

(Mike DePung — Post II.143–17)

Last night, I quoted Thoreau in reference to the relationship of our manipulation of nature for comfort or convenience, manipulation that results in destruction: “What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” It’s wrong. Let me say it clearly. To pollute and destroy ecosystems, species, water in an irreparable, unsustainable way is wrong. It’s wrong logically, as Thoreau points out.

However, I also quoted William Wordsworth last night: “The World Is Too Much with Us”: “Getting and spending we lay waste our powers; — / Little we see in Nature that is ours;…” What is this forsaking of Nature associated with? “We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!” In the context of the Industrial Revolution, Wordsworth, with whom I assent totally in this sentiment, asserts that forsaking and destruction of Nature is morally wrong because it involves giving away Heart, the compass that aligns us with Spirit.

Between Thoreau and Wordsworth, the error of destroying nature is illogical and immoral. And thankfully, it has become increasingly illegal. This current political administration and the prevailing power of the dominant political party right now has taken strides to overturn the illegality of polluting and destroying the environment of America, which, by the way, affects the rest of the world, this Earth.

Let me make my stance clear, one that harmonizes with many, thankfully, including the Water Protectors of the Sioux and other Indigenous People this past year, the lady I mentioned last night, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, the young man Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who I referred to this morning, and Rachel Carson in Silent Spring. The list could continue.

My position? For Trump or anyone else to overturn legislation in various forms such as the Clean Water Rule for purposes that include politics, the economy, and representing some narrow-minded, relatively thoughtless people, is logically, morally, and governmentally wrong. To use the excuse that farmers needed freedom from over-regulation by the government, like Missouri’s governor, Eric Greitens, showboated about today, as well as one of the senators, Roy Blunt, shows their determination to put personal power and control over respect for the environment that everyone needs, whether they know it or not. Such people are not fit to serve in politics, and they most assuredly do not represent the good of the people.

I am encouraged by younger people like Severn and Xiuhtezcatl. Xiuhtezcatl has actually sued the United States government for their failure to preserve the environment for future generations. A judge allowed the lawsuit to proceed. It’s not spurious. It’s Heart-inspired. Xiuhtezcatl has, at seventeen years old, besides speaking all over the world, been responsible for a five-year moratorium on fracking in the Colorado county where he lives. I love the point he makes that all of us, whether Native Americans, First People or not, are Indigenous to the Earth. Disrespect and destruction of the Earth are short-sighted, Ego-energized displays of selfish, shallow stupidity.

And yes, I’ve heard the arguments for jobs, the economy, and the science produced by some scientists for their own power, notoriety, and personal gain that practices like fracking and drilling oil off-shore, and many others — especially agricultural — are not a threat. Or the assertions that humans do not significantly contribute to global warming and other adverse effects on Earth. If you have not read Silent Spring and you are making these claims that the insecticides, pesticides, livestock production to sate a gluttonous appetite, and a thousand other possibilities, you are hampered by willful ignorance and blindness. Get a clue.

Yes, I feel anger at those who so glibly dismiss strong environmental activists by making some bogus patriotic-sounding claims about making America great and giving the people what they want and power back to the states. Seeing the governor of Missouri with a small group of smiling, waving farmers and making it look like some noble service has been rendered to them by lauding Trump’s order to overturn waterway protection sickens me. It’s all Ego, all the way, with all involved.

I will draw this to a close tonight with two quotes from Rachel Carson’s seminal work Silent Spring. In reference to the logic of justifying something because of economic convenience, she says this: “How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind?” Yes, how could they, indeed? Excuses about jobs and the economy and bogus patriotic principles are just stupid in the light of this.

Then, Carson also addresses the illogic of polluting and abusing Earth, with an application to government: “Nature has introduced great variety into the landscape, but man has displayed a passion for simplifying it. Thus, he undoes the built-in checks and balances by which nature holds the species within bounds.” This is why green space and natural plant species must be maintained. It’s why mega-huge corporations should not be allowed to dominate agriculture, should not be allowed to engineer seeds to the exclusion of the large variety that exist — not to mention that genetic engineering to eliminate pests and resist weather extremes has consequences beyond what we know — that system of “built-in checks and balances.” Checks and balances seem to work well in government, too, but it seems the current president would like to have complete power without any review or challenges.

If you care about the environment, the world, this Earth, here are some actions that can lead to further actions: listen to the YouTube videos of Severn Cullis-Suzuki and Xiuhltezcatl Martinez (easy to do); read Silent Spring (a bit more challenging). See what your Heart does with this input.


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