April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
we aren’t scared enough.
there isn’t enough urgency.
not amongst our populations.
not amongst our representatives and lawmakers.
we just consume.
and it’s all political.
i’m discouraged. i feel helpless.
i could ride my bike to work. i could replace my lightbulbs. i could take shorter showers. recycle. reuse. buy locally. organically.
but we’re the minority…
because Big Oil is not only in bed with our government… they’re running our government.
nothing ever changes.
today, i came across some details from the recent budget compromise:
Republicans were pushing a $3 billion reduction to the agency’s budget—a 29 percent spending cut—and a measure to strip the agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases in any form…
In the final compromise, however, the EPA still got a $1.49 billion haircut, a 16 percent reduction and more than other targeted agencies. Moreover, a line-by-line examination of the bill reveals nearly $1.8 billion in additional cuts to other environmental initiatives outside the EPA, which more than doubles the total harm done to environmental protection…
A more direct assault on climate change programs came in the non-EPA cuts. Funding was blocked entirely for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate service, which was to allow the NOAA to “provide a reliable and authoritative source for climate data, information, and decision support services.”
The Department of Agriculture lost $34 million for a renewable energy program, $119 million for a wetlands protection program and $80 million for a program providing environmental incentives to farmers.
The Department of Energy saw $438 million taken from energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, $20 million from non defense environmental cleanup and $101 million from nuclear waste disposal.
The Interior Department lost nearly a billion dollars for clean drinking water programs and an additional $49 million for climate change efforts.
did you know that in 1979, in an effort to promote clean, renewable energy, the carter administration installed solar panels on top of the white house?
and did you know that less than 10 years later, they were quietly dismantled by the regan administration — who also:
… gutted the research and development budgets for renewable energy at the then-fledgling U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) and eliminated tax breaks for the deployment of wind turbines and solar technologies—recommitting the nation to reliance on cheap but polluting fossil fuels, often from foreign suppliers.
i get it, i really do.
i understand our country’s desperate need to be fiscally responsible.
but take a step back… and re-evaluate what some of our elected officials are prioritizing.
this is why america is no longer great.
we do not put priority on education reform.
not on clean-energy research.
not on health care reform. not even community health centers for women and men are safe.
we do not put priority on programs for the arts.
for the youth.
for the poverty-stricken.
believe me, i don’t think our president is perfect. and to be honest, he has disappointed me on more than a few occasions… but, in a recent speech regarding the GOP’s proposed budget plan, he said something that made me remember why i admired and identified with him at all in the first place:
… it paints a vision of our future that is deeply pessimistic. Ronald Regan’s own budget director said, “there is nothing serious or courageous about this plan.” Worst of all, this is a vision that says even though Americans can’t afford to invest in education… or clean energy — even though we can’t afford to maintain our commitment on medicare and medicaid, we can somehow afford more than one-trillion dollars in new tax breaks for the wealthy. They want to give people like me a two-hundred-thousand dollar tax cut that’s paid for by asking thirty-three seniors, each, to pay six-thousand dollars more in health costs.
i don’t know.
i don’t know why this is acceptable.
i don’t understand why we deliberately, over and over and over again, elect people into our government who do not have our best interests in mind.
i don’t know why more people aren’t outraged and shocked at the state of our planet. our communities. even at our own collective health.
why do we give divisive, ignorant people such massive platforms?
why do people in our country perpetuate narratives of fear and exaggeration that distract from the real issues?
and why do we glorify them?
i can only hope that our generation can stop and re-evaluate our roles within our society and do what we as individuals are called to do.
let’s educate ourselves; open our eyes to how things really work, what is really at stake, and truly dedicate ourselves to the things that are most important for our communities, our country and our whole planet to thrive.
decade after decade… people have longed to work together to finally make some kind of change.
there’s no reason that we can’t make it happen. right now.
a healthy, thriving planet = a healthy, thriving people.
i hope that we don’t give in to the feelings of helplessness and apathy — even though, at this point, it would be oh so easy.
support one another. pour love into your communities. be passionate.