Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Iceberg, Dead Ahead!

I'm something of a Titanic buff. I've read numerous books and watched several documentaries that tell of the tragedy that befell this mighty ship in the early days of the twentieth century. The chief cause of the Titanic's sinking is that, despite several reports of 'bergs directly in its path, Captain Smith ordered the ship to move ahead at full speed. Of course, when the lookouts spotted the huge iceberg straight in front of them, the ship was moving too fast to port around it completely and thus scraped one side. The "unsinkable" vessel was doomed on its maiden voyage.

Over 1,200 souls lost their lives that fateful April night.

I am certainly not the first person to see the parallels between the Titanic tragedy and the trajectory of current human society. We seem to be moving full steam toward some type of cataclysmic calamity. Recent reports by the world's scientific community warns humanity that global warming is both real and a lot worse than many originally thought. Yet, despite the fact that we're being forcefully told that there are humongous icebergs in our path, the Bush administration and many of our fellow citizens are pushing us at a madcap pace toward the abyss.

What can we do to try to avert this impending tragedy? The answer is both personal and collective.

On a personal level, we each need to change the ways we live. We need to drive less, refrain from using toxic substances, recycle/reuse habitually and give more thoughtful consideration to how we utilize the earth's finite resources to ensure that future generations HAVE a future.

On a collective level, we need to return to promoting the environmental message. It's interesting to me how the Green Party has morphed into a progressive voice that, too often, neglects promoting protection of our little orb. This party was founded on the concepts of ecological stewardship and sustainability, yet these days we seem to be organizing around every issue BUT the environment. Greens seem to be hard at work protesting the war in Iraq, calling for impeachment of the president, advocating for instant voter runoff and campaign finance reform, and helping to defeat draconian right wing ballot initiatives.

I'm not suggesting that any of the above issues is unimportant -- each one is! But we seem to be trying to separate ourselves so much from the image of tree-hugging hippie activists that we've left the issue of saving our planet in the dust. In the final analysis, if civilization renders our planet uninhabitable, then what will it matter if there are no wars or better voting systems?

2 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more, wow! To piggyback your focus, the very concept of the prospering corporate margin cannot feasibly sustain. Each entity will face a time, some a thousand years from now, when they WILL plateau, merge, or decease. Natural resources essential in maintaining extreme production expectations will no longer be available. Or, will be so limited, and expectantly protected, that output will drop leaving shareholders reluctant. But let it be known that each struggling institution will place their own horrendous scar on society and earth in trying to keep an old model living. The corrupt desperation will bleed over into everything pure we have. I don’t mean to sound cynical, but we are destined to incur a few scratches in halting this beast. It starts now with my Echo Boomers, a generation of open hearts called to action by a compulsory vigilance that tells us something’s not right. We’re working on the largest iceberg to ever grace the cataclysmic waters… –J.J.

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