The state of global affairs has long passed the proverbial
tipping point and is more likely flirting with the dreaded point of no return.
Yet most folks, it seems, have confused the occasional weekend parade, I mean, protest with a full-blown movement.
News Flash #1:
Anti-Bush bumper stickers and a heartfelt commitment to recycled toilet paper
don�t constitute a movement. Neither do candlelight vigils, vegan diets,
petitions, voting drives, letters to Congress, monthly donations to Greenpeace,
yellow ribbons, red ribbons, pink ribbons, or becoming the change you wish to
see in the world. All you need is love? Yeah . . . that and a million dollars a minute (what America spends on war).
Americans wield more influence and power than any people on
the planet but, while an obscene number of humans in this world live in abject
poverty, we live our lives in such a manner as to threaten every living thing
on Earth. For example: A primary component in your
beloved cell phone is �Coltan� (Columbite-tantalite), a metallic ore found
mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mining and sale of Coltan is
not only funding both sides of that nation�s brutal civil war, it has directly
contributed to a 90 percent decline in the local Mountain Gorilla population.
News Flash #2: In
America, there are no innocent bystanders.
How much more are we willing to tolerate before we act? Here
is some of what we�re already enduring without any serious fuss:
of preventable diseases: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
of our air, water, & food (including mother�s breast milk)
warming, climate change, animal & plant extinctions, disappearing
honeybees, destruction of the rain forest, topsoil depletion, etc.
of Americans uninsured or underinsured when it comes to health care
than half of the world�s top 100 economies are corporations, not nations
rising income gap
lies, electoral fraud, limited debates, etc.
largest prison population on the planet
control of public land, public airwaves, and public pensions
infringement of our civil liberties
defense budget, unilateral military interventions, war crimes committed in
our name, legalization of torture, blah, blah, blah . . .
Before you know it, the government might start spying on
American citizens and detaining prisoners without charges while corporations
ravage the earth in pursuit of profit, wiping out entire eco-systems in the
process. Oops, sorry . . . they�re already doing all that without being
Take a look at your watch. Since yesterday at this hour, 13
million tons of toxic chemicals were released across the globe; 200 thousand acres
of rainforest were destroyed; more than 100 plant or animal species went
extinct; and 45,000 human beings died of starvation (most of them children).
What will we say in 20-30 years when we�re asked why we
didn�t do more to challenge all this? What will we say when we�re asked why we focused on imaginary evildoers instead of the
corporate pirates seeking to rape the planet and control our minds?
Ask yourself this: Which do you
prefer, a consumer culture or an ozone layer? SUVs or Redwoods? Cell phones or
Mountain Gorillas? Would you give up the ability to text your BFF in order to
save a species from going extinct?
The humans (and all living things) that come after us won�t
care if we religiously read websites like this or we marched in parades (I mean,
protests) or we held open doors for
little old ladies . . . if they have no
clean air. They won�t care if we voted for Obama or McCain . . . if they have no clean water. It won�t
matter to them if we ate organic or drove a hybrid or switched to an energy
efficient light bulb . . . if they end up
stuck on a toxic, inhabitable planet.
If anything, they�d probably just want to ask us this: What
in the world did you have against your planet and yourself? After all, they�d
assume, if we didn�t despise our planet -- and ourselves -- why would we stand
by and let everything be consumed or
poisoned or destroyed.
But before that question is asked of us, we still have time
to ask this:
Will we ever disrupt our comfortable lives and dedicate
ourselves to stopping -- by any means
necessary -- global
warming, US military interventionism, economic exploitation, factory farming,
environmental devastation, etc., or will we continue defending �our way of
The US constitutes 5 percent of the earth�s population but
consumes more than 25 percent of the earth�s resources.
News Flash #3:
Our way of life is the problem.
Mickey Z. is the author of the forthcoming novel, CPR for Dummies (Raw
Dog Screaming Press). He can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.