Monday, January 05, 2009
7th Generation Revisited
The first 2009 issue of my home town newspaper, the Morgan Hill Times, had another of my columns. The subject was global warming and the 7th Generation Amendment. Click Read more! to read it here.. or go to the MH Times site.
Having the opportunity to write one of the first columns of 2009 is a privilege. It gives me the mental stimulus to think seriously about what I have to accomplish during the next year. The result is something of a list of topics rather than a coherent statement, but at some level it should make sense.
I spent much of Sunday moving a pineapple guava from a location where it got neither enough sun nor water to produce good fruit. By the time I finished, I was wondering why I even started the task. But then I came in and ate some roast beef with a pineapple guava chutney and I knew why.
There is nothing quite as good as the food you grow yourself. You know it is fresh. You know it is organic. You know it was ripe when picked rather than being picked green, shipped halfway across the country and allowed to ripen enroute.
My work with the EcoAction Committee of the Green Party this year has given me the impetus to spend more time than most on some issues, such as global warming. I guess that I was naive about just how much disinformation is promulgated by those in office.
One source of much obvious mis-information is Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe who is the ranking member of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. He continues to proclaim that "More than 650 international scientists dissent over man-made global warming claims" even though many of the names on that list have publicly demanded that he take their names off of it.
In other words, the man has no regard for truth or ethical conduct. It is embarrassing that he should have been re-elected.
It is possible that global warming is the most serious problem facing the world today. I would certainly put it far ahead of most of what we see as news on television.
Yet, we continue to get "on one hand or on the other hand" treatment of the issue, as if facts had two hands.
We can choose to act in whatever way we can or we can choose to ignore the issue.
We don't have to deal with the consequences now … but our children and grandchildren will.
I have also become convinced, mostly by hard facts, that there is not necessary antagonism between ecological sustainability and economic sustainability.
According to a study published recently by McKinsey Global Institute, the net economic cost to stabilize our climate is near zero.
The rhetoric to the contrary is always put forward by those who would rather sell you something than fix a problem.
Having gone through all of the above; developing our orchard, investigating global warming, checking the facts on the economy, studying the water problems that California can not seem to resolve, I have become convinced that we must treat some resources as part of the commons, owned by all.
I came to know of a man named Walt Bressette. A friend of mine knew him. Walt was a leader in the Chippewa spearing rights controversy in Wisconsin. My friend found him to be " … a wise, humorous, visionary man who was able to see through political baloney and get to the heart of situations."
Walt was also the head of a committee dedicated to enacting the 7th Generation Amendment to the Constitution. It makes a lot of sense to me.
"The right of citizens of the United States to use and enjoy air, water, wildlife, and other renewable resources determined by the Congress to be common property shall not be impaired, nor shall such use impair their availability for the use of future generations."
We use the the air every day … We change it by that use and, in doing so, we endanger the very life we would pass on to our posterity. Our Constitution would "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."
Somehow, we have forgotten that the blessings of our liberty includes the land in which we live, the air we breath, the water we use.
During the coming year, members of the Green Party will work to make the 7th Generation Amendment a reality. I ask you to join us in this.