While You Were Sleeping, the Democrats Lost the Election
by Mary C. LaFrance
Many environmentalists are disillusioned because of the changes in congress with the new Republican majority. Corruption is alive and well in Michigan and America bringing about environmental threats, national security threats, the erosion of democracy and our civil liberties--because people are too complacent. We the people need to work smarter. So its time for us to roll up our sleeves and launch a serious enviornmental education campaign to get people off their couches and into the streets.
To the Irishman's question - 'Is this a private fight or can anyone get in it?" The answer has to be: "Come on in. It's our economy, our environment, our country, and our future. If we don't fight, who will?" -- Bill Moyers
A recent survey showed that most Americans do care about the environment but have chosen to vote with their conscience on a single issue the that the Republican Party has used to its advantage-the right to life. These same people have lost faith in the Democratic Party because it doesn't take a stand on anything. Therefore, we need to educate folks about the right to life for all living things on earth such as wildlife, old-growth forests, indigenous people, and our children. We need to educate people about the right to healthy nutritious food void of toxic chemicals, harmful bacteria, and genetically engineered ingredients. We need to educate people about the right to safe drinking water and clean air.
We have witnessed corporate take over of the federal agencies and universities, soft science/industry- funded research, corruption of our food system, bad farm policy legislation where family farmers are going bankrupt while corporate industrial farms are taking over. Drug, chemical, food and auto manufacturers are influencing our ability to think clearly. TV has affected our decisions in the marketplace as we are all being manipulated by advertisers. They claim we need germ-free households that are chemical intensive. They recommend designer drugs for us to suggest for our doctors, while prescription drug costs skyrocket. They convince us that pesticides are necessary for our golf-course-style front yards and gardens. They bombard us with car ads that show the freedom of driving on an open road, yet the reality is that without mass transit we remain in constant traffic gridlock. And they tell us to go shopping to stimulate the economy while a large sector of the population remians below the poverty level.
Remember when we all used to be good citizens? Because nobody is going to township board and city council meetings, complacency has adversely impacted our communities. We have brownfields, illegal dumping, schools being built on toxic waste sites, dioxin-spewing incinerators and landfills because the siting committee didn't hear our opposing testimony. Rampant development is gobbling up 41 acres of farmland an hour and paving over wetlands and natural areas because the road builders and developers have control of local governments.
"They're counting on you to be standing at attention with your hand over your heart, pledging allegiance to the flag, while they pick your pocket!" In the name of the war on terrorism . . Just one day after the attack of Sept 11 . . . Republican senators called for prompt consideration of the President's proposal to subsidize the country's largest and richest energy companies. . . And while the red, white and blue wave at half-mast over the land of the free and the home of the brave-why, give the President the power to discard democratic debate and the rule-of-law concerning controversial trade agreements."
-- Bill Moyers, Keynote Address, Environmental Grantmakers Association, Brainerd, MN October 16, 2001
In closing, the future can be different but its up to you. It's not someone else's problem. If you don't find time between work, jockeying kids to soccer practice, playing bingo or watching the 11:00 news, time is running out. And finally, while everyone has their patriot flags flying, remember: Get involved . . . in local government, in environmental issues, in your community.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." - JFK