|From the Editor|
by Carolyn Chase
At this moment of history, Earth Day seems trivial; and yet, it also appears vital to any kind of future where the future... matters.
What kind of future are we leaving? What is this century turning out to be about? More loss and grieving:
While the hope was that the battle over the closeness of the Presidential race would lead to a Presidency that governed from the center, this Bush Junior is orders of magnitude worse than Bush Senior on conservaton and environmental issues. Extremists rule and their ignorance about conservation is only exceeded by their personal hatred against environmentalists. The F.B.I. has recently stated that eco-terrorists are now the greatest internal security threat to the United States. This is the same system that pushes student visas without any security checks at all. Yet they are now targeting environmentalists as possible security risks.
It really does not occur to this regime that there are any environmental problems. Those that might exist can somehow be solved by voluntary action. Rising pollution, traffic, biodiversity loss, desertification, drought, climate change... these are all dismissed in turn as some kind of fantasy by the deluded masses. Money matters most and they are not indeed interested that there are important capitalistic ways to deal with the problems because they don't believe there are any problems. Environmentally speaking, as far as Bush Junior and his funders are concerned, everything is just fine, just keep the party going.
To which you can only say: sure but who's not invited? Who's dropping by the wayside? Who's party is it? Who's paying the bills? Who will have to suffer the inevitable hangover? And what is being lost forever?
The other wingnut of this regime is secrecy. Executive privilege is the order of the day, all in the name of anti-terrorism. But what about the uber-secrecy at the highest levels of government? Throughout history, this has never been a good sign.
We are all masters of a range of deceptions about ourselves and others. Where the truth may lie is between us. If the American people continue to stay asleep, then we and generations to come deserve what we get: a world not only less rich in what really matters freedom, sustainability and nature but also a world less secure and a world obviously headed towards collapse, both ecological and social.
You'd think those of us in San Diego would have noticed, having been raped and pillaged by the energy manipulators working the political system at the highest levels. But we just keep being willing to take it as if corruption doesn't matter or we feel we can't do anything about it.
But we can do something about it. The history of the rise of corrupt political systems and the repressive regimes that follow in order to keep the corruption in place should cause us to pause and wake up. We are not immune to the problems of absolute power corrupting absolutely. The question is how to intervene when the system seems so out-of-control.
The answer is always individual citizens taking a stand and organizing on all the fronts they are able. Which brings me back to Earth Day. At this year's EarthFair in Balboa Park you will find more than 200 organizations attempting to do their part and looking for the public's help. So find them and do your part. If you can't attend and want more info, email me at .
Carolyn Chase is Chair of the mayor's Citizens Environmental Advisory committee, member of the Sierra Club Political Committee, and a founder of San Diego EarthWorks, hosts of the EarthFair in Balboa Park on April 21