Peace on Earth Day
Happy Earth Day!
I mean it — even though it's been a bad year for my beloved Barton Springs and for the planet Earth.
One of the organizations (SOS) here that has fought the hardest to keep our local evironmental treasure, Barton Springs, alive has been forced into bankruptcy by legal costs for battles that should be fought by city, state and federal agencies whose agendas read like templates for wise use ideology.
Austin is perceived by outsiders to have one of the strongest environmental movements in the country. Sad.
We're losing the Springs, losing the Hill Country aquifer that filters our water and losing air quality to an obscene set of "clean" coal plants. Toll roads are cutting through neighborhoods and farmland to take people to developments where none should ever have been allowed. And we're paying tolls on roads we've already paid for. Republican math.
Dying bees and Climate Change are about to make the work we do to protect the environment moot, in four years or fifty.
Lately I am experiencing an environmental identity crises.
I don't want to give time to groups whose message has been diluted by developer interest. I don't want to help plan the "build out" of the aquifer. The stragegies and activist groups we've formed are getting knocked out by governing bodies that serve corporate interest and Republican courts. What's next?
1. Consciousness raising about globalization and the disasterous effect multi-nationals have on local living conditions all over the world. Laura Dunn's new film The Unforeseen addresses this. We've got to stop them.
2. Work to put in place measures to stop Climate Change and Global Warming.
3. Fast track alternative energy and transportation systems.
4. Dismantle Free Trade agreements that don't protect workers and the environment and that are written to supercede government controls at national, state and local levels.
5. Wage peace because war is the worst polluter of all.
6. This work will be easier if American's take back the vote. Here is a video about the Texas Paper Ballot Bill.
Will these big picture actions save Barton Springs? Probably not. But maybe our grandchildren will have a place to live.
Here are some organizations that claim to work for the environment. Help us add to this list by sending in your own favorite environmental activist groups. And let us know if any have falled from within to wise use rhethoric and habit.
At earthfamilyalpha we write about this all the time — help us expand our impact by sending links to your friends, lists.
Happy Earth Day
©Susan Bright, 2007.
* "Peace Mural" copyright 2004, directed by Trish Graham
Location: Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy
Climate Change: Why We Can't Wait, James Hansen, The Nation, 4/21/078
Adapt or Die, Mark Hertsgaard, The Nation
Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth dvd available.
Some environmental organizations:
Friends of Barton Springs Pool
Sierra Club, Earthjustice: Because the Earth needs a good lawyer.
American Bird Conservancy
National Audobon Society
The Great Backyard Bird Count
The League of Conservation Voters
The Abalone Alliance (history)
Global Green USA
Earth Island Institute
National Resources Defense Council
Alliance for Justice
Nuclear Control Instutute
Rainforest Action Network
Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
Click here to read about Earth Day Events in Austin.
Click here to play a wonderful video: The Solar Bipedal Chariot,
thanks to Marjorie Wood for sending this to us.
Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.
Announcement: The Plain View Press e-store has just gone online.
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