Monday, July 07, 2008

Leaders on the Hilltop

As we drove through the mountain pass south of Saltillo, we decided to take the road that runs up the valley towards the east. It was a rich valley, full of fruit trees and ground crops. Often when we cross this pass, there is a change of weather and very often there is rain.

It must happen a lot because I saw no signs of irrigation, just lush green fields.

As we returned back to the main road to Mexico City and continued our way to the Altiplano, we passed all kinds of crops and man made forests. The rainy season has started here in Mexico and things are practically electric green.

So, today, as the so called leaders of the G8 meets to discuss food and energy and climate change in a secluded spa in Japan, you've got to wonder. Do they do these things to actually deal with the problems that lay before us, or are they just expensive all expense paid vacations for these super elite.

Here's part of the story:
World's top leaders tackle oil and food prices, Africa aid
TOYAKO, Japan (AFP) — Leaders of the world's richest nations Monday opened a summit aimed at battling skyrocketing oil and food prices, as pressure mounted on them to live up to their pledges to help Africa. (clip)

"Food prices have nearly doubled in three years and set off riots in parts of the developing world, which are also being hit hard by record oil prices.

In the closed-door session, African leaders pushed for the Group of Eight nations to make good on aid promises, saying the continent was bearing the brunt of rising food prices, a Japanese official who was present said.

"Because of the recent surge in food prices, African agriculture's supply and demand is not balanced and we would like the G8 to fully support" our cause," the official quoted African delegates as telling G8 leaders.

Pope Benedict XVI also called on G8 leaders to focus on the world's weakest and poorest people, as they are "more vulnerable now because of speculation and financial turbulence and their perverse effects on the prices of food and energy."

But aid groups said that some of the G8 nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States -- were walking away from earlier commitments."

Of course, there were demonstrators at the meeting, but the closest that they got was the other side of sapphire-blue Lake Toya, where they shouted slogans in the improbable hope that leaders on the hilltop on the other side would hear them.

Our political leaders are little more than jokes. (bad ones)

They have no intention of feeding the poor or for that matter, easing the burden of their constituencies. Even if they did, they couldn't. Because you see, their real constituency is the multi headed corporate hydra of capital and power that writes their marching orders.

These leaders, in a rather disturbing way, are as powerless to actually fix the great issues of our day as a psychologist is capable of healing a sociopath.

As we drove down from the mountain pass, we could see food covering another valley down below us. There were giant irrigated fields of lettuce, tomatoes, with netted apple trees by the tens of thousands.

For a moment, a thought came to me of the way we do things.... How we cover the land with asphalt and concrete instead of fruit trees and things to eat. A vision washed across my mind's eye of another way, a way in which the earth is honored, a way in which our view of human settlement is transformed from the corporate model to the cooperate model.

Our Leaders on the Hilltop simply are not capable of visualizing the changes that we must embrace, and the world view that we must adopt. For if humankind is to effectively manage hunger, and war, energy, and the ravages of climate change, our leaders must not only no longer report to their capitalist/corporate masters, these forces must be integrated into a new pantheon of human organizations.

For to walk the path that lies ahead, the human experience must embrace a new paradigm as it grows into a different kind of organism both socially and spiritually.

For we cannot fault our leaders who wine and dine on the hilltop above Lake Toya, mostly taking pictures with one another for the consumption of their peoples.

For the fault is with us.

Not the leaders in the summit.

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