We have created a society so out of balance that we often forget the simplest laws of physics. When what we put in to any endeavor is required to be more than we get out of it, common sense tells us that the activity should self-extinguish, or cease altogether. Instead, we blame complexity for not being able to pin down the actual causes or effects of virtually everything that goes on around us. Cancer has been on my mind a lot lately. We know that there has been a rise in cancer over the years. The dozens of cancer causing agents that we allow to be routinely added to cosmetics, cleaners foods and clothing, not to mention the dozens more that are allowed to find their way into our food, water and the soils on which we grow our food could have something to do with the rise in rates of this terrible disease, but we try to pick around the edges of the vast scab the disease has created in our culture, without concern for the sources of the disease.
We could host a walk for each and every cancer in every city in America and probably increase the rates still further, because of the fumes created by the need to drive to the rallying point for the walks, advertize them, create the banners, directional signage and the commemorative cheap plastic crap from China with the names of all the sponsors on them. If we got really lucky, the organizations would fund further research quite possibly involving releasing even more carcinogens into the water and atmosphere. Past experience tells us that rather than come clean about the riskiness of discharging and adding evermore carcinogenic compounds to more and more consumer “goods” and the environment, the research would instead focus on a specific compound or technique for battling the results of our lifestyles rather than the causes of these dreaded diseases.
Likewise, common sense has virtually no part in decisions being made on such crucial matters as energy, transportation, education, food production, or most social programs. If the costs escalate beyond the potential benefits from any undertaking, most normal people would seriously question whether to continue along that path. Our politics, economic interests and ability to understand and measure the effects we have on the world around us seems to be severely compromised. We continue to believe the lies of the nuclear industry that were proven to be wrong over fifty years ago. We continue to believe that tens of thousands of years trying to safely store the waste that was generated long ago, to make electricity that has been long long ago utilized amounts to a debt owed by hundreds of generations to come. The costs will continue to exact their toll no matter what we do to conserve energy and cut back on this, the dirtiest energy on earth. Our current President thinks that nuclear is carbon neutral. Just tell that to the grunts who waste thousands of gallons of diesel, mining uranium, or the mill workers who grind and concentrate the ore, the hundreds of fossil fuel burning appliances that are used to enrich the uranium, or the thousands of trucks needed to create the facilities and move both fuel and waste around the country. Virtually nothing humans do anymore is carbon neutral, least of all, generate electric power form nuclear reactors.
In the future, we will need to seriously undertake the process of considering well the costs and results of our actions. Not based on fallacious and expedient lies told by powerful corporations and high priced lobbyists who back whoever pays them their going rate for their time and “expertise”, but based on truth, and accurate assessment of actual facts. The short-term consequences of making better decisions may cause some disruption, especially for the highest of the high rollers, but for the good of everyone, it is necessary and desirable to make better choices. Here in Wisconsin, since we have gotten our new Governor, we have seen all too clearly the results of allowing the uneducated to assume positions of power. Benign neglect almost seems worse than basing our opinions and decisions on outright lies and deception. I am not a fan of putting people down for any reason, but allowing the stupid to ascend to the highest office in the state makes no sense. In just a few months, we have changed from a state with real prospects and a surging economy, experiencing rapid economic expansion, to a society of fearful and shocked folks who have no drive or impetus for changing anything. All the good that we had done, some that took thirty years has been flushed away by one man and his cronies who just rode into town on the wave of discontent that the Bush era tax cuts led to. Economic collapse is never pretty, but bail outs for the richest and most poorly managed corporate entities with a total disregard for the common man makes many of us sick to our stomachs.
Without an educated public, there is no one left to question our “leaders”. Without clean air, water and food, more of us will perish as a result of pollution. As we look to the future, it is most bright if we redouble our efforts to bring up our children healthy, loved and well educated. anything less will end disastrously. On balance, we need to make choices that reflect our values and the good sense of those who we elect to make our decisions for us, not the whim of those corporations that suck up the lion’s share of the welfare that our government doles out. If we think of our actions truthfully, we would see enough fraud and abuse that we would stop right now, today, bring our agents home from their disruptive actions overseas, make the paper-pushers get real jobs making the world better, and stop listening to those who would rather see us scared and hooked up tot he television rather than active in our communities. we have the knowledge to beat cancer, stop heart disease, and get fit. culturally, we can all see the need for these changes to occur, but too much money is made by the doctors and the fad diet purveyors. We will all have to speak truth to power for a long time to get them to start to understand. no one likes to be told that they are irrelevant, but as long as we live lives of fear and quiet desperation, we will continue to be victimized by industry. The last time I checked, America was founded on by and for the people, not commerce, business or industry. If they refuse to serve our cultural and health needs, if they continue to poison our air and water, if they refuse to listen to sense, then it is time for them to step aside.