One of my favorite writers is Rob Brezsny, author of “Free Will Astrology” – he’s always amusing, eccentric, and pertinent. Last week, his forecast for Aquarius started with the news that “car pooling, composting and recycling are not going to be enough to rescue our dying ecosystem.”
How’s that for astrology?
Yet, this insight brought into focus a lot that I’ve been thinking about lately.
Essentially, it’s going to take a total transformation to make a difference in the life of what has been our lovely little planet – a transformation from the human species as exploiters, to humans as caretakers and conservators.
The corporate mentality that runs our world – the mentality of profits at any cost – looks at everything from human beings, along with any and all other species, along with all natural resources including the entire environment, as being an exploitable commodity.
And, paraphrasing author Chris Hedges, this is because consumption is the engine of corporate profits.
Beyond our own personal efforts to save the earth by changing the way each of us uses resources, we’ve got to revise the way corporations work, and this includes the corporate structure we call our “government.”
Just like children, corporations will have to learn to be accountable and responsible for their behavior – and, as you know, presently, they are not. Unless of course they are caught red-handed doing something so obviously wrong that there is nothing they can do but fess up. Even then, sometimes, like Chevron in South America, they will argue and fight to escape responsibility for their actions.
What is called for is a new level of consideration for our relationship within the natural world, along with our responsibilities to each other, to our children, and to the lives of those to come – to future generations.
This new level of responsibility (and response) is in fact an ancient worldview held by Native American and most other indigenous cultures.
You’ve heard about this viewpoint as the “7-Generations” concept – in which every decision made must be considered in the light of its impact on the next 7 generations.
But what about consumption?
How can we possibly live fulfilling lives if we can’t have everything we want? From big screen TV’s, to new SUV’s, to new shoes, to large estates, to iPods and iPhones, to ice cream, to tattoos, to plentiful wine, cheese, and meat, to toys, video games and everything and anything else we want? How can we possibly live without all this stuff?
The answer, of course, is that the quality of our lives is not dependant on consumption. We need clean air, clean water, and an unspoiled natural environment more than we need things. Want proof? Ask anyone who is seriously ill — they’ll tell you that without health, having things is meaningless.
And in fact, we do need healthy food – for everyone – and quality education, and health care, and family, friends, and companionship.
Ultimately we need a sustainable way of life for our lifetimes that doesn’t ruin the planet for the future, for those that come after us.
When I look at, and listen to, the current candidates for Sonoma County Supervisor in our district, there really is only one person running that measures up to this transformational level of care and concern – and that is Petaluma Mayor Pamela Torliatt.
She is the only person on the scene who is capable of moving beyond business as usual, to this ancient new paradigm I’ve been describing.
She is part of an evolutionary movement – perhaps she’s on the leading edge – that is absolutely necessary if our government is going to work at all in the new post self-serving greed environment that the whole earth is calling out for.
I don’t think that there is any argument that our past and present Board of Supervisors have aided and allowed the exploitation of Sonoma County resources for the benefit of business interests and the wealthy few that they represent – as opposed to representing the best interests of the people of Sonoma County. For proof of this, just look around.
And as far as the Supervisors leaving office at this time, my personal opinion is: don’t let the door hit you on the butt on your way out!
It’s time for a transformation of values – not only do we need to be concerned about the world, with its oil spills and stock market crashes, but we also need to be concerned about who represents us – we really must be represented by individuals who see the bigger picture – by representatives that act as caretakers of our shared resources, and not as exploiters.
And, this shift has got to occur here and now, here at home, where we live and work.
Everything else, aside from this central concern, is political smoke and mirrors designed to polarize and create knee-jerk reactions – a divide and conquer tactic, rendering a community divided and polarized, enacted for the benefit of the few.
So lets not talk trade-offs, offsets, or mitigations when it comes to the environment, and to caring for things that are as essential as the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the impact we have on all living beings we share Sonoma County with.
Your vote never has been as important as it is now.