by Stephen Capra
This past week saw Bold Visions Conservation in North Carolina, where we led the conversation of a consortium of conservation groups about the future of North Carolina’s coast, a place Big Oil and its allies have targeted. For many of the North Carolina groups, it was yet another fight in a state that has seen Republicans destroy anything that resembles the betterment of all people.
While I was there I happened to catch an interview with a man who was talking about how Obamacare had saved his life. The interview was quite moving as the man broke down and made a simple and transcending remark, “What has happened to our society, people no longer seem to care about one another anymore.” His reference was in response to people hating Obamacare and wanting to gut healthcare for those less fortunate.
We have devolved; it seems, into a nation that far more resembles 1930’s Germany than the country that once stood for equality and justice for all. I say this in the context of when a nation begins to care more for individuals than the common good; we are on the wrong path.
Which takes us to the fight for our planet……..
The recent election manifested the reality that many have given up on the political system, and with this apathy, comes the voice of the individual, which yields power to the Koch Brothers as Kings, while depriving our huddled masses justice. If America will not invest in its own people with Health care and upholding woman’s right to choose, what chance will wolves have in the wild? Respecting all people, leads to the prosperity of our common quality of life, but defiling a group, or passing laws to harm a constituency, has the effect, much like war, of long-term damage that takes generations to heal.
This is why fighting for wolves and protecting lands and waters from oil development requires that we speak about and engage in issues that might seem unrelated, but in reality are part of the integration of life and set the stage for protections of all species.
If we support war in the Middle-East, then we are saying that fossil fuels must be an integral part of our future and we are willing to kill people under the guise of nation building. Our Congress does all it can to prop up Big Oil, Ranchers, and King Coal with subsidies, while killing the life of the very people they are in Congress to serve; and doing all they can to ignore climate change and the future of energy-safe, clean alternatives like solar.
If we are to create a true commons in America, we must go back to a country on the Hill that at least we believe once existed. Health care, true equality for all and stopping the military-industrial complex, which continues to starve our economy, these are important steps in protecting wolves in the wild; our beautiful oceans, and the wilderness that defines Alaska and the West. They are part of forcing America to remember the common good of shared grace, that when we protect wildness, we protect a part of our soul.
America the Beautiful was a song of the purpose and beauty of a place we call America. The new shining seas are dying; the West coast is defined by Tech firms eating their young. In the prairie lands women must drive for hours to obtain the rights to have control over their bodies and in the east the military controls Washington while Republicans look to make America a new image of England of the 1800’s.
We can do far better, but we must understand that like our environment, we are all interconnected, as are the issues that define us as a nation preparing for 2015.
“The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as a gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath."
--Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice
Bold Visions Conservation