Our World Report is the result of my sense of urgency about our current global situation. In particular my strong feeling that without change, the course the United States is on will result in the demise of our democracy with catastrophic consequences. Additionally, the United States is about the only country that questions the truth of global warming. Very unfortunate in that the US is responsible for much of the world’s CO2 emissions.
There seems to be so much important stuff going on in the world. Maybe too much. Uprising after uprising in the Middle East, the Japanese nuclear disaster, the demonstrations all across the US in defense of the middle class and the working poor, the assault on the environment, the corporate coup on the electoral process, the wars on two, now three fronts, etc., etc. Each of these has the potential to at worst get very ugly and maybe catastrophic or at best to wake people out of our self-centered apathy.
I watched a video of a talk a couple days ago given by Tim DeChristopher. He’s the guy who got arrested for posing as a bidder and buying several large tracts of public land being auctioned for oil exploration. It was a last minute sell off by the Bush administration. The young man seemed very sincere and wanted only to protect the environment and make a statement about big money buying our resources for profit. He is out on bond looking at up to 10 year in prison. (Update: Tim was convicted and sentenced to 2 years and is now serving that time.) Considering there was no violence involved and the fact that it is likely that the whole auction was illegally developed, it seems extremely harsh to me. Especially in light of the people at liberty who trashed the world economy and stole trillions with nothing more than greed as motivation.
He was speaking at the recent “Power Shift” gathering in Washington where around 10,000 people had come to hear talks, meet like minded people, get inspired and make plans. Tim made an interesting point. There is the start-up of a Fracking mine operation in Pennsylvania. If you aren’t familiar with what Fracking is, it’s basically a process of hydraulically shooting a toxic mix of chemicals horizontally through shale formations to drive out the natural gas deposits.
Through some legal loopholes it seems that the mining companies aren’t required to divulge entirely what chemicals they’re using. The fact that some of the yucky mix was spilled at another Pennsylvania mining site and a bunch of people had to be evacuated offers a hint. The chemicals that are known are very toxic, many are carcinogens.
In any case, the young man made the point that if 30 people from the audience were to go up to the mine and stage a non-violent action that the mine could be stopped for a day or two before being arrested. DeChristopher said if everyone in the room would do that, at 30 people a day, it is likely that the mine could be stopped for a year and probably result in the permanent shut down. He thought that before that would happen, the federal government would have to intervene and President Obama would be forced to take a stand, one way or the other. He felt strongly that it is a cause worth getting arrested for.
Civil disobedience is an American tradition, older than the Republic. Being in the Philippines however, I am limited to signing petitions, calling and emailing elected officials, commenting on news stories and posting stuff on facebook and twitter. I’d like to contribute to the progressive movement. In some ways, I may have a unique perspective by being overseas. I started small by simply adding a “category” on my blog called Truth 2 Power. As it turns out, I have enough that I feel compelled to say and the time and energy to devote to saying it in a concise and readable way. Our World Report is the result.
If I don’t do anything, I will have only myself to blame. If one finds himself on the wrong path, continuing on with only minor adjustments will merely delay the inevitable. It is my intent to add to the conversation in a meaningful way with the hope that if enough people speak out a tipping point will be reached.
That point will bring the whole global community in line with a realistic and ethical approach to our treatment of the planet and all of its inhabitants. Our technological prowess makes this essential if future generations are to thrive. Anything less will be a shameful historical legacy.