We can change the world

The Blue Marble - NASA photo

The Blue Marble - NASA photo

Action on Capitol Hill (and elsewhere)

We are not a lobbying group, but we are a group that advocates for public policies that promote the health of the eco-communities of the planet and economic justice within the human community – two completely interwoven aspects of true ecological health.

In the words of Passionist Father Thomas Berry, we advocate for a “mutually enhancing relationship” between humans and the rest of the Earth community.

The Earth has taken a beating in recent years, as have those among us struggling with poverty or near-poverty, with unemployment and home foreclosures. History shows that vast gaps between rich and poor and rising poverty never interact well for the health of the planet. The secret agenda behind much of the anti-government rhetoric, as we know from the millions upon millions of dollars spent by billionaires and corporations, is to remove more government regulations from some of the most earth-destructive businesses on Earth, like coal mining, fracking for natural gas, off-shore drilling, exploitation of oil tar sands, ethanol, industrial agriculture, and more.

Here in my state, Sen. Ron Johnson, the Tea Party-backed Republican who defeated Sen. Russ Feingold in 2010, is a plastics manufacturer and therefore dependent on oil for his industry. One of his top agenda items is to defeat anything like cap-and-trade or carbon taxes that would raise the cost of production in his industry. He is also an admirer of Ayn Rand. This is just one example of how politicians backed by certain corporate sectors can impact our future in this planet.

Yes, we have our work cut out for us.

But amidst the gloomy national political scene, something else is taking place – the incipient rising of the new way of life that must be nurtured and given space to grow as the old unravels, as the Earth responds to the damage done to it with climate change, depleted waters and soils, disappearing species, and more.

 

Photo: Margaret Swedish

All around us are signs of that new way of life. It is a central aspect of our mission to articulate that rising in the context of our growing ecological crisis.

So, hang in there! What is happening in our national and state-level politics is a sign of the strength of the resistance to change, but the change is coming in any case. Right now, we can advocate in defense of Clean Air laws, a strong Environmental Protection Agency, clean mass transit, renewable energy, and for the end of war, the end of subsidies for industrial agriculture, and for stringent environmental rules that would block destructive industries like fracking, tar sands mining, mountaintop removal coal-mining, more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and the Arctic, while investing in new energy technologies to get us off fossil fuels.

Just because a fossil fuel energy source is there does not mean it should be exploited.

We can advocate for our communities.  For a long time we have heard the slogan, “Think globally, act locally.”  Many are now saying, “Think locally, act locally,” while keeping the global in mind. Think about all the ways that our communities, towns, neighborhoods can become self-sustaining and resilient. That’s where the construction of the new life begins. And that’s where the hope of living through the turbulent times is nurtured, where it can give rise to the next phase for the human – the emergence out of this destructive growth-based industrial/technological society to that mutually enhancing existence of which Berry so often spoke.

Remember: there is no action too small to make a difference.

Stop Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

 

Walker Cat says, ‘Yes, Coal,’ by Dave Cooper, Mountaintop Removal Road Show

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Regular visitors to this blog know that we have rather strong feelings about the coal industry, and most especially its practice of blowing up mountains in the Appalachian Range to get at the coal buried within them. Put ‘mountaintopping’ into our search engine to access lots of information. Here we want to call your attention to some of the organizations whose work we continue to follow.

Mountain Justice Summer:  Besides their very good info, this group carries out training camps in coal country that provide information and organizing skills to help folks become active in the struggle to end this egregious practice.

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition: Out of Huntington, West Virginia, the site has photo galleries, action alert, newsletters, press releases, and more.

Coal River Mountain Watch: “Remembering the past, working for the future.”  Photo gallery, updates, info on energy alternatives.

Ilovemountains.org: This active and intriguing website, full of photos, videos, campaign info,  and news updates, is produced by Appalachian Voices.

Catholic Committee of Appalachia, long devoted to defending the land and peoples of Appalachian country

Stop Mountaintop Removal-West Virginia Coalition, coalition of several organizations, including Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Sierra Club, EarthJustice, and Coal River Mountain Watch.

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Join Tar Sands Action

Sign up to receive updates on the Keystone XL pipeline and coming advocacy and action opportunities.

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Climate Change

Climate Crisis Coalition – A good place to find info and advocacy opportunities on this crucial ecological crisis.