4.07.2011

SOME GOOD NEWS IN THE POLLUTION FIGHT!


Yesterday the Senate voted down several pro-pollution amendments that would have gutted the Clean Air Act–and blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from doing what we want it to do: protect the quality of our air and water.
The polluter lobby is lavishly funded. But those of us who want to protect our children's future have something even more precious on our side: love. Lots of it. And that has energized and inspired countless people to write, protest, agitate, plea and argue. I know, it sounds corny. I could just as easily say we have "passion" on our side. We're galvanized. Or "right". There is simply no moral argument on the side of pollution.
We are passionate in this fight, and we are doing the right thing. But, as I've talked about it to many mothers and fathers,  I'm beginning to see that the reason these pollution issues strike even deeper into our hearts is that they awaken that fierce parental love that will do whatever it takes to protect a child. For that reason, many of us are engaging politically for the first time. It feels like the right thing to do–and it feels like the loving thing to do.
Cheers to everyone who wrote to coal plant owners, the EPA, and elected officials on up to the President. We still have lots more work to do; there will be more votes. But at least today we get a glimmer of hope. Success can come of the hard work of being an engaged, loving citizen.

6 comments:

karensandburg said...

i too was thrilled to hear this news. dominique, as you have so often pointed out, this earth is filled to the brim with surprising beauty and gifts for us all to enjoy if we just take the moments to notice. today's EPA victory is a gift we gave back to our planet and shows us that environmental activism does indeed work.

you asked in a previous post for comments about why your environmental posts receive less attention than less weighty posts such as flowers and tea towels. they feel like the flip side of the coin to me. i think that people have to realize that in order to continue enjoying the beauty around us, we have to protect it. sure, it feels better to think about and enjoy the lovely crystal formations on winter plants, but those plants and the water that they grow next to and the air around them is being degraded by polluters. more people need to get involved in protecting this lovely planet or it will one day not be as lovely and we won't be able to meditate and gaze happily at the wonders around us...

mary said...

I jumped when I read that WE had won!! I completely agree that it is because we, as members of society and parents have the power of love to give us inspiration and direction in the battle to heal Our Earth. It is now easier than ever before to contact your representative or other governmental official: they are an email or phone call away. The tide of caring and informed individuals cannot be stemmed and it is our responsibility to make our voices heard.

pamingram said...

I read something many years ago by Theodore Roszak that I saved and offer as another element of what draws or repels people about environmental discusssions: "environmentalism is grounded in a vision of human nature. What do people need, what do they fear, what do they love? What makes them do what they do: reason or passion, altruism or selfishness? Questions like these set the tone and shape the tactics of political action. Start from the assumption that people are greedy brutes, and the tone of all you say will be one of contempt. Assume that people are self-destructively stupid, and your tactics are apt to become overbearing at best, dictatorial at worst. As for those on the receiving end of the assumption, shame has always been among the most unpredictable motivations in politics; it too easily laps over into resentment. Call someone's entire way of life into question-- as environmental activists are prone to do--and what you are apt to produce is defensive rigidity.."
Dominique has framed this discussion in very inclusive terms and as Karen and Mary have suggested,it's easier than we might imagine to express our concerns, our convictions. pamela

Warren said...

Let's celebrate the win by changing how we consume. Pollution is ultimately tied to consumption. Turn down the heat; drink tap water. Bring back your bottles and cans from road trips to recycle at home. Give one red rose if you must instead of a dozen. Your changed habits will be noted, not always positively. My kids hate the newspaper on the presents. Your friends will not understand so do it quietly. It will hurt a little too. We are not brought up to do with less.

Kathryn said...

Well, yes, but yesterday the House voted to prevent the EPA from regulating emissions from industrial sources. This (and other off-topic issues) were included in a vote to keep parts of the federal government funded -- so pay the troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan -- but also allow industrial pollution to go unchecked.

Yes, it's important to take actions on a daily basis (recycle, etc.) but ultimately we have vote and ask our representatives to vote for the interests of citizens (our health, clean air, clean water) and not for-profit corporations.

Dominique said...

The House will keep up the barrage of bad proposals, and we'll have to keep fighting them. And yes, it is important that we change our individual ways--if only because it is unseemly to be wasteful, now that we know that our resources are not infinite. One red rose, from Ecuador...or one pink hellebore from the front yard...lovely thought. We have to keep up the pressure on the regulatory front. And I think that once in a while we have to stop and remind ourselves that things can change--hence the focus on good rather than bad news. There's plenty of that to go around. I love the quote from Pam Ingram, that bears re-reading many times. Many thanks.