California & The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act

Note: This is an unedited first draft, but it’s worth the heartbeats as is. The previous post (”Obama and the Environment”) should be read carefully prior to reviewing this article. The excerpt from Renascence below begs to be absorbed delicately. This is written primarily for select citizens of the Northwest.

California & The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act
Dedicated to a Music Party of California, headed by Jackson Browne or some other Beautiful Soul of Song. And the wildlife of the Great Northwest. And a simpler, more lovely life for us all.
by Oxman http://oxtogrind.org/about-us (aptosnews@gmail.com)

As per the previous post, people haven’t held the president to his promises, and our horrid environmental momentum — unprecedented deterioration, permanent desecration — will not abate unless concerned citizens embrace a new paradigm for protest or bringing about change. The thrust of this piece has little to do with criticizing, and everything to do with simply not waiting for the powers that be on The Hill to do the right thing. The good news is that I have a fresh model for action to recommend.

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
— Lines from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Renascence, which the great poet recited to the author when he visited her at Steepletop in Austerlitz, New York just prior to his eighth birthday… just prior to her death.

One of the reasons citizens have not done what’s necessary to date with regard to pressuring politicians for the collective good is that they simply don’t really know what’s at stake. Sure, everyone has been hit from all sorts of angles about crucial environmental issues for quite some time, but that’s different than viscerally understanding Mother Earth’s decline, truly seeing what Paul Ehrlich, president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University, calls “an array of interconnected environmental problems.” Problems slated to culminate in — at the very least — making life not worth living.

At present, according to every single poll I’ve accessed, the vast majority of the U.S. public is putting their faith either in scientists or career politicians to solve our most critical problems. Well, the former are not going to be implementing anything much without the encouragement of the latter. Academia is virtually totally controlled by the very corporations responsible for the greatest damage inflicted on Mother Earth, and Washington D.C. careerists are in the back pockets of the same.

Yet… well-meaning, highly educated and deeply experienced activists continue to make appeals to our representatives, either operating out of habit, giving the politicians more credit than they deserve, or openly stating that they’re resigned to working within the system as is.

I’m into working with the electoral system, but not within the parameters usually followed. [Specifics on that shortly.]

First off, one has to write off our reps on the federal level. If you don’t think so, I don’t think you digested the previous post properly. Take another bite of that sandwich, if you will. By “write off” I mean not having all your eggs placed in the federal basket(case).

Secondly, one cannot embrace obsolete forms of appeal as one’s primary or exclusive means of changing the status quo. Like marching in circles with placards. Like signing petitions. Like getting arrested at conferences or summits. Like writing letters to editors. I can provide a long list of their first cousins, upon request, but suffice it to say, for now, that I don’t like those forms of pushing for institutional change when they’re employed as one’s primary or exclusive means because they don’t work. They don’t work, and we don’t have the luxury to plant seeds which won’t bloom in time. We have deadlines.

For Grizzly Bears, Bull Trout and Wolves in the Northern Rockies there are deadlines as pressing as what any innocent faces on Death Row in our overcrowded prisons. And the authorities in each of those realms — the decision-making powers that be — are moving at an arthritic snail’s pace.

If anyone in Idaho wants to address the issue of wildfires or multiple wildlife concerns, I submit that they should join hands in solidarity with me in California as they continue to do the fine, necessary work they’re involved with at present focusing on legislation, etc. Ditto for citizens of Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. And residents of other realms concerned with other issues.

Why?

What the concerned citizens of those states need in their corner is an opportunity to help the public to self-educate at an unprecedented pace. There’s also a need to walk citizens through the steps necessary to pressure legislators from new angles. And all of that can be done from the gubernatorial office of California. [Pause.] Think about it. It’s one thing for the Governor of Idaho to take a stand in favor of The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act on, say, a given Tuesday. It’s her/his electoral realm. BUT… it would be quite another thing for a Governor of the Golden State to state that “It’s imperative that this bill be passed!” And it would be even more powerful if that were expressed not just on a Tuesday, but every day… forcefully and creatively. AND clearly linked to California issues.

Such an unprecedented proactive gesture would command national attention on an ongoing basis. In fact, it would secure even an international spotlight. But domestically such action would stand to change the game as it stands. Change the rules. Have a genuine chance at changing consciousness. Especially if that Governor of California were put into office the way in which TOSCA plans to do it. [TOSCA? That'll be described shortly.]

It is reasonable for the reader to wonder how a Guv of CA could afford to reach out in such a way beyond his or her borders, what with all crises confronting careerists in Sacramento these days. But the fact is that the crises of the Northwest must be addressed SIMULTANEOUSLY with major statewide concerns everywhere. This is what’s meant when Ehrlich talks about “interconnected environmental problems.”

I humbly and respectfully request that the reader leisurely review http://oxtogrind.org/archive/1073. Go over it slowly, not permitting yourself to dismiss it prematurely. Prepare to participate — following your reading of the telegraphic sound bite — in an in-depth session for obligatory Q&A. For you will have questions. The thing is, you’ll have to guard against providing your own answers ahead of time. [Pause.] Remember, please, that the delineation was written long ago for a select audience, for purposes which are not exactly aligned with yours. Also keep in mind, if you will, that there’s nothing there that cannot be tweaked.

There are people in the Northwest who could create a watershed in history. Not just for their all-important H.R. 3334, but for much much more. And even if The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act passed without any help from Californians, I submit that it would be wise to move in solidarity in general at this juncture.

I understand that there’s someone in the Great Northwest who might encourage twelve musicians to lead the electoral way as per TOSCA. And if that well-connected beautiful soul makes that possible… we could “let the face of God shine through.”

Blessings… and thanks for your kind consideration.

Afterword: The U.S. military is, arguably, the greatest single polluter on earth. As of 2003, when I began a major study on the subject, it had made uninhabitable a land mass (in the continental U.S.) the size of Florida. That toxic area, of course, is spread out over various parts of the U.S., some of which is well-known to select residents of the Northwest. The thing that’s not known, generally, is the degree to which proliferation of hazardous waste, etc. continues throughout the country and where. Again, I submit that since promises on the federal level in all sorts of realms have been broken repeatedly, we simply cannot make our collective efforts totally contingent upon the powers that be. For they, clearly, have priorities different than lovers of Mother Earth.