For the past 30 years I have advocated for conservation measures in the D.C. area. Each year, do-it-yourself motorists dump the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez spill just from their discarded motor oil, car filters, and anti-freeze in the metro area. It is, indeed, a slippery slope; if we can shift from rampant consumerism to resource conservation, we may be able to safeguard human survival.
Just read the Washington Post’s Sunday, January 29th front page article, “A Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change,” about Global Warming. Some experts warn that we may be reaching a point of no return after which it is too late to act. In the meantime, Exxon Mobil announced record-breaking profits for 2005 to the public -- $36.13 billion, the largest profit ever recorded by any corporation in
The good news is that more Washingtonians are recognizing that sustainability is not only essential but enhances our well being. When the insurance industry predicts increased environmental disasters for the future, it seems to recognize that man's activities are detrimental to the earth: changing weather through global warming and destroying nature's protective mechanisms such as wetlands. Recent hurricanes and other severe weather phenomena is an eerie reminder that we will suffer if we separate ourselves from our earth. Is our well being as important as our material wealth?
And what about future generations? An "out of sight, out of mind" mindset has arisen in our "wasted mentality" culture. This way of thinking threatens our well being. We must track our disposal of waste more completely and responsibly and document its consequences. Yes, more people recycle than vote in the
A new American Revolution will be founded by those who care for their grandchildren and will define what economy truly means. A new environmental seed is sprouting that will uncover a cloak of darkness that befalls us now. There is a silent war where increased disposability represents a form of terror. Can excel science and politics recapture and better inventory the 11 billion tons of resources yearly Americans use, not including nuclear and hazardous waste? The renewal of the American spirit will happen when we demonstrate that recapturing resources illustrate that that non-violence works. Let’s celebrate things that support life. Clean renewable energy, efficient transportation, non-toxic production and measures that protect of our forests, oceans, grasslands and wetlands are all ways that will liberate us. As we show greater respect for people, places and things, we will feel better about out future.
Can there be a tipping point here in DC where we see the opportunity in new sustainable ways? I have seen this happen assisting various area recycling efforts for paper, oil, computers, fluorescent lamps and other recyclables.
The Federal Electronics Challenge is one example where the government is leading by example to recover the 10,000 computer per week that is discarded. Especially, when you think the fed’s 2006 IT budget is $36.5 billion or seven percent of the worlds entire IT market share. Presently, numerous federal agencies are accounting $16.5 billion in environmentally sound management practices.
Our very freedom is in question until we awaken from the myth that we have a limitless supply of goods. We must awaken from the violence of our mismanagement. Let’s show we respect our community and manage our resources more safely for to give hope to our world. In return we find such leadership gives us greater freedom and a peace of mind. Responsible action equates to greater possibilities. Creating sustainable business is a critical democratic challenge demonstrating that conservation matters.
Better managing and accounting for our nation’s eco-capital must become “tenor” not the “terror” of our time. Remember we made a policy over the weapons of mass destruction “better safe then sorry.” Certainly global warming warrants such prudence since there are much graver consequences of ignoring Mother Nature as Hurricane Katrina proved. Once recapture our discards we can show our greater regards for life. Yes, we care for ourselves and the world. Washingtonians as future stewards, let’s not prey on the earth but rather pray and act together. Courage comes when we take the “h” from the front of "heart" and place at end so to spell "earth." Walk softly and act with wisdom and compassion so to enjoy greater liberation!