Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Transforming War and Terror- Sustaining Ourselves

America can no longer afford not to fully look at the real meaning of national security. Our prosperity is directly tied to how we maintain world sustainability. Can we as a people have the courage to truly see that were a greater source of terror may hide?

Two years ago two special Assistants to the Chairman for Strategy to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Captain Wayne Porter, US Navy, and Colonel Mark “Puck” Mykleby, US Marine Corps wrote A NATIONAL STRATEGIC NARRATIVE By Mr. Y below is a short summary of their perspective (

This Strategic Narrative is intended to frame our National policy decisions regarding investment, security, economic development, the environment, and engagement well into this century. It is built upon the premise that we must sustain our enduring national interests – prosperity and security – within a “strategic ecosystem,” at home and abroad; that in complexity and uncertainty, there are opportunities and hope, as well as challenges, risk, and threat. The primary approach this Strategic Narrative advocates to achieve sustainable prosperity and security, is through the application of credible influence and strength, the pursuit of fair competition, acknowledgement of interdependencies and converging interests, and adaptation to complex, dynamic systems – all bounded by our national values.

Porter and Mykleby cite “America is a country conceived in liberty, founded on hope, and built upon the notion that anything is possible with enough hard work and imagination.

They further state;
”America’s national strategy in the second half of the last century was anchored in the belief that our global environment is a closed system to be controlled by mankind – through technology, power, and determination – to achieve security and prosperity”. But we failed to recognize that dominance, like fossil fuel, is not a sustainable source of energy. The new century brought with it a reminder that the world, in fact, is a complex, open system – constantly changing. And change brings with it uncertainty. What we really failed to recognize, is that in uncertainty and change, there is opportunity and hope.

Mr Y continues further:

“It is time for America to re-focus our national interests and principles through a long lens on the global environment of tomorrow. It is time to move beyond a strategy of containment to a strategy of sustainment (sustainability); from an emphasis on power and control to an emphasis on strength and influence; from a defensive posture of exclusion, to a proactive posture of engagement. We must recognize that security means more than defense, and sustaining security requires adaptation and evolution, the leverage of converging interests and interdependencies…

The bottom-line conclusion is that security and sustainability are interdependent. Without one the other does not happen. Let’s get lean and green and solve our problems with mending rather than ending. Otherwise our home will become a nasty war torn battlefield.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Appreciating Our Earth Day Everyday

When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may
begin to use it with love and respect.

—Aldo Leopold

41 years ago we celebrated our first Earth Day. Ten years later I was a national and DC Earth Day organizer. In 1970, the first Earth Day's message was heard and in the few years that followed, sweeping environmental legislation and a powerful time of reawakening. Today there is a growing realization of our impact on the natural world is a critical circumstance. This Earth Day we need to reflect seriously on the fact that time may really be running out for our planet's life support systems - and for us.

Yes Earth Day is a day of clean-ups, educational activities, tree plantings, speeches, conversations and other green events. However a greater global solidarity is essential so we can best cleanup of our Earth, our seas, and our skies. It is a day to teach simplification, to lessen our consumptive lifestyle, and to highlight the importance of establishing a deep and profound connection to the natural world, the cycles of life, and the rhythms of nature

Earth Day is a day like thanksgiving of having profound appreciation. Increasing our gratitude gives greater my purpose and a richer life. Invoking greater appreciation gives profound sense of joy. An understanding how all things are interconnected. This gratitude is that we are all not separate and our survival is about the greater whole. As we individuals develop greater compassion, courage, and tenacity, we can fully engage in the kind of holistic stewardship that is calling to us now.

A new dimension mind-set understands that trees have rights to be just as do people and all living things. Without one we will not have the other. Deforestation, stripping mountaintops, fracking for gas, and numerous other forms of reckless environmental exploitation may satisfy human needs in the short run. However this greed may rob generations of their future prosperity. Emerging is a new awareness on our how are not separate from our earth. A green awakening is happening to stimulate greater life-affirming and life enhancing choices.

Earth Day is global call to do more with less. Be smart, wise and conserve. Use best the precious resources we have, and teach our children that life sustaining acts plant seeds for future generations. Preserving and protecting our environment are tied to the very notion of environmental of human excellence. Humans can demonstrate their virtue and flourish the human experience by promoting healthier relationships with our planet.

Just a simple act like riding a bicycle serves to better our world. Any actions that directly promote the well-being of the larger ecological community serve to show our gratitude for the earth. Any choice that lessens harm on this planet must be supported. Any way we can better this planet directly betters ourselves. 41 years ago recycling was introduced into our vocabulary. Now we must follow the example of those chasing arrows. Give and you shall get. May you enjoy this day and every other one with a new reverence for this Earth and what is gives you!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Deal With a Full Deck

Isn’t this the greatest country? Where else in the world could you get dressed up as a fool and bomb (non violently) on the U.S. Capitol steps with bad jokes? 25 years ago, on April Fool’s Day, I visited my Congresswoman, Connie Morella, dressed up in a court jester costume. As Ray Cycle, I stood on the Capitol steps and proclaimed, "You’re not dealing with a full deck when you throw out the joker out! Recycle Our Nation’s Capital." American you are still so fuelish, Why not lessen our gas guzzling ways and proclaim energy efficiency?

For over 30 years, I have coped with working for the environment in a bureaucratic environment through random and deliberate small acts of humor. When I get too serious, I prefer to laugh rather than cry. I see the difference between a comedy and a tragedy as subtle, but significant-- we can learn from comedy rather than perpetuating a tragic fate. This is why I take refuge in our refuse.

Three decades ago while working at the D.C. Energy Office, I came up with the character of Ray Cycle. My plan was to entertain and promote the value of saving, conservation, thrift—simple good housekeeping. What could be more conservative? Some kids had pictures of baseball players as icons when they were growing up; I had a picture of a crying Indian lamenting the rape of the land. Now, I share the trademarked character of Ray Cycle with the State of Connecticut. Their Ray is a Super Hero; my Ray is just your American joker.

You see, Ray Cycle is always going around being "insightful and mindful". If waste becomes "out of sight and of mind" then the insanity of our blindness impacts future generations. After all, one used oil change improperly disposed of impacts the water supply of fifty people over a period of one year. If you dump it you may have to drink it since what goes around comes around.

Today I will observe that I am a comic not tragic person. Arise rather than fall in love. Let’s transform our waste making by saving our cards for future hands. We have a choice between tragic hard work or comic heart work. Let the humor you love be who you are. Please deal with a full deck. There are thousands of ways to bless ourselves and this earth. Our journey begins with a single awakening laugh.