Tell me, because I've forgotten, what does hope feel like? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, really. I just don't remember.
See, while I am totally for saving the environment, I think it's not the most important thing out there these days. What do I think is more important than the environment? One thing - US. Not the U.S., not our economy, not our bank accounts, our SUVs or even our way of life. But our life itself. You see because WE are the problem and the solution - well, we WILL be the solution, but for now, we're just the problem. Here are some things I've observed about us wacky and not-so-lovable humans:
1) People are interested in maintaining their own lifestyles as they are. OR, improve their lifestyles by making more money.
2) People are so interested in 1) that they will perform all manner of mental rationalization in order to make it happen. Whether it be taking a crappy job that makes them hate life, or by stepping on people to get ahead.
3) There are way too many people who can't see past what's on TV tonight. (Oo! The Sopranos!)
4) There are also way too many people who say things like "sure, I'm all for the environment!" but then drive around an SUV in a major American city. (With no plans to ever take their vehicle off-road. Hauling is no excuse - why do you think God invented the mini-van?)
5) People are so afraid of risk, pain or ANY kind of suffering that if a disaster happened and our leaders took every last one of their rights away from them 'in exchange for their safety', they would sit down in their easy chair and smile, feeling safe again to watch Family Feud in 'peace'.
6) Movers and shakers in the world are happy to overlook the fact that marketing campaigns have effectively become brainwashing campaigns. Calling them 'propaganda' doesn't go far enough.
7) Movies, TV, media, politicians and other public figures set examples that only serve to enforce the above points in every member of the Western World.
8) Millions of people have died around the world in the name of profits, the bottom line. (See 1) And we hear barely word one of any of it on any of the mainstream news media outlets. The Sudan, Bosnia, Columbia, the Middle East, areas of Asia. All of these places are focal points for oil and death. Donï¿½t believe me? Do a Google search for any of those locations. Youï¿½ll find oil or violence-related stories for all of them.
My point in a nutshell is this: The environment will never be saved until the majority of humans on this planet stop treating each other with less respect than they do the environment.
Sure, 'education' is up compared to one hundred years ago, but lets compare the education the poor folks get to the education the white-- I mean the *rich* folks get. Let's check out health care. If you're rich, you get to pay for the procedures you need... until you need more procedures. Even the rich don't escape the fact that our health care industry is set up so that we're not *cured* we're just perpetuated. In the end, I don't care who is really behind 911, nor do I care about the Palestinians or the Israelis. I couldn't care less about famine in Africa or genocide in the Sudan, or the myriad lies we are told and tell ourselves here in the US.
All I want is for us to stop being so shitty to one another.
And no, I didn't just have a bad day, I'm just trying to point out that while I don't feel we are a suicidal animal, I do think we are incapable of respecting ourselves and others any less than we already do. And until this changes, THIS is the reason the environment can NEVER be the most important thing on our minds.
Humans have the potential to achieve great things. Explore the universe (both literally and figuratively) create works of art so grand they cause spontaneous tears of joy and/or sadness to fall, we are capable of such wonder, and yet most of what Humans do is one of three things:
1) Figure out how to make other people give you their money.
2) Figure out what you need to do to get the money you'll give to person #1.
Granted, there are exceptions (I did say 'most' of what humans do), but the generalization is that all we really want to do is have money so we can live the way we want to live. We're an entire species dedicated to the get-rich-quick-scheme. And when it comes to the people polluting the environment? Guess what kind of people they are. #1, #2 and #3.
This has been "Life According to ThePete: Sucks Doesn't It?" and I'm your host, ThePete saying good night and suck less!
Crap, I forgot to try to suggest a solution. Okay, here goes:
We need a new group. Maybe a political party even. This group would work quietly, subtly, working it's way into society's most powerful corners. From there, each member would illicit change. Right now, I am on a path to do just that. I am trying to change things with my writing. I work positive, environmentally responsible messages into everything I write. (Maybe that's why I've not sold more.) In my opinion, this is the only way a sweeping change can occur - gradually, over the span of many years. Long-term investment isn't easy, but I'm doing it.
By doing this, I know I'm opening myself up for an attack from people more cynical than I (if such a person can exist) for being stupid and thinking I can change the world with my writing but I don't give a crap. I'm putting myself out there. We all need to do more of what we believe is right, not what's right for our bank accounts. And that INCLUDES how we treat each other and our environment can come after that. Think about it - if we just save the environment, the people who were in power before are still there. What's to stop them from polluting the environment all over again? But if we get humans to treat each other with respect, then automatically, the environment will be saved, because, after all, hurting the environment is hurting ourselves.
You know, I think I do remember what hope feels like.