These are our times and our responsibilities. Every human being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our Mother Earth, from whom all life comes. In order to do this we must recognize the enemy - the one within us. We must begin with ourselves.
A good friend of mine is currently living in Alaska. She's been sending me pictures like these:
Yesterday, she sent me a letter from Robert Redford. (I told you she's a good friend.) It concerns the Bush administration's plans to destroy the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge whether America's citizens like it or not.
Here's part of the letter:
Congressional leaders are pushing for a quick vote that would turn America's greatest sanctuary for Arctic wildlife into a vast, polluted oil field. Even worse, they are planning to avoid public debate on this devastating measure by hiding it in a must-pass budget bill.
President Bush knows full well that oil drilled in the Arctic Refuge would take ten years to get to market and would never equal more than a paltry one or two percent of our nation's daily consumption. Simply put, sacrificing the crown jewel of our wildlife heritage would do nothing to reduce gas prices or break our addiction to Persian Gulf oil.
By unlocking the Arctic Refuge, they hope to open the door for oil, gas and coal giants to invade our last and best wild places: our western canyonlands, our ancient forests, our coastal waters, even our national monuments.
This is the real agenda behind the raid on the Arctic Refuge and the entire Bush-Cheney energy plan: to transfer our public estate into corporate hands so it can be liquidated for a quick buck.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) admitted as much when he said this battle over the Arctic Refuge is really a fight over whether energy exploration will be allowed in similarly sensitive areas in the future. "It's about precedent," Rep. DeLay said.
Even coming from someone less handsome, this would get my attention. If you'd like to become a voice in opposition to the administration's latest transgression against all that is decent and humane, go to Biogems and send a letter to your elected officials, before it's too late.
Click here if you'd like to hear about other Biogems action items, or some of their successes.
The Natural Resources Defense Council says that "this administration, in catering to industries that put America's health and natural heritage at risk, threatens to do more damage to our environmental protections than any other in U.S. history."
To read the NRDC's January 2005 report on the Bush administration's environmental record, click here (.pdf).
It's hard to know where to start, sometimes, in rolling back the tide of insults and injuries the U.S. has suffered under this Republican leadership. Laws can be repealed, and we can successfully bring our troops home. But once the Earth is damaged, it may be irrevocable. Start here.
We must live in harmony with the Natural World and recognize that excessive exploitation can only lead to our own destruction. We cannot trade the welfare of our future generations for profit now. We must abide by the Natural Law or be victim of its ultimate reality.
-- Leon Shenandoah
Tadodaho (moderator) of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy
Address to the U.N. General Assembly on October 25, 1985