I listened to David Suzuki speak about our future as a species on this earth this evening. I want people to listen to scientists, pay attention and take notes. But I put off listening to him because he is a scientist and I thought he would talk over my head and well, put me to sleep.
But instead, I reached for paper and a pencil and took notes, I paid attention. He had me right away when he stated Rachel Carson's Silent Spring had gotten his attention back when it came out. You might remember me admitting it was the only book I ever took from a library 45 years ago and never returned. She died 2 years after it was published from cancer, perhaps from exposures to the very chemical pesticides she wrote were deadly to animals and birds.
Suzuki spoke of the challenge of our time, to have our species survive to the end of the century. Yes, this got me listening very closely. What an urgent message. He and all of us should be talking about the future of the planet. Economics and chasing growth has gotten us here, but in this finite world, growth cannot be sustained. Of course he meant 'Fossil Fuels has Got To Go' was not just a saying but the true message, we have got to get off fossil fuels to protect our land, soil and water. Pursue energy sources from the sun.
Speaking as the genius he is, but bringing it down so I could keep up, he explained how we need air to live, and can only live without it for about 3 minutes, though we can live longer but sicker if the air is not clean. We need water and can survive without it only about 3 days, longer but sicker if the water is not clean. We need soil to grow the crops we eat and can live only 40 days without food, longer but sicker if the soil is contaminated by toxic elements. Life sustained on this earth can provide all we need to survive, but clean water, soil and air gives us a better healthier life. And all of this can be provided with proper sunlight and the sacred elements cultures throughout the history of humanity have known.
It is the changes our species have made in the last century and into this one you might not believe we had the power to do, but believing that or not, Dr. Suzuki left us with a path every person could begin pursuing. #1 Use your voice, which might also mean to vote, #2 Live in a different way, be thoughtful in what you consume, #3 Create community.
I can do those things. I might not have a loud voice but you are reading my voice, I can live differently, plant more in the garden and eat out of it and share the abundance while we all save seeds as we grow our community, our circle can widen as we come to know each other better.
I have been allowed into the lives of people lately I had never known before or not as well, as my circle widens to learn more from the people who worked at BF Goodrich, or were household members of former workers.
That "create community" Suzuki spoke of, is the goal. I want us to create the public voice which asks for the community we deserve, one with the cleanest of air, clean swimmable, fishable and drinkable water, the land clear of rubble, without the fear of asbestos in the air and benzene in the soil beneath, and metal-loaded chat removed.
We need to remember to widen our circle of community to include our country neighbors. They need our help and we need theirs. There are 3 new mega poultry houses on highway 69 south of Miami. The new poultry processing plant our community did not get Gentry, Arkansas got and complete will need another 250 mega poultry houses to make it profitable. If you have land for sale, pay attention to who is buying it. Question buyers who have money in hand, loans already approved. Ask questions. Protect your land's neighbors this way. Hold off selling if you are suspicious.
Residents in towns take notice: setbacks are a topic you might never have thought could be important to you. But there are 2 bills in the Oklahoma House this session. House Bill 2534 by Rep. Meloyde Blancett, D-Tulsa — currently has requirements that are more stringent than what the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry proposed in December, while the other bill, Senate Bill 873 by Sen. Casey Murdock, R-Felt, currently has requirements much less stringent than those proposed by the department. I go stringent 2534 to protect air, water and quality of life and legislators must know.
Rachel Carson spoke of the road we must take, the one less traveled since it offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth. Written 55 years ago it was the urgent message we failed to take, but now must heed.
Respectfully submitted ~ Rebecca Jim