Monday, September 26, 2016

Overdue Bills


May I confess something here? I find the news about climate change terrifying. The one thing that helps us lowly mortals keep our sanity amidst the most severe trials life throws at us is the sense of continuity. Life will go on. We may not see or enjoy this particular needed change, but our children will. The present is bleak, but the future looks brighter. These are the thoughts that bring us comfort and feed our hope.

How I wish I could be like Mr. Trump and his followers and deny that climate change is real! How I would love that! I’d love to think that the sun is not more intense than it used to be, the seas are not rising, the polar ice caps are not melting. Maybe if I say it often enough and loud enough, “This is not happening!” it will go away.

On that note, I also would like to live another 50 years without aging, eat ice cream every day without getting fat, ignore the bills piling up on my desk and have the companies call me up and say, “That’s okay. You don’t need to pay them.” If only. Wouldn’t it be nice.

But denying something isn’t happening doesn’t make it go away. Climate change is real. Some say it’s too late, some say it’s not, but all say that time is running out. We have to act and we have to act fast and we have to act now. The bills are overdue and the Earth is charging exorbitant late fees. Whatever else is in your mind about casually voting this November, whether it be going with the maniac who denies the Paris Climate-Change findings, not voting or thinking it’s a good idea to vote for the third-party candidate that speaks your values, think about this before you pull down that lever. We cannot afford four more years of business as usual and/or business worse than usual. And your grandchildren will not curse you for you short-sightedness because they won’t be around. Just a bunch of cockroaches wondering what happened to all those weird two-legged animals.

Okay, now I’m doing what I hate and feeding your fear and fear makes you shut down or has you putting your hands over your ears shouting like a toddler in tantrum “LA DE DAH DE DAH! I’M NOT LISTENING!!!!!!” So hold on a moment. Deep breath. Let me start again.

Hello, friends. I just came from a gathering of folks who work with a non-profit called Corporate Accountability International. Their track record of working on behalf of justice, survival and sustainability is impressive! Almost three decades of victories convincing Nestles to stop pushing bad infant formula in third-world countries, convincing G.E. to leave the nuclear arms industry, getting Pepsi to admit their bottled water came from the tap, stopping (or slowing down) McDonald’s from addicting children to harmful fast food with their Happy Meals. And now climate change is at the top of their agenda with the first goal of removing the corporate fossil fuels industry from the decision-making process of regulations affecting climate change.

It’s a simple, effective and necessary first step and no-brainer some thirty years later than it should be. Rule Number One: If you make a product under investigation for its dangerous effects, you can not be on the committee carrying out the investigation. Duh! And once this happens, we can finally harness the considerable brain-power of the world’s scientists and start to implement the changes and regulations that will slow down climate change and buy us time to figure out ways to stop it altogether. Wouldn’t that be nice?  

These are good people doing good work. They're dedicated, organized and effective, even as they are Davids standing up to the mega-corporate Goliaths. But they need our help.So check them out, join them, send them money or all of the above. (www.stopcorporateabuse.org) It's time to pay the bills.

PS Oh, and if you understand that mortality is real, too much ice cream adds pounds, bills will need to be paid, don’t forget to vote. (May I suggest Hilary as the only viable candidate who might take this all seriously?) If you’re not sure about the facts above, stay home. 

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