Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving In America

As the holidays unfold, we find ourselves on the heels of a divisive and contentious presidential election. It has been a difficult November for those of us concerned about environmental degradation and a tightening grip on the middle class and poor. Informal support groups for progressives seem to be the order of the day as we ask ourselves " what is happening to America?"

Months before the Presidental Election, I tossed around which new person would I vote for come election time. As John Kerry was appearing more and more like a republican "look alike" except for a few important issues (environment and energy), I began considering the hated Ralf Nader. My thinking was this: Why would any democrat want to inherit the clean up job required to follow George W. Bush? It would take 4 years to clean up the mess GW left. Perhaps another 4 years of GW would help energize folks and the problems with his policies would reap real fruit.

Looks like we are going down this path. The question remains, how much damage will occur over the next 4 years. It is certain that corporate power will continue to solidify at the expense of the common good.

My life has changed by this election and will continue to react. I can no longer sit back while listening to the great flushing sound of our future going down the toilet.

While I am eternal grateful for the comforts we Americans enjoy I am also cognizant of the fact that we Americans are setting at terrible example to rest of the world in regards to energy usage and resource depletion. While recent studies reveal that every measureable living system is in decline and 15,000 species are at risk for extinction, should we order another glass of wine at our table on the deck of the titanic?

As much as we like to finger point to the problems corporations are creating for society, they are miniscule compared to the individual habits we, as Americans, employ to plunder our living enviroment. To borrow a conservative saying, we need to embrace "personal responsibilty" as we look towards a better tomorrow.

So, happy Thanksgiving to us all. Please enjoy the bounty before you, however, realize that our actions have a profound impact on our natural world. We can understand that impact by learning about where our food comes from and what is in it. Pick up John Robbins Diet For a New America, and you will be well on your way.

Mike

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