Evolving Peace

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Warming Bush to Change ?

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win."

Here in Vermont, first it was Governor Douglas, then it was Exxon-Mobil and now according to the U.K’s Guardian President Bush plans to address Global Warming in his State of the Union Address. I still won’t believe it until I see it. Global Warming has been an issue that has been ignored, then laughed at, and vehemently attacked by the right wing, so it seems odd that all of sudden their tune is changing.

There is a political slogan that states, “if the people will lead the leaders will follow” and its premise is starting to show how true that is. Global Warming is an issue and it can not be taken lightly. Here in Vermont, as coverage of Global Warming dominates newspapers here in Vermont there is an inevitable mood that action needs to be taken. World wide the crisis is illuminating political discussion. So, what comes about this sudden change of direction from the right wing?

As I discussed in a previous post, I theorized that leaders of industry and top Republicans were aware of the problem, but they stalled on action to gain time to diversify their investments to a changing economy. I also suppose that here in Vermont, leaders such as the governor realize that the reality is so evident with the ever increasing rise in temperatures and that major portions of the Vermont economy are or will be feeling its side effects that it would be political suicide to ignore it. In regards to any change, if the people haven’t asked for it, it would still continue to be ignored. The people have been leading, now it is time for the government to lead and act.

Forty plus years ago, tensions were ripe in regards to race relations and leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King advocated for change. Tomorrow, the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Day in remembrance of his legacy. While there are still strong remnants of racism throughout the country, it was Dr. King who rose to the occasion and represented an increasing mood for change. A strong and powerful figure, Dr. King was not the one lone element that created the movement.

The movement was created by spontaneous and continues acts throughout history. Rosa Park’s courageous act in refusing to give up her seat, the Brown versus Board of Education decision, and northern whites emigrating to the south in an effort to assist the education and integration of blacks into the Southern power structure were all vital to the change that had occurred. More than that hundreds of political action groups such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP or CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) had formed to confront America’s racist undertone.

It was not that all of a sudden American woke up and decided to be fair and bring about equality; it was because the power structure had no choice but to listen. Continued denial was causing turmoil in the streets; cities like Detroit and Newark were burning to the ground. Rise of militant groups such as the Black Panthers could have brought out full scale revolution, so the powers that be had no choice but to respond to the needs of a large portion of the nation.

With the spirit of Martin Luther King I see an awakening happening here in regards to the environment and Global Warming. People have been acting and the attention of political leaders has been obtained. Leaders in the environmental movement such as Bill McKibben, Greenpeace, VPIRG, the Vermont Natural Resource Coalition and Vermont’s past gubernatorial candidate Scudder Parker have been acting on our behalf, but it is up to us all to keep it going. Just like the civil rights movement was not about one-man or one event, action on global warming must be a continual process of action. America is not free of racism and neither will it ever be from those who degrade the environment.

So, I hope that the story is true that Bush really is changing his tune(According to Reuters, US officials are denying the claim). If so it is our duty to keep him, Exxon-Mobil and politicians like Governor Douglass accountable to their words and actions. The issue needs to be addressed, but it just does not end there. Some scientists are predicating that Global Warming will wreck havoc on the earth’s environment and playing a political game with such possible dire circumstances would be just as fatal. There is no middle ground when it comes to the issue, it is either that we as a society change now or we pay the consequences later.

Robb Kidd

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” Dr. Martin Luther King, from “Letter From Birmingham City Jail” April 16,1963


At January 16, 2007 10:26 AM, Anonymous Vittal said...

It's really sad to see people like him who either can't appreciate or comprehend scientific facts.


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