Earth Day 2012. I recall the first Earth Day. We’ve done precious little to improve things.
We’ve filled the Pacific Ocean with so much trash that we’ve created a floating island of plastic and other trash that covers more surface area than Texas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch
We’ve overfished the oceans for commercially important seafood while simultaneously killing immense numbers of less desirable species by means of our fishing techniques.
Our submarine drilling procedures and practices have polluted vast areas of ocean due to leaks of oil at wellheads. The scope of the BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico has still to be determined. Clean-up after that disaster consists of far more than policing up tar on the beach and spending millions in advertising BP’s continued commitment to the clean up and recovery.
Coal companies in the U.S. are busily denuding and removing mountaintops in order to obtain coal with fewer employees than are required by other techniques. These processes destroy watersheds, forests, wildlife, and ultimately contribute to increased downstream pollution and flooding.
Our federal and state legislators are firmly in thrall to energy companies that are ruining the aquifers that many people depend upon for potable water wells by means of “fracking.”
One of our two major political parties is conspiring with corporate sponsors to remove any social safety nets that have previously been enacted; and with the Christian evangelicals and other religious fanatics to bring about a repressive theocracy that will push our cultural and social traditions and practices back to Colonial days. Our government would then be essentially equivalent to the Taliban when they controlled Afghanistan.
The other major political party is so self-engaged in maintaining re-elections that it is unable to carry out its own function. Its members of Congress and Senators are virtually paralyzed and powerless to oppose the other party and its corporate owners.
Even the definition of a “person” is now uncertain. The Supreme Court, in a massive payoff maneuver for the Bush II administration, has equated corporations with humans. Meanwhile, the Evangelicals are intent upon assigning “personhood” status to every fertilized human egg. This anti-family planning campaign is intended to strip the last 100 years of social and medical progress from American women.
If the GOP/teavangelists have their way, the only human voters will be white males who own property and who belong to the finally approved Christian cult that wins official status as the 1st Amendment is stripped away from the Constitution. Minorities of all sorts will be disenfranchised and many will be deported. Corporations will cast most votes.
We will continue to breed as if the planet was not already over-populated. We will brandish the club of “American Exceptionalism” to justify our continued rape of the earth and its resources, even as we slide rapidly into third-world nation status.
Did I mention that today is Earth Day?