Category: Wise Guys Blog
Growing up on the beach in Florida, tar in the sand and the ocean was an everyday occurrence. My Pop kept a can of turpentine handy to clean our feet and surfboards every time we got home from romping in the waves and sand. I didn’t step in tar every day in Cocoa Beach, but it was about a 50/50 chance. As I got older and started venturing into the big surf (yes, we got big surf in Cocoa Beach – hurricanes, remember), there were many times where a hunk of floating tar made contact with my board, foot or hand, ruining my new wax job, or staining my board shorts forever.
It was annoying, but I never paid much attention to it, until one big tropical storm day on a 20-minute paddle out, my buddy Jeff paddled straight into a softball sized hunk of sticky tar, and literally turned into the Tar Baby from Song of the South. I laughed till I fell off my board and kept laughing for hours, days, and weeks after. Jeff had the stuff all over his body and board, and had to paddle in for a nasty cleanup. I stayed out and caught 10 foot bombs for hours with a smile on my face. I was 19, and an idiot.
Fast forward to today. I now live in Southern California, and surf Malibu and the South Bay. Beautiful scenery and beautiful, cold waves. I’m older, a bit wiser, and I have a daughter who will one day be out in the surf with me. Tar is no longer funny. In fact, its presence is a sober reminder of how tragic the existence of post-industrial mankind is for our planet Earth. We are a tragedy upon our planet. How does that sound? We are creating the 6th mass extinction of life on the planet that we inhabit. As a species, we bring nothing beneficial to the Earth. Nothing. We are depleting the soil, using up all the fresh water aquifers, cutting down all the ancient forests, removing 250 million years of fossil fuels from the rocks and burning it ALL in the space of 300 years. We have wiped out most of the great animals that once inhabited the planet, and those that remain are just minutes from obliteration at our hands. To feed our appetite for meat, we have stopped true farming, and started industrial slaughter on the scale of a mass apocalypse. We ARE the apocalypse. We are death rained down on our earth – the plants, our fellow animals, and ultimately upon ourselves.
Sounds bleak? It is. Read some real science and you’ll take a deep sigh, bow your head and vow to change your ways – I did, a long time ago. I look back on the kid who laughed at tar, and I shake my head. I have been part of the problem. I still am, any environmentalist who drives a car and uses a computer is. But now I am making changes, offsetting my footprint. And though it may be too late to turn the Titanic, I WILL do my part to make change, and to be a human who is no longer a plague upon the Earth I so love.
Ironically it was surfing that opened my eyes to the beauty of nature and to the preciousness of our planet. It was my Republican Pop who took me surfing as a kid, and first taught me to conserve – water, paper, fuel. He taught me to be a “good Indian, and leave no tracks”. That was back when Republicans were leading the Environmental charge. They have a very different agenda now.
But their agenda need not be ours. Ultimately we are the people who are devouring the resources, not them. We are the people who are burning the fuels, not them. We are the people who support factory farming, eat too much meat and buy too much plastic junk. We are making the tar babies, not them. We are free to choose, to conserve, to recycle, to buy a hybrid car, to keep that cell phone for a couple extra years. We can buy solar panels, eat organic foods, and choose fish that is sustainably fished. There are so many little things we can do to change our legacy, and all we need to do is… do it.
I don’t laugh when I think of my buddy Jeff coated in tar a quarter mile off the coast of Satellite Beach. I sigh, and cry, and re-commit to being different, to treading lightly and to “leave no tracks.”
What has brought our country to this level of insanity? A good chunk of the American population has always been hateful, bigoted, greedy, self-serving and staunchly against doing the right thing if it goes against “my right to make money any way I see fit.” Just study the history of Slavery if you have any doubt about this fact.
Today’s slavery, in America is the Environment. Humans are currently destroying the planet and all its non-edible species. The 6th mass extinction is under way, caused by man. So now we have every credible scientist on planet Earth telling the entire world that we are emitting so much carbon through burning fossil fuels that we are changing the composition of the atmosphere enough to cause rapid warming of the planet.
Enter the fossil fuel industry. They launched a mega-campaign funded by energy Billionaires like the Koch Brothers to deny the evidence of science. They enlisted (using $) Fox news, and every conservative pundit in the media to tout their message to their viewers and listeners. Their technique – use their media outlets to cast un-founded doubt on science in general, buy a few scientists to join the denial team, pay off every politician who is willing to be corrupted, and bully the conservative population until they lock-step with the message to the point that they become conspiracy theorists, and bullies themselves.
Has it worked? Just read the article below, and you’ll be astounded. For those of use who don’t listen to political pundits, and who get our news from a huge variety of sources (including FOX), this all seems like insanity.
For those of us who study history as a hobby, this is just another of many, many instances where a giant corporation has controlled and guided society to their own ends. We know from history that whoever controls the media, controls the minds who consume the media. In our polarized era, we have one half of the country consuming media from Newcorp and it’s affiliated companies, and Newscorp is working hand-in-hand to drive a message that is leading to the destruction of our environment.
What can we do? Now that the conservatives has taken control of the Senate, all we can do is raise our voice and write our representatives. We can also write to the corporations asking them to change, and reinvest in renewable energy.
Can we change our neighbor’s minds on the subject of climate change? Not likely. Research is been done that shows that a denier’s beliefs cannot be swayed by a non-denier. Attempting to do so only creates a low-brain fight or flight reaction (usually fight). Just bless them and pray they come around before it’s too late. And thank the Lord for NASA.
Our government is certainly divided along clear lines. I’d stake my fortune that many of the Republican who voted nay, really do believe in science, but they are afraid to stand up for what they believe. It’s called job security.
I’m adding them here just for posterity:
UNITED STATES SENATORS stood up for what they believed in today—and it wasn’t pretty. During a debate over construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, intended to carry oil from Canada to the United States, the Senate voted on an amendment—just for show, really—on whether climate change “is real and not a hoax.” Easy question—everyone said yes, it’s real. (Well, not everyone. Good job, Senator Roger Wicker, Republican from Mississippi 1. You do not believe science.) But then Brian Schatz, Democrat from Hawaii, decided to push the issue. He introduced another amendment adding that human activity was a significant contributor to the aforementioned climate change. And the Senate voted again.
The results? Ahem. Fifty US senators affirmed that they indeed do believe that the activities of human beings contribute to climate change. OK. But 49 senators—fully half the upper house that represents our grand republic—do not. So, hey, you go out there and burn whatever carbon you want to? Not sure what to make of that. But we thought you might want to know just which representatives have absolved you of your responsibility to the planet. So here’s a list—of the senators who think climate change is some other species’ problem, and then the senators who wish we’d maybe do something about it.
Voted against the amendment (nay—human activities don’t contribute to climate change)
Barrasso, John (R – WY)
Voted for the amendment (yea—
Alexander, Lamar (R – TN)
How bout a battery that can power your house? Tesla is releasing a new battery that works along side solar panels greatly add to their efficiency. I already have solar panels on my roof, this would be icing on the cake. My next big purchase?? I’ll be doing the math. Check it out.
This is Paul Smith, a man with cerebral palsy, who learned to use a typewriter as a paintbrush. This video blew me away. He has been practicing his art since the age of 11. He didn’t even learn to speak until he was 16. He’s been living in the same care facility since 1967, producing artwork and bringing joy to his world. Check it out.
A Portuguese anti-racism commercial. We have so much racism in our country, we sometimes forget that this is a universal problem. The Portuguese were a major slave trading nation, with Brazil as their chief importer of slavery. This commercial speaks for all nations with well timed precision.
Racism is the spike of poison stabbed into the heart of The United States as it’s very founding. A compromise with the Devil. It is up to us… our modern, enlightened generations to extract the spike, remove the poison, and purify the great dream. Have a look at the video.
Prince Ea with another great rap.
This time he is taking on the massive destruction of our Earth’s forests by our corporations. I say “our” because both the Earth and the corporations are ours. Ours to save and ours to stop. The Earth lays defenseless at the iron boots of humanity and we’ve been kicking her for 200 years. Kicking her in the mountains, kicking her in the forests, kicking her in the oceans, river and streams. We’ve kicking her bounty of life, removing species after species from existence. All with the mindless efficiency. All with heartless cruelty. All with one single, universal, dominating excuse… that we have the right to financial gain at the expense of anything or anyone that may lay in the path. We allow our corporations to operate with the overriding principal that “the ends always justifies the means” and a world view that looks no farther than what can be acquired and banked right now.
Prince Ea using his lyrical gifts to inspire and uplift. This guy is solid. Are we working to live or living to work? An age old question that reminds us to seek out happiness in life, and to remember that work is only one spoke of the wheel of our reality.