It was a pleasure to read [Insert Name] letter to the editor last week. Why? Because a fellow citizen mentioned local government doing something about global warming in the first paragraph of his letter. Then that fellow citizen went on to point out that we can't expect federal and state government bodies to do much about the future of humanity on this planet.
A number of thinkers over the years, like Thomas Linzey from The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, have pointed out that state and federal environmental laws do more to protect the rights of corporations over the rights of communities and ecosystems. In other words, what environmental regulations regulate is environmentalists.
Perhaps this is why we're seeing militant environmentalism in the Penokee Hills. Maybe their actions are a result of the inherent injustice in the laws that have been written to protect the environment. As a result they've taken it upon themselves to do something about this in ways that most of us would not approve of. This is nothing new, of course. We've seen this throughout history surrounding many injustices. Slaves formed underground railroads and the Black Panthers fought back by any means necessary when faced with overt racism.
So this has got me wondering: If more citizens got together in their communities to lay out their visions of what a sustainable community is there would be no need for militant environmentalists because they'd have local laws in place to protect themselves and their landbase from destructive activities like the one being proposed in the Penokee Hills or the various frac sand mines to the south of us.
I think it's time for us to take the advice of Rene Diderot--the spiritual father of our American democracy-- when he said "If we look to the city rather than the state it's because we've given up hope that the state may create a new image for the city." That's what our country was founded on and perhaps that's what it is going to take for it to survive into the future.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Letter to the Editor
It was nice to take a 48 hour break from the internet. I finally got on to sit down and write a letter to our local newspaper's editor.