Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Letter to Stu

I too believe that the system is broken.

But I don't believe that those who control the system will fix it. They don't want to. They're conservatives. They don't want change. Those who have succeeded, often at any cost, don't want change. They want to stay on top – at any cost.

I suspect that is the reason so many civilizations before ours have collapsed. Their systems ceased to be able to respond to change.

The conditions of our world are constantly changing, like a switchback road down a steep mountain. We don't want to be the on the bus without power steering – and a driver who only wants to go straight ahead.

...All I ask; is that we consider the consequences.

I'm concerned that there is a possibility, just a possibility, that things could get worse and worse, until humanity just goes extinct. And I fear that it there is a faint possibility that it could even happen in my lifetime.

Now, it only makes sense to face that possibility and do what needs to be done to avert the future's worst case scenario.

You know what scenario I'm talking about. Our civilization is at risk from a combination of human population explosion, resource depletion, and the poisoning of our environment. Talk about a perfect storm. Yet Americans have known about these major threats to our future for 30 years now, and we've done essentially nothing. Talk about a lack of leadership.

If we don't un-break our system, it's going to be extraordinarily difficult deal with these monumental changes to our economy – and our suburban lifestyle.

I don't want to live in a gated community, inside a fenced-in country. What's the point? To keep out the suffering masses? It won't matter. We may be able to build a fence high enough so as not to see others suffering, but we can't build a fence high enough to keep out pollution and climate change.

We have to be responsible about this now.

Even Bush Jr. has admitted that America is “addicted to oil.” What? What? Did I miss an evil laugh after he said that?

I think it's pretty obvious by now that the Bush administration has done their very best to maximize profits for the fossil fuel industry. Just check the record profits for the oil industry corporations for the past few years. I don't think we could have imagined, back in 2000, just how bad things could get. We're in an unnecessary war, which is actually an occupation – for no-bid oil company contracts. The price of gas has what, doubled, tripled? Sure, its gone down, but it never should have been that high in the first place. And worst: the definitive proof that global warming is proceeding much faster than we ever expected has been met with nothing but stonewalling – by America. Even China is cleaning up it's act now. But not us. The Republicans have filibustered every Energy Bill that has come up in the Senate this year.

Republicans may be correct about some things, but they have totally failed to deal with these awesome risks with a clear head or moral bone in their body. The Democrats aren't innocent either, but they're less guilty.

Obama may be promising more than he can deliver. But at least, he claims to be willing to try. Face it; the Republicans' only real response to the depletion of oil is to drill for a little more oil – in beautiful, natural places we would much rather save. That's worse than unimaginative. That's criminal. And all John W. McBush III can promise is more of the same. He even has what is effectively an oil-man for a Vice-Presidential candidate!

Have we forgotten Dick Cheney's secret meeting with the fossil fuel industry's executives the first thing he got into office? That was enough to make the paranoid among us suspect that there might even be some vast-right-wing conspiracy. But let's face it, back in 2001, the paranoid among us would have done a better job of predicting the future.

We may never really know why the price of fossil fuels got so high, but we do know who benefited. (First Enron, now Exxon.) And I have no doubt these giant corporations have far too much influence over both parties – and the press. These are the people who care more about short-term personal profits than long term success of our civilization. These are the people who have taken over our government, by taking over the Republican party. But, of course, that's what powerful people do. It's been going on ever since the beginning of governments. Unfortunately, this time its different. If we break our planet, everyone loses.

Yes, our system is broken. Worse, America is closer to fascism than it has ever been. And not that silly “liberal fascism” the right-wing pundits talk about. Real Fascism. Is that to be our nation's response to all of this? Fascism? Back during the Great Depression the Germans resorted to Hitler, and Americans resorted to FDR. I hope we have the sense to make the better decision again.

...But this time the situation we face is much more complex than back during the Great Depression. And the consequences of more of the same are far greater. This time, even the rich can die. This isn't a right wing/left wing argument. This is about corruption. Only a corrupt government would ignore our long-term future. And our government has been either Republican or Republicrat controlled for the past 30 years.

For example, consider that perfect storm on the horizon. The Republicans' response to the population explosion is to restrict contraception and attempt to ban abortions. Their response to resource depletion is to expend three trillion dollars (and hundreds of billions on oil) conquer another country (or two) for their oil. And the Republicans' response to environmental destruction is to subsidize it. This has to change, or there will be a significantly greater chance that humanity is screwed.

I was once like you. I even voted for Ronald Reagan the first time. But since then, I've done something that you haven't been willing to do. I read those articles and books that you've casually dismissed as “all lies.” And I found out the those “lies” often had more truth to them than what the fossil-fuel-funded corporate-owned mass media has been feeding us. Just ask yourself; who pays for your news? Who decides what gets reported and what gets ignored? Not you.

You should be curious. I'm claiming that I have information that you need. But I understand. It's OK if you're not interested. One letter won't likely counteract a lifetime of programing. But, remember to be honest with yourself, and don't ever claim again that your information sources are “fair and balanced.”

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