Category Archives: Environment

The 2005 documentary Earthlings

I saw Earthlings for the first time today, although I had heard of it before. Joaquin Phoenix’s narration is masterful, but the footage is very upsetting to watch. I have been either vegetarian or vegan since 1989, so it wasn’t likely that the movie would change any of my beliefs in any serious way. The one belief it did change was that there is a movie out there that is so powerful that I believe every unconscious carnivore who watches it will have an epiphany.

We and our fellow species are all earthlings and this planet will live or die without us all. There is no way we can survive on this planet without the other species to preserve our biosphere. both planets and animals. If I can’t get you to watch Earthlings, a brilliant movie, may I suggest you at least look at the video found here. This video shows why it is necessary for us to allow predators to return to our national treasures, and why the cattlemen’s desire to kill the wolves is short-sighted and selfish. If we can’t protect the wolves by all going vegan, at least we should protect them for restoring Yellowstone for us. If you will watch only one of the two videos I’ve referenced here, watch the second one. But if you’re brave, go for both!

What’s Obama doing in the arctic?

I voted for Barack Obama twice, and I’ve generally been supportive of his attempts to create health care for all and his efforts at improving the lives of Dreamers. He talks a good game on other issues but I’m not so sure. First is today’s decision to allow Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic. He has spent some political capital in chivvying climate deniers, and yet he approves prospective drilling that won’t come online for years.By the time Shell has done its bit to destroy a fracile ecology, the need for oil should be substantially reduced.

What else has he done wrong? Can you say drones? We seem to have made the choice that preserves a few American lives at the expense of thousands of nonAmerican lives. Now I can’t blame only Obama for this. It’s a practice that was fully developed by the insane war in Iraq following 9/11. We lost a lot of people there, measured in the thousands, while Iraq lost people in the hundred thousands. We’ve just changed the orders of magnitude of the deaths. But when we kill wedding parties and little children, and say “Oops!” it’s not acceptable.

Finally there’s TPP. What on earth is Obama thinking? After the economic woes in this country after Clinton started this treaty idiocy, why would Obama go to bat for a corporate driven, employee trashing, trade balance busting, environment destroying, treaty negotiated predominately by corporate shills? This is not the man who promised us hope and change. This is a man who is showing that he is as bought and paid for as any politician in Washington.

I have to applaud one thing he has done recently. The Iran nuclear agreement is the only hope for lasting freedom from nuclear war in the middle east. It is, moreover, evidence that diplomacy can work. Gasp! We treated with other nations without banging the drums of war or acting like spoiled children who don’t get their way. We got something measurable in exchange. As the right wing moans that we didn’t get everything, I have one cautionary response.Grow up! We do not rule the world, nor should we. Iran is what it is today in large measure because of our ignorant support for many years of the Shah. We should get out of the business of telling other countries how they should rule themselves. We should certainly get out of the business of supporting autocratic rulers who hold their people down. But we should maintain a dialogue with everyone we can, because humanity’s best nature is compassion. We can understand if we try. And we can stop a headlong rush to nuclear bombs by Iran by talking.