Kyoto Gathering - Earth Summit 2

This year began the race for the Democratic nominee for office of President of The United States of America. I have been listening to candidates to get acquainted with the focus of their issues and what they think is imperative for our country in the upcoming years of this New Millennium. If you have read my column for awhile then you would know that I am not affiliated with any particular party, but did vote independent in the past election and that I feel it important to have more than a two party system because often is the case that neither will represent the interests of the common citizen and neither will address the issues which should be truly important in the political arena for this country and the global community. My personal politics, greatest concern, and biggest fear is the status of the planet and the condition of the environment in our money focused economically driven society. If you did not already know, in 1992, there was a gathering of world scientist's in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, called the Earth Summit, which discussed the issues that American politicians did and still do ignore; list of crises included polluted water, oceans, soil, atmosphere, human overpopulation, and diminishing plant/animal species.

1600 Senior Scientist from 71 countries including over half of all the living Nobel prize winners, issued a statement that would indicate the importance of their findings and the crisis which we as a world community now find ourselves in. Signed on November 18th, 1992, and called "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity" it urgently pronounces, "Human Beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about. No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished. We, the undersigned, senior members of the world's scientific community, hereby warn all of humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the Earth and life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated."

Time magazine published their findings and selected the Earth as Person Of The Year. That being said so long ago and in such a way, how can the representatives of our political structure continue voicing politics which do not address the real issues that should dominate our political agendas. That is why I voted Independent in the past. There are other parties which think and feel the way that I do and even though they are not strong enough in the political arena to have access to the power and authority to make our government listen to what has been declared so long ago, I am hoping and God willing it will be one day soon, that they, the 3rd parties, find themselves in the same podiums as the candidates of the two party system, and force them to address the issues that they have denied for so long. And in that way bring awareness to the American and world community so others too, can follow lead and not only utilize the power of their vote, but vote for representatives that will not only promise, but fulfill duty to preserve this great nation of ours for posterity to come.

What I see dominating the two party system is empty guarantee from officials who speak of doing what is right for the American people but then undermine intentions with promised deals to lobbyist and financial backers that help pay for their campaigns. These campaign donations then set precedence for what they will actually do in office; which is what is needed to preserve their own and their supporters wealth and interest. The average American will never be able to 'afford' to 'buy' the attention of their representative. For years campaign finance reform became an issue because some independents and civilian watchdog groups made a big deal of it because they knew that the only way to hand the government back to the people was to limit or negate the sweetheart deals that take place before officials ever enter office. As long as government hopefuls have to pay for media time to bring awareness to themselves and their issues, campaigns will cost big money and that places the promise of those officials into the hands of those who can pay top dollar to support representatives running for office. If you do not believe this as a reality then please check-out, Paybacks, a report prepared by the NGOs Public Campaign and Earthjustice (www.publicampaign.org/publications/reports/paybacks/Paybacks.pdf) which shows Bush's approach to politics reflects his and his top aides' pasts in the oil, mining, timber, chemical and electric utility industries and thanks for the $44 million in contributions those industries showered on him and the Republican National Committee in 2000.

Even though campaign finance reform is an issue of great importance, the single most important issue affecting all of us is, has been, and will continue to be, are we in the immediate and long-term future, going to be able to find clean air to breath, clean water to drink, and clean foods to eat. These are the true issues that will in turn guarantee our survival, so that we can even consider approach and decision on the secondary issues that are everything else. What does war matter or secure if there is no agenda to preserve the environments which sustain us as nations in a united world that does not care about boundaries or differences? Does economy and the job market matter if one day soon all the water we drink and all the foods we eat poison us instead of rendering health? Does it matter if the market is up or down when the air we breath no longer sustains life or the ozone is so depleted that harmful rays from the sun burn everything on the outside? Listen to both the Democratic and Republican candidates and see if the environment is even mentioned as a priority in debate

The focus of my attention over the next few months is to decide whether to use my vote to stand for one of the Independents or help one of the Democrats just to get Bush out of office. In this time of pressing concern for the environment, he is the absolute worse President we could ever have and it is entirely because he has and will always make legislation in favor of oil and the future interests of oil. I won't spend all of this article trying to justify my opinion, but will quote just 1 of the dozens of sources found on the internet that provide sources that you can read for yourself to find out the full implication of why we cannot as a nation trust this man or leave him in office for another 4 years.

Campaigning in Michigan on September 29, 2000, Bush had said, "With the help of Congress, environmental groups and industry, we will require all power plants to meet clean air standards in order to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide within a reasonable period of time." However in the words of Mark Hertsfaard, in an article called "Trashing the Environment" (http://www.markhertsgaard.com/Articles/2003/BushPolicy/) says, "Every week seems to bring news of a fresh abomination, from making environmental impact assessments in the national forests optional, to excusing the country's dirtiest power plants from upgrading their pollution controls, to stripping protection from 20 million acres of wetlands, to recycling nuclear waste within consumer goods. (The latter lunacy so far remains only a proposal, but it illustrates a mindset.) Suffice it to say that no Administration since the dawn of the modern environmental era forty years ago has done more to facilitate degradation of the ecosystems that make life on earth possible."

Green party officials have maintained that the only effective steps against global warming are drastic reductions in the consumption of fossil fuels (of which the U.S. remains the largest consumer), conversion to alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power, sustainable development and economic policies, and the preservation of forests and other natural areas which help process atmospheric carbon dioxide. Bush refuses to admit that global climate change is responsible for the temperature rise that scientist project will bring more extreme weather of all kinds, but perhaps the single most disturbing thing about Bush and his cronies is that they think they are untouchable and that no matter what they do, we the American public are too dumb to do anything to stop them.

Mark Hertsgaard concludes his article with this surprise statement, "So, will Bush end up paying a price in 2004 for his betrayal of environmental values? His supporters in corporate America and the far right are apparently so blinded by their ideological biases that they perceive little political risk. Paul Weyrich, the president of the Free Congress Foundation, told the Washington Post in March 2001 that things would be fine as long as the body count didn't get too high: "There's a risk with some of the swing voters, but unless something happens where lots of people turn up dead before the election, these issues are not going to resonate with lots of voters." An unnamed senior Republican agreed, asserting that "unless there's a catastrophe, these decisions aren't going to affect a mom in Fairfax."

Are we going to allow the blatant disregard of not only our civil rights, but our inalienable right to live in a pollution free environment and world, that our elected government officials fight to protect and preserve. If we are to have any chance of turning things around for our domestic and world environments, we have to, absolutely have to, move away from using oil which supports those countries who have oil and support terrorists. This just causes us to have to spend more money on wars to fight terrorists that were trained and financed by the money we used to buy the oil we need to support an energy source we no longer can find or have readily available to us in the States. We must look into supporting those zero-point energy technologies that do exist and are capable of literally saving the world.

Please if you have not done so already, register to vote and be a smart voter wherein you vote only for those people who represent the broad range of your interests and not just by word. Shop around for candidate as you would for a car. Who we elect in the upcoming race for President quite honestly will decide if we are even going to survive the next decade without tragedy being headlined in our every evening news. Those scientists in 1992 gave us only a few more decades. It has already been one, will we make it to the next? This is entirely up to us. Namaste.