Inspiration: Don't Leave Environmentalists in Charge

Singapore Welcome
Arjuna inspired me to embrace karma yoga - enlightenment through good deeds and work, rather than meditation pure and simple.

Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall inspired me to make protection of rain forests and coral reefs the good I could preserve, rather than produce on my own.

Lester Brown inspired me to scientifically and statistically weigh the impacts of mankinds consumption, and to reduce extraction (mining, refining, forestry, consumption).

Hesse's Siddhartha inspired me to enter business and reality, and to put my foot in every pool, building myself through leadership and exposure to trials.

My grandparents and great grandparents inspired me to work ethic, faith, and sacrifice, to making do and being more than your job defines you to be.

Plato and Socrates obviously inspired me.

My mother inspired me to be open to all of the above, and to expand my geographical horizons, and that if I spoke of being a monk in the Himalayas that was a completely normal thing for her.  My dad inspired me to become someone important.

My wife and children's inspirations are personal, if vital, to who I have become that I couldn't not have planned.

So, as I near 50, I find myself in an odd position of trying to steer the environmentalist juggernaut.  Having found that many people like me - millions - were also inspired by Cousteau, Goodall, and Brown, I find that we environmentalists have excercised our power of caring to leverage millions of dollars in taxes, and in regulatory power.

Cousteau changed world with film
At this stage, we have gotten much of the control we protested for and sought when I was a teenager.   I see that we are better at protesting for even more than we are of auditing and accounting for the control we were given.   It is time to weigh the environmental accounts.  It is time to prune and stop programs like lamp recycling, which "recycles" mercury hg right back into commerce in the Amazon.  It is time to stop ROHS if it is dredging coral reefs for "non-toxic" tin.  It is time to halt the obsolescence in hindsight which has taken the reigns of product stewardship laws, destroying display devices for computers which are needed... paid for by people who are scrounging so little money they have to get online freedom.

I am not against asking for more controls.  But environmentalists must be at our best.  That means firing friends who we protested with, if they are not doing a good job with our environmental economy.  We cannot leave environmental protesters in charge of environmental management.  As crisis and emergency, species depletion, oil spills, poaching and waste grow louder, we must resist the temptation to grip tightly to laws we've already passed, like an egotistical pharmacist refusing to change a prescription.

We must aspire to the same self-regulation of environmental health science which western medical science requires.  It is time for environmentalists to grow up, embrace dialectic, and stop political bickering when compromise is due.

If we embrace logic and science and accounting, truth will earn us credence, a currency we will need in a future crisis.   Not everyone opposed to an environmental regulation or law is the enemy.  Someone who votes for every single environmental law proposed will destroy the coral reefs of the world in cocky arrogance.

Inspiration is powerful.  It made me.  But we must separate inspiration from management, whatever we do.

Jesus was the inspiration.  Paul built a church around Jesus.  I have an incredible range of feelings about Christianity, from more-than-inspiration in any list above, to shock and dismay at how my inspiration has been leveraged.   I'm not saying that management takes over the inspiration and that everything runs perfectly afterwards for ever.   We will have to turn over the money-changers tables from time to time, like changing the oil in an automobile.  Every six months or 3,000 miles of being Christian, read Trungpa's "Cutting through Spiritual Materialism".  For fair trade recycling, e-stewards, or R2 to work, we will also need scheduled maintenance.

Should guitars be exported?  Warning - this is beautiful Flavinha Souza Cantando
cover on youtube stops abruptly after 3 minutes, Brazil cameraman must have run out of battery, tape, or drive space.  So you don't have to listen all the way through.  The disturbance of the song ending abruptly mirrors the pain I feel when the Geeks of Color lose their right to buy used computers, set up internet cafes, establish homegrown e-waste recycling, and sing for the green revolutions in the emerging world.   We are all Jacques Cousteau.

No comments: