Thank you for taking the time to comment on the previous post pertaining to global climate change. I’ve received dozens of emails in addition to the published comments. Many of the opinions have been from people telling me horror stories about how their land and the air they breathe have been polluted by one industry or another. Unfortunately, the topic of Global Warming or Climate Change or as I like to refer to it, Chaotic Climate or Climate Related Mayhem, is both contentious and sometimes difficult to dissect. The polluting industries and their comrades including the Rightwing Media have spent millions of dollars attempting to distort the issue and muddle the available data. They realize that if the public opts for prudent and rational behavior then their abilities to profit at the expense of the land will be greatly diminished. In the end, this is less about a cleaner environment than it is about a small group of people continuing to reap great profits while destroying the planet. In the clinical sense their actions would be defined at the very least as “hyper-instrumental” in that they will use anyone or anything as an instrument to get what they want with no feelings of guilt, remorse or anxiety. In its most extreme form it is called sociopathology. But ask yourself: Isn’t it better to have clean water, breathable air, genuine forests (not tree groves), and a landscape that isn’t choked with toxins and carcinogens? If we can work towards those goals then the topic of global climate change becomes moot. It is, after all, our continued desecration of the earth that has raised these broader issues.
I received emails from people who have experienced the terror of living in areas where intense gas well drilling is occurring. One correspondent from the town of Hebbronville, Texas said that parts of the town have a nauseating smell as a result of the drilling. He said that an area to the west near a small town called Catarina is also enduring the effects of both toxic air and polluted subsurface water from hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Another letter was from a lady who said her husband’s COPD was greatly exacerbated by the air pollution in the city where she lives. She added that she has become active in educating others about what polluted skies do not only to those suffering from respiratory diseases but also to children with developing lungs. One particularly poignant email came from the great state of West Virginia where a company called ironically “Freedom Industries” spilled two extremely toxic chemicals into the Elk River and poisoned the drinking water for about 350,000 people. You might recall the CEO of Freedom Industries appearing on national television replete with a bottle of pure drinking water and complaining that it had been a long day and he was tired and (swig, swig) he just wanted to go home. It reminded me of the CEO of British Petroleum (BP) who during the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico where millions of people were impacted and great swaths of shoreline were forever damaged and eleven men lost their lives said that he “just wanted to get [his] life back.” Both of those men are prime examples of hyper-instrumental behavior. In the email the writer from West Virginia said that her family has been shattered by the leaking poisons and that they fear many of the local residents might have to eventually relocate. In other words, they have possibly lost their homes.
For most of us who meet at this blog-site the central issue revolves around our ability to enjoy nature. Whether we are bushcrafters or birders or native plant aficionados or all three combined we share a deep connection to the land and to preserving the wilds. Thus anything that threatens our love for nature also threatens us both as individuals and as a collective group. We don’t just sit idly by as the land and the air is polluted by those who could not care less about nature and whose sole motivation is to profit at the expense of others. Judging from the letters and from the friendships I have made through this blog I gather that we are all very much the same and that most of us are active in the cause of saving the land, the water and the air we all breathe. In other words, when others destroy the natural world then they are in effect destroying us. And that is why we are passionate about topics like clean water, unpolluted skies, and diverse natural habitats. We revel at the sight of a bird or when we hear it singing; we are filled with emotion upon looking at mountains in the distance; we hunger for quiet walks in the forest; and we are appalled when others speak of bulldozing a prime patch of nature or when we see where callous and selfish people deliberately poison our underground water supplies and fill our skies with contaminants. And perhaps most of all—judging from the comments and emails I’ve received over several years of blogging—we are not of the type to just sit back and be victims. Yes, it seems that those of us who gather at this blog-site are fighters each and every one. So please let’s keep the dialogue going. I enjoy reading your opinions whether in the comments section or in emails. Discussion is the key to understanding and analysis.