“Have faith: The state of our union is hopeful, resilient, and enduring.”
Rep. Joe Kennedy III delivered the Democrats’ rebuttal to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address with a powerful message of hope. He spoke of a nation of immigrants working together, full of hope for the future. The American Dream is alive. We need to build resilient communities and care for other countries, seeking alternatives to hate and war. This is not the end of America, we will endure. Kennedy spoke from the heart and his words were compelling, a clear call for action.
Resiliency is essential
Building resilient communities is an essential response to the 21st century’s sustainability crises. Think Resilience by Richard Heinberg is a self-paced online video course to help you get started. You will learn how to make sense of the complex challenges society now faces, what are the underlying, systemic forces at play, what brought us to this place, and how to build community resilience. Please visit resiliency.org and postcarbon.org.
Traditional economic thinking, based on consumption ignoring environmental costs, is no longer relevant. Ecological economics includes Earth’s natural systems, human health and well-being.
The prosperity claims of the Trump administration were based on irrelevant, deceptive numbers, and the US deficit and the national debt were ignored, along with the crisis in Puerto Rico. Trump claims credit for the stock market gains. Ironically, the DOW Industrial Index lost 400 points as he slowly read his SOTU, and kept going down, ending the week 666 points lower. On Monday, the DOW lost over 1,000 points. Karma?
Chaos is used by the rich, to profit from the poor. Here are some of the threats we face and suggestions on how to overcome GOP distractions that create hate and fear.
The Department of the Interior is expediting the leasing process on public land for oil and gas drilling. Under the new guidelines, leases must be processed within a 60-day period without public review. The changes were announced one day before leasing Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears monuments in Utah. The Natural Resources Defense Council works to safeguard the earth, its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. NRDC supports a fracking ban on public lands. Please join and support their efforts at nrdc.org.
Natural forests are the opposite of pine tree plantations. Wetlands are our best defense for eroding coastlines and rising seas. Standing forests and the carbon-rich soil help mitigate climate disruption by sequestering carbon dioxide and providing clean air. These oxygen factories protect the soil from erosion and severe flooding, and store and filter rainwater. Please join the Dogwood Alliance Forest Defenders at dogwoodalliance.org the top organization protecting our forests from clear cut disease (CD).
The US Forest Service and most foresters are trained to see forests as timber and fuel energy sources. This is an incurable mental disorder preventing foresters from understanding the true value of the trees and soil. Arkansas has a high incidence rate of CD in Pine Bluff and Clark County, near the Ouachita National Forest, a 1.8-million-acre natural treasure. US Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) introduced the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017” (H.R. 2936), a nasty bill to give USFS unlimited power to harvest natural forests without environmental review. Westerman has an extreme case of CD, a high threat for the climate emergency. Highland wood pellet mills and a larger smelly Shandong Sun Paper mill requiring massive amounts of fresh water are also in the high threat list.
This is Trump’s ace in the hole. Tweeting threats of fire and fury to North Korea is only to fund the 2018 military budget. How do we replace the war system? What truly makes us secure? What are the foundations of a peace system? Please join Building the Alternative Global Security System, an online course at worldbeyondwar.org starting February 26.
Call for Action
The stakes have never been higher. There is a great deal of work ahead. With faith, we embrace the challenge knowing we will prevail.