Does holding rallies work for the betterment of the country?

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

Wild fires burn in California; the polar ice cap melts; storms brew in the Atlantic and the Pacific that wipe out habitats animal, vegetable and mineral; wet places turn dry and dry places turn wet. The news folks tell us all about it, and then the news turns to political rallies.

Do you live in the middle of the country and grow crops? Do you live on a coast and harvest shrimp or lobster or salmon? Do you live in a tourist area where pristine beaches or tall forests are a draw? Then surely the facts of climate change make you edgy, if not out of work.

Our leader denies the fact of climate change during his abiding concern with getting himself re-elected six years from now. He is busy rallying, palling around with strongmen and playing golf so that it seems he does not see to all the business of the country he thinks he leads.

Those who elected him did hope he would learn the ropes. We all did. But some of us have come to realize that not only do we have no leadership, all the hopeful rules and regulations having to do with climate change set in place before his election have been reneged on.

These rules and regs were thought about deeply and enacted not to hurt corporations or commerce but to help our Earth fight back with all her strength as she was informing us that we’re doing it all wrong and we better listen to her. The rules, feeble as they were, are being stricken down by the day. And climate change is on us even sooner than predicted.

If the man who is our leader wants praise from more than just his base, we would be delighted, thrilled to give it to him. To mitigate a few of the urgent climate problems, he could get our praise by doing a dozen things, like — how’s this – put up a wall, many walls, sturdy foundations with many doors leading to reparation, rejuvenation, sustainability, forward thinking, scientific planning.

Man, we could have a leader, we could have someone who actually took charge and changed the onslaught of our human greed and ignorance. We could have someone who could do something about what truly is hurting our country as well as the rest of the countries of the world. We could have a man who rallied not just a bunch of angry folks who appear to hate immigrants and people of color because he does, but all of us, he could rally all of us to save our patch, our planet.

Because of the politicians who are paying attention to bottom-line money folks rather than to the scientists who know exactly what’s happening, we’re reaping the whirlwind – and this is no metaphor, this is reality. The whirlwind is the heat waves, the fires, the floods, the unprecedented increase in devastating natural events altering what we know of the places we live.

I hear the statement, “We have seen the enemy and it is climate change.”

We have seen the enemy and it is the people we elect to lead us who do not respond with any sense, with any morality. Because of our leaders, we all are going to see worse than we see right now.

What can we do? Will my vote get me representatives who will pay attention to something other than their getting elected again? The new folks we might elect, will they be as timid and greedy in the next two or six years as the ones they replace?

When we vote in November here in America, are there enough good ones to vote for? We have problems to beat the band – health care, education, taxation, infrastructure, meanness to the “other”…and then there is climate change. Perhaps these politicians will notice that their areas of representation are in dire straits, and climate change might ruin their lives, too. Kowtowing to oil and gas and other polluting corporate giants might keep them in office but in what swamp do they think money and influence will hide them when their roofs fall in?

It seems that it is difficult for some of our politicians to grasp what is happening to the climate of Earth. But if they, our hirees, do get it, will they have the brains, the guts – that thing called moral courage — to do something about it?

They could think about a personal mantra from a very good musician, a drummer named Tony Bergeron whose mantra is “Do better.”

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