This week marks the 26th time that the world’s powers have come together (COP 26) to attempt to address the climate crisis. It appears that once again, big business and big money hold most of the power.
Before President Biden left the USA to fly to Glasgow and speak at the conference, Joe Manchin, senator from West Virginia, was demonstrating just how much power these businesses hold. Ol’ Joe has large personal investments in coal and other fossil fuels, and he is also the largest recipient of cash from Fossil Fuel Companies into his re-election war chest. It must be nice to be the beneficiary of legal corruption.
Joe Manchin was mostly single handedly able to derail President Biden’s Build Back Better plan with his refusal to support both the size of the proposal and the inclusion of key issues that would have addressed the climate crisis in a substantial manner. Besides greatly reducing the domestic addressing of the crisis, he also stripped Biden of real power to influence other wealthy nations to take substantial steps at COP 26. If Biden had the original content of his proposal as something to show the other nations of the world that we, the USA, were taking seriously the depth of this crisis, we may well have been able to truly influence the momentum in a good way. Instead, it appears that three quarters of the way through the conference, necessary steps and goals are falling far short of what is needed to preserve any semblance of the diverse and beautiful world that we inherited from our parents.
I find it personally frustrating and often downright depressing to witness the corruption, negligence and all out focus of maintaining the status quo. I know a lot of people who are working hard on getting the people around them to open their eyes to reality. Many people are reaching out to their representatives, only to receive boiler plate responses with no substance, no real acknowledgment of our concerns.
People far smarter than I have been saying that the single biggest thing that any of us can do to address the climate crisis is to talk about it. This often takes courage and a willingness to learn more, to become engaged. Most of us would rather be doing something else with our time. And, for those with their eyes wide open, time is of the essence.
I was in the woods early this morning, watching the sun rise over the eastern line of trees. The crows were calling, the sky was clear, geese were lifting off a nearby cornfield in waves. I have been blessed with a lifetime spent on the land, in meadows, woods, near streams and lakes and ponds. The connection to “the Spirit that Moves In All Things” has lifted me, grounded me, swelled my heart and made my life rich. I weep at the thought of those coming in the next 7 generations never knowing, never having the opportunity to see and hear and feel what I have felt. I will talk to people.
Steve Aman, The Wandering Bobcat