Environmental Disaster: Natural Disasters That Affect Ecosystems

the United States just celebrated Earth Day with a large outpouring of concern about the environment a lot of people demonstrating and talking about the environment we’re very fortunate on alternative views today to have John Milton with us if you haven’t heard of John Milton well you should have because he is one of the originals talking about the environment and doing something about the environment all around the world he’s one of the founders of Friends of the Earth he’s written eight or nine books about the the environment as an ecologist he actually wrote the first basic book on the environment called the future environments in North America and another one of his many books was called the careless technology the results of what happens when the World Bank and some of those people go in and have these different operations and different constructions which particularly in the third world John also has set up ecological activist coalition’s around the world he set up national parks all over the world and well gosh if I continued on talking about what he’s done it cuts into the time we have to talk with him so John we’re really pleased we’re going to be here a pleasure and that you flew in all the way from Colorado to be with us what we want to do is to have a general overall survey of all the ecological problems that face us and then talk about what is being done what we can do and whether it’s too late or not and also who is responsible for the environmental problems which we have right now well you’re specialists in the rain forest particular you’ve been all over the Amazon and in many parts of the world but is the rain forest destruction really as bad as what they say if anything I think it’s a little worse than what you generally hear in the media and one of the things that astounds me is that we’re now calculating that within the next 10 years most of the rain forests left in Southeast Asia which had one of the most diverse rain for us anywhere in the world it contains somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of the all the species that are found in the tropics that that forest will be virtually eliminated within the next ten years and what is causing that is that an aftermath of Vietnam and the Indochina Wars our economic development part of that is involved in the sense that the the whole movement of industrialization in that part of the world began to happen at that time but there’s there’s so many players now from so many different countries that are beginning to move into the into the Southeast Asian picture that you want the major players for example that’s become Japan and just as you both I’m sure quite aware of the role of the Japanese in causing the everything from the killing of tuna but we’re fishing in Alaskan waters tremendous devastation in terms of the ocean environment in the same way they’ve been a major factor in the destruction of the tropical forests of Indonesia and Malaysia and very recently began to move into Burma now Burma is a country that because it’s been so closed off from the outside world and because there’s been a war going on between those tribes in the north and the government down in Rangoon Rangoon in the South Burma has effectively remain closed to development interests from the outside the Japanese just recently negotiated a contract to go in there and do massive deforestation of the teak forests and the rainforests of Burma for the first time and that was the last place we had in Southeast Asia that we’ve helped at least in Burma those great forests would be protected and if there was a chance for the the reforestation of many of the other countries at least Burma would be a pool at which the reforestation could occur now even that is up in the air because of this Japanese initiative now they say that they and the multinational corporations in the various countries say that they want the raw materials or they industrialized countries North to use so this is why they’re doing it and they say that it’s worth the price what is the price of these raw materials no destroying the rainforest well that’s the whole problem with the economic system with that we’ve got there is basically all of the environmental costs are not factored in virtually all of them are not factored in when it comes to the way that the cost-benefit ratios are calculated in classical economic theory when you do a cost-benefit ratio in general the air of the water the genetic value of the genetic pool of resources that that’s involved all of these kinds of things are have no value whatsoever they’re not factored in it in any way another problem for the way in which we’ve we work our economics with the living web that is that by and large the cost-benefit ratio tends to favor particularly if you have a high discount rate it tends to favor very rapid consumption and utilization resources in the near-term future to make a profit as quickly as possible this allows you to pay off the discount rate to pay off the interest quickly to the banks yes and if that is a higher rate than of course you want to do it even faster this means that you basically in a cost-benefit ratio which balances the costs and the benefits in most cases because the your you’re running to make that profit and to pay back the banks or whatever the loan institution may be most of the costs most of the impacts are very very long-term costs and yet you may get the loss of an entire ecosystem or devastating floods in the in the Ganges could wipe out the homes and the livelihood for millions of people but in the near term you might get two or three years of productive agriculture up in the hills before everything starts to wash away what terms the cost-benefit ratio it makes sense to go ahead and plant those two or three years of crops make that profit and forget about what happens 20 years down the road it doesn’t matter because that’s so far down the road in terms of the cost-benefit ratio that it comes out in the ratio is a very tiny little figure it’s not amazing and that’s the way our decision making is made in terms of the environment we frequently read about in here about Brazil and what is happening there terrible destruction not only the rainforest but of people in their culture the vicious massacres of the Indians native populations in addition to this I’ve read some really scary things that because this is the play the enormous rainforests produced the oxygen which we eventually which we breathe as being recirculated around the world it mean is there really possible that the world could run out of oxygen because of the depletion of these rainforests it could certainly enter into a major of a major contribution in the depletion of the oxygen on the planet the oceans also play a major role in this but also in a rain and in the in every way rain in every way this could cause perhaps gravitas droughts around the world in a good example of this and people don’t generally realize this but the the tropical zones are acting like a huge weather generator if you go into the into the Amazon basin it’s amazing because those rains start out in the Atlantic Ocean and they start rolling across the Amazon basin a great rolling wave of weather and as it moves across the Amazon basin and you have the rainfall which then of course nurtures the rainforest the rain comes down and then approximately 75 to 80 percent of that rainfall is immediately that put transpired back into the atmosphere only something like 20% of it goes back into the river systems and then much of that actually gets pulled out by the roots again and also we circulated so perhaps only something like 10% of that that moisture actually goes back out to the Atlantic sly of the Amazon all the rest of it moves in a tremendous rolling wave of moisture and humidity that goes all the way across amazon waters it and then moves to the north in the south to water Venezuela and down to in the case of to the north – water Venezuelan to the south – water the Argentine the Chilean territory as it moves to the south it waters in particular some of the very fertile lands that we have down in in northern Argentina in particular it is virtually the major weather generator for the entire breadbasket of that part of South America which is probably the most productive area in South America with it was interesting when a series of multinational agricultural corporations moved into southern Brazil and Argentina Chile they saw that there was very very rich land in that part of the part of the world they decided they wanted it so they developed a scheme in collusion for the Brazilian government to basically buy out the settlers the people that had farmed that land the small farmers that had done a real good job for hundreds of years and that really rich agricultural land they worked at a deal with the Brazilian government to build roads with World Bank and a ID money from our country and then provided very attractive sending 160 plus hectare pieces of land in the Amazon rainforest not telling anybody that that sells only cultivatable for a few years and then it becomes infertile God solely infertile forever or can it be retrieve infertile forever under conventional agriculture thanks Tom and not only that it often becomes hard laterite and becomes a desert but that’s another story the point is that the basically had a forced exodus of millions of people from this the zone to the south which then settled the Amazon becomes the Amazon deforested vast areas the multinationals ended up with a good agricultural soil in the South that was not subject to the heavy leaching and loss of agricultural nutrients and soil nutrients that you find in in the tropics and the people that used to live on that land it ended up with soil which then produced for one to three years dig quite well and then suddenly they began to find that the protein yields my dad then they found that their overall yield just the amount of biomass amount of agricultural material that they can grow period began to drop and then suddenly they found they can hardly grow a thing because the leaching of when you have an agricultural system with its put into a rainforest the original system there is a very complex multi-tiered rainforest that basically has many strata to the forest and so you have high trees deep root systems broad root systems and layers underneath that with different networks of roots stand into the soil and enter an herbaceous layer with again a whole nother network of roots when the leaves fall because of the high temperatures they break down very fast and break down into soluble nutrients high rainfall high temperature those nutrients very quickly get leached out of the soil and immediately picked up by those root systems and recirculated back up into the living system so most of the fertility of the rainforest is literally in the living organic system it’s amazing when you cut that forest of course what the first thing that happens is you go and you plant your crops but it doesn’t the the network of roots only covers a very shallow area on the surface plus there many areas where there’s no crop at all lots of spaces in between so after a couple of years of rainfall under those high temperatures and high rainfall the nutrients start getting leached deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper meanwhile what’s left of the old roots of the old rain forest system begin to go and die off soon there’s nothing left to capture those nutrients and they’re lost forever eventually they go down into the earth then if you continue with your insanity your agricultural insanity what often happens is that that soil becomes a rock-hard laterite which means that it binds and becomes literally as hard as rock you have to take a pickaxe to it to break it up so you can’t then refine a chef in any way then it’s very difficult for roots to to get anything down into it it becomes baked and this is already happening as a result of the destruction exactly over what diamond expanse oh is it massive yes last year I remember the reports we had from the rainforests or something like they were reporting between fifty and a hundred thousand fires burning major fires printing just in the Amazon alone as as the Amazon was being cleared and the paradox and then the tragedy of this is that those people who were the victims the people that are being brought into that territory the whole motivation was to provoke to give the land away cheap to these multinational corporations that voted out for the south where you don’t have those high temperatures and you don’t have that heavy leaching because of the high rainfall and high high temperatures John Young would like our own Midwest you’d mentioned the devastating effect this would have on all of Latin America if the rainforest dries up because the weather from that goes as you said throughout the continent what effect does it have in a more global dimension in terms of global warming trends or then weather patterns that go to the United States Europe and the entire world is it a big impact on that as well yeah definitely because basically in the same way that we were talking about that rolling mass of moisture that moves across the Amazon two things other things happen when you can destroy the rainforest you destroy the entire winter weather generator for the countries to the north and the countries to the south which means you basically eliminate the rainfall base for Argentina Chile Venezuela Ecuador and so on it doesn’t just affect the Amazon basin it affects that entire area in addition just like an air conditioning unit when you remove all the vegetation all the transpiration and evaporation that’s occurring and you leave behind a kind of hot desertic kind of environment you completely change the rate at which the upwelling occurs of hot air along the equatorial belt and the related sub-material belts because they’re being deforested too that means that the whole weather generation system which basically depends upon a particular rates of you of the lifting of hot air up into thee from the equator its descent again further north all of that has a very powerful effect on wind patterns on rainfall distribution and so on all that gets totally disrupted all of our crops are entirely in all over the world are entirely dependent upon a stable weather distribution pattern if you change that suddenly the trees can’t live because they’re not getting enough rainfall or it starts getting too hot which you cold you basically introduce massive destabilization into global environments and totally unpredictable ways it’s much more serious than just the loss of oxygen which is serious but the main saying that I feel is the issue is the total destabilization of world clinic and when you think that just to loss in our Midwest let’s say if we have an average reduction of five inches of rainfall a year that’s it you’ve got a southwestern desert back to the Dust Bowl yeah and we’re at the same time we’re running out the we’ve already mined all the water out of the Oklahoma aquifer in the in the high plains so there’s no fossil water to fall back on because we’ve already wasted that and we’re poisoning what little is left with fertilizers and artificial fertilizers so we’re left with a situation where I can see that directly impacting our American breadbasket and already it’s happening it’s already happening well you see these documentaries are news stories about how the water is disappearing from out west because the big farms are using it up this is just another one of the ecological disasters and the aquifer poisoning at the same time even if we had didn’t have the problem with the e with rainforest destruction what effect would that have on the United States of the aquifer poisoning and the water depletion from overuse well basically this country under the wise and careful custodianship of the Native American peoples maintained a tremendously rich series of organic systems ecosystems and resources which amazed me when you look at the other parts of the world like China most of Asia relate for that matter answered made the universe tremendously rich organic diversity had been maintained here under the under the custodianship Native Americans how did that work what did they do to preserve these systems well you know there’s one value produced I mean there’s one value there that is interesting and we were talking earlier about the cost-benefit ratio and how basically the cost-benefit ratio says if he doesn’t pay back within two five years it’s no good doesn’t matter what the cost is further down the road that’s just a tiny little thing the only thing we care about is what we get back in two to five years and that’s the fundamental value of this culture that we’ve got that’s the basic problem right there and what did the Native Americans do differently well the Native Americans said we will not make any changes unless we look ahead seven generations minimum Wow and we can see that it will be good for that seventh generation if it would be good for that seventh generation and for all the other living beings of the earth that are who our brothers and our sisters and our mothers and our fathers and our grandfathers and our grandmothers and our cousins then I change is good and beneficial I will go ahead that was their basic economics and what did they do to preserve the systems in terms of their technologies that is just that they didn’t pollute them they didn’t they were cautious as to what waste went in them where did they actually cultivate the aquifers digging irrigation ditches or whatever there was some but the basic Native American ethic said that you will respect the the skin of mother earth mother earth is a living organism and to go deep into mother earth and to and to take out her lifeblood through by trying to mine the water or mind the deep minerals is is like doing surgery on your mother when she doesn’t need it when she’s perfectly healthy would you go and take your mother and and cut her open and start taking her organs out uh-huh so that’s what’s basically there you and now we might look at that and say well this is ridiculous but I mean take a look at what we’ve done we’ve mined out the Ogallala Aquifer it’s it’s just about dead there’s no where is that here well basically runs from near the Canadian border and it runs along the whole Plains short grass prairie on into the tall grass prairie country from up in the Montana country then through Kansas run into into Texas and it’s the major aquifer for the western plains district of the Rocky Mountain region or just going up to the Rockies and it was the main water resource that we had other than the free-flowing River systems themselves what we have done has come up with in through our technology and incredibly wasteful system of mining that water and then spreading that water out on the land no concept of even the most fundamental things like a drip irrigation system which very carefully meters are just a little bit of water at a time the minimum you need to keep the agriculture working instead of just massive utilization of the water no cost placed upon the fact that it’s a fossil water that’s not going to last forever so basically what we have done is to take the gift of Mother Earth there we’ve mined out the fundamental organ system you might say the Monroes you mean stuff like iron and coal and same thing the same thing isn’t water we’ve taken the the copper and we’ve taken the the iron we’ve taken all the minerals and just ripped it out of the earth what happens if there’s a breakdown in culture following a major global catastrophe if there is a either some sort of catastrophic war or some major breakdown within the overall structure we do not have concentrated sources of minerals anymore it takes a lot of energy to extract those minerals concentrate them bring them back together again but the only source over some dumps and it’s an interesting there I think with Harrison Brown that came up with the thesis that the decline of civilization may be due to the fact that we’ve already wasted all of the concentrated mineral resources of the planet if there’s ever a major perturbation and breakdown of the Organa of the basic culture of the planet human culture will never be able to come in constantly concentrate all those mineral resources to achieve any level of technology in automotive technology it’s an interesting idea well there’s another thing that this happened and that is soil depletion not only through erosion but through chemical fertilizers not to mention cut and burn tactics in third-world what’s the status of our soil of course it gets blown away during dust storms – what we talk about the water without soil you know well I should also say just finishing on the water the fell excuse me in the case of our Iguala we basically it’s almost gone we just have a few years left now people are frantically trying to grab water from from the Rocky Mountains la is just sucking the Colorado dry the Texas and Colorado are both trying to go into the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado and steal the water away from all of the farmers of that region that have lived there for for hundreds of years and take that water and pipe it into Texas in Colorado in order to bail them out for a few more years and there’s some interest groups that are ten make several billion dollars of that project but it will devastate the farming community southern Colorado which is already a poor it’s been a community right you know for the most part in a poor angle it’ll poorest panic community wonderful people but there’s not lots of money and the only thing I depend upon is their agriculture that’s what they live on you take that water you destroy their livelihood totally and we’re talking now about destroying the few self-aligned I was angry cultural systems we have left siphoning off water for the cities and for the very wasteful agribusiness farming operations which is a tremendous amount of water much more than it’s necessary at least the small farmers by and large tend to be much more conservative about the use the corner and the same thing the soil now the loss of the water resource is happening everywhere it’s most apparent in the southwest because there the water resources are very scarce and critical and so we’re coming up to that fine edge much earlier but it’s of course happening a major issue in California and becoming a major issue even in the well water a relatively low water East Coast simply because we’ve polluted so much and we’ve wasted so much even in a incredibly well water period in fact let’s talk about pollution for a minute before getting into the soil in 1962 I think it was rachel carson’s wrote her book Silent Spring that was one of the first dramatic documentation of the poisoning of our rivers our lakes and the sea through chemical and other industrial pollutants what has the situation been with pollutant since then we didn’t learn a lesson early on in the early sixties you also were writing about this topic at that time and despite the scientific knowledge and awareness that tremendous amount the pesticides and chemical and industrial pollutants were destroying what was left of our water these ways continue did they not absolutely and what is the magnitude of this today now 30 years or so after I was just thinking while you were talking about part of the year I lived down in Baja California conducting wilderness solos which I believe to be a very powerful form of environmental education and sort of an opening up to a new kind of philosophy that sees the the earth as an organic living being we’re directly without any interpretation just a direct experience of that but at the end of my work period down there this year I had those in this paradoxical situation I was working for a group called the Conservation Foundation back in the 60s and we gave Rachel Carson the first grants to write that block I say spring and supported her work in the back in the year in those days and I suddenly found myself being subjected with ten broad-spectrum applications of malathion in the little agricultural waste as I lived there in toto Santos this was about four weeks ago my partner’s down there wonderful when women from Texas another wonderful woman from from that area myself had to evacuate and was that when they were spraying for the flying for the mid flight see the net flies to mallet flies bad stuff it’s very benefi it’s teratogenic which means it causes genetic mutations it’s how it causes many different forms of cancer and it destroys the entire organic base of the natural self-regulating control system for pests the problems were too damn greedy in most Native American cultures another ethic was you give something to nature everything in nature needs to be taken care of all beings have equal value including the insects so you offer a part of your crop goes to to all these different beings it’s just the way of nature you don’t try to take it all you know it’s like sitting in a family table and mom and dad take you know the whole meal we don’t treat our families that way why should we treat nature that way it doesn’t make sense particularly in an organic system it’s totally interconnected so basically that’s what we’re trying to do with our contemporary agricultural systems our whole approach to the earth and it’s into the resources I mean they’re not really resources they’re basically our family and down there that same sort of greed took over we banned a lot of that stuff here in the States like DDT a lotta that’s getting exported into the Latin American countries and into Asia and I mean you’re getting places that are having 50 to 60 and up to a hundred applications of pesticide in a year and coming back to us and food that we import things right we imported all this stuff too but on the malathion issue the the paradox is that we already have the techniques and the approaches we know that if you sterile second sex attractants you can kind of trap the fruit flies in two traps which then move the the fruit fly you can simply do nothing and the natural wasp population will build up and wipe out the mint flower bring it down to a low level you don’t have to do a thing nature will do it or if you want to speed it up a little bit you can use some of these newer techniques like the release of sterile nails when you swamp the population with the sterile male fruit fly and basically that brings the population down very radically of the fruit fly and I guess that was done here in Texas for the screwworm fly very successfully doesn’t affect any other species redeye screwworm fly in the sea in the case of the sterile males but in any case the point being that we have many very biological control all terms we are not using these things and and we’re certainly not trusting the basic inherent natural controls of nature yourself and what is the extent of pollution Sensei Rachel Carson’s book in the 60s is the percentage extent growing dramatically or is it pretty much the same or how would you rate it globally in let’s say in the u.s. in summer is it’s dropped and in other is it’s increased we have been able to eliminate some basic pollutants of air water like lead using some of the PCBs dropped however some of the nitrogen based pollutants have increased I’d say that we probably have a greater problem of fertilizer contamination of the soil and organic contamination of the groundwater systems we had and 10 years ago 20 years ago by far on a global basis I’d say were much worse off many of the toxic chemicals that we produce here in the United States as we’ve developed more environmental consciousness here we have exported these chemicals through Dow and the other two chemical companies we’ve exported these these things into other parts of the world and they still want to make their profits and they do so they sell them to countries that don’t really know what the hell’s going on or don’t care they have governments that do not care so ironic also you know this also relates to smog and the stuff we breathe and two things which we eat which have all these chemical additives and are as a result of the fertilizers chemical fertilizers then you add on top of this the fact that the tobacco industry gets export subsidies to sell cigarettes overseas and they’re forcing cigarettes on a lot of countries that don’t want them so that the the internal ecology is being fouled as well as the external environment of the of the world what about the soil now we’ve talked about the water being bad chemical fertilizers being bad we’ve heard for years about erosion and planting certain crops which destroy the richness of the soil what’s the status of it a few years back I guess it was around 78 78 79 80 oh I took a a job I was was working as a professor of ecology and regional environment so the University of Colorado College and central versus our University of Illinois facility in central Illinois and took a very deep look at what was happening to the soil of our our American Midwest which is really our basic breadbasket these are the soils we really depend put in Illinois in Iowa and places like that what astounded me was that we were given a birthright in terms of our tendency of this continent this Turtle Island the Native Americans call it and Turtle Island Islands the name North America because on one hand it kind of looks like a journal if you look at the continent as a whole but also because the Native Americans saw saw this incredible continent is riding on the back of a great cosmic turtle whereas traveling through through the universe and it was an interesting the way it’s their view of data I think a very clear view of things like continental drift a long time ago they had different analogies for all but very perceptive in any case when I went to Illinois I was amazed that area which used to have 36 inches prime topsoil jewel is what that is 36 inches of topsoil when you talk about wealth Gold is nothing compared to that we took that 36 inches and in less than 100 years we brought it down to 10 to 18 inches we wasted between 1/2 and 2/3 and how does that happen how do you deplete or waste the soil in that way what you do is you introduce a lot of mechanized agriculture util a great deal you till in such a way that you leave the soil exposed we used to have a mixed agricultural system in this country small farming and agriculture so they tended to be a broad scale utilization of many different kinds of crops and you had animals also as part of the agricultural system as well as the crops with that you tended to have recycling of organic manures which helped soil structure and also protected it crop rotation give the crop rotation you had many techniques in the old days which made a lot of sense many of those techniques were picked up from the Native Americans the Native Americans were doing a lot of really good thing we should have learned a lot more things in the Native Americans when we first came here we had closed minds linear we were not looking at the totality we were not taking a holistic view we just looked at ok we want this and we’re going to get it this way real greedy productive outputs and ratio is just trying to produce more in a shorter time also a technological hubris thinking that big technology is going to produce more and better just like big assembly lines in factories produce more cars or more steel likewise big farm mechanized farm equipment is going to produce more goods or more food but it’s going to actually destroy and deplete the soil and the nutrients through then what happened with in the case of the Midwestern soil is that was definitely part of the picture but and on top of that we phased out the mixed agricultural system when you had mixed agriculture it meant to basically had to work there year-round which means you could fine-tune the agricultural cycle to the time of the year knows you could plow just before you plant it or shortly before planet with the arising of eliminating animals as part of your crop ecosystem then a windfall cane well to save some time in the spring since you had your your tractor out there anyway you went ahead and ploughed and you had a cover crop and you plaid that under and then you just let the soil I bear until it’s time for spring planting that meant that the soil laid out there under the winter rains and all the wind erosion for say three to four months out of the year that one simple change led to most of the solar erosion yeah loss of our heritage and why was that it was because people wanted to take a vacation and go to Florida well what about agribusiness so they’re there they’re a year-round operation right they to tend since they can’t grow in many of these areas in the winter because it’s more efficient from a pure business standpoint to get that edge as close as possible if you do your plowing and fall after you’ve got the last possible crop in and then you do your you do your plowing and then you get that crop in as quickly as possible in the spring as soon as you can get it in there if you and you can do that if you’ve already planted it back in the fall same thing agribusiness is right in there with everybody else what about use of chemical fertilizers what that do to the soil when you introduce chemical agriculture the basic problem is that the particularly a lot of the nitrogen based chemical fertilizers tend to create the very blocky hard soil structure it becomes difficult for the soil to hold water and to maintain a structure that is relative fairly friable and easy for plant root systems to work with and over time it actually can make it increasingly difficult to plow even it’s not unlike what we were talking about with the tropical laterites in some ways the other thing that happens is that you over time begin to make it more and more difficult for other kinds of nutrients to be up taken by the root systems they can tend to get trapped in the soil itself there are many many different things that happen we need to introduce chemical fertilizers a major impact is that many of the much of the excess of the nitrogen and phosphorus that we apply to cells washes off goes into the streams and becomes a major source of chemical pollution which basically wipes out the the flora and fauna of the streams and is another major source of organic pollution of our rivers people don’t again don’t recognize this either but the thing I was going to say about the breadbasket is that this breadbasket we’re down from let’s say thirty six inches to perhaps an average of ten inches in a hundred years hey soil yeah I mean that’s let’s say two-thirds I’ll say well at current rates we’re talking about wiping up the agricultural foundation of our economy within I’d say 20 between 25 and 50 years depending on how we manage it may be basically a desert than our breadbasket will be and I’m talking about just through erosion and think about it I just did I go ahead I’ll be dead by then you don’t hear this being talked about in the media very much I mean your show is one of the few I’ve ever been asked to even mention the subject we’re into trendy things I mean I birthed a is an important initiative don’t get me wrong but and it’s very important to do things like recycling but we are ignoring the fundamental core ecosystem issues what is it particularly that’s polluting the air what’s causing a zone pollution and smog and air pollution and global warming trends obviously the air is part of this ecosystem that’s under assault just like the slough in the water gosh everything totally if you think about it we live in such a highly technological and industrial system that we’re becoming increasingly depend upon our no synthetic cheers just look what we’re wearing yeah I try to wear natural Cotton’s as much as possible and I’m wearing shoes made of cork but I still have a little rubber that’s partly synthetic cotton socks if we just analyze ourselves and start looking at what we’re using what we walk around with this is organic in a sense this is natural this Peter caisson it’s quite astounding and we write from our clothing line on out into our environment we’re increasingly living within a cultural ecosystem that sucks resources out of the natural ecosystem can calls it natural resources converts it into stuff that we place value upon and in the process of all the transformations that occur particularly when we shift into things like synthetic plastics and many of them highly they’re all the different or official kinds of chemicals that we’ve created it’s astounding there’s so many pollutants in the atmosphere at this point that I don’t think we even have a book the tiniest clue of what each one of those chemicals is doing when you when you take a look at the windblown fertilizers the pesticides all the traces poisons in the atmosphere from all the different kinds of chemical plants and different kinds of processing plants and you take a look at the then you look at the gross ozone release from the automobiles and the nitrogen and sulfur gas and releases might have lived in the area in southern Arizona that was being impacted with some of the heaviest so2 pollution in in the world from the copper smelter it’s built by Phelps dodge down there so2 being it’s a sulfuric acid okay and for about seven years my friends who were asthmatic so know what several of them died babies were being born with in horrible condition and people were walking around coughing wheezing phlegm coming out of the lungs every day of their life it took myself and two others decided enough and we had a series of strategy session sessions in the early we constructed a campaign to basically turn this around close that smelter den or list the three smelters involved and we then kicked off a campaign that drew tremendous local support groups we had a group called gasp and then it caught on a little more get more attention from a few national organizations that joined in and helped and eventually we actually closed the smelter I think it was two years ago we closed the smelter down but we had to have many very direct actions in front of that smelter which is right on the Mexican border route 666 dead ends and that’s milker which the Christians will appreciate that that’s we basically had a series of what we call die ends because at that time the EPA was except that it was acceptable to have cept or a risk to have 128 129 deaths in the immediate area of that year or to know it was okay we shouldn’t really put too much pressure on filming on so we had a Dian where we went down and we had hundred and twenty-eight people die in front of the smelter and just to publicize that attitude that value not to mention the fact that that smelter was the source of virtually all of the earth the major source of s rain for the entire Rocky Mountain region that meant that the Rocky Mountain region only had a few years to go before the lakes and the forests began to die in the same way that the forests and the lakes of the Appalachians have already died okay that’s what I know so that was a unique opportunity for us to actually go in and take an action and to do to take an action in a peaceful way but basically a direct action which would hopefully get some results and it actually did manage to turn things around there’s a lot that people can do if they’re willing to be good ecological warriors with compassion once they’re fighting the same thing now with nuclear plants that not even to mention the nuclear weapons that have been set off a nuclear bomb testing that is has occurred in the air in the past and they on the ground still but now they’re finding that the death rates and other health problems have skyrocketed in just within the areas of nuclear plants similar to what you’re talking about but you can’t see it and it’s difficult to measure so they don’t do anything about that well the nuclear level is such a it’s such that represents such a level of insanity I can I heart I find it almost impossible to conceive of that level full of demonic force being consciously brought into the planet and that means nuclear energy as well as nuclear weapons yes both of them have the same he struggles with nuclear energy is a total – fraud fraud right because basically every xi is no friend of mine did one of the best analyses of this process of anybody that I know he runs the Institute in the Rocky Mountains now for resource analysis and excellent group in any case Emery pointed out a number of years ago after doing some very careful research that the fundamental reason for building the nuclear nuclear power plants for peacetime use was to actually breathe plutonium they can then be used for right missiles and this was the main purpose and that all of the talk about low cost electrical usage was farce now the other thing that we did nobody has taken into account with these nuclear plants I mean they don’t work they work for a few years and then something generally will go wrong closes it down they’re very inefficient they’re costly to build in the very inefficient the cost of decommissioning a nuclear power plant has rarely been taken into account and the commissioning costs we know estimate on the average will run at least two to three times more than the cost of building plant cash they say nobody has thought about those costs in terms of what we’re adding on to our future generations you know what they will have to pay it’s making profit today and then leaving that consequences for tomorrow saying the federal deficits another example of this mentality yes and if if this is the case I mean no well it’s it’s it’s it’s awesome because we’re talking about heading ending on the cost here that is going to be incredibly massive before for the future on top of all of the other burdens that are that we’re passing along and then we have on top of that things like Chernobyl which which happen and those kinds of things are going to happen increasingly if we shift towards nuclear I read recently that the cost of cleaning up Chernobyl will be in excess of 300 billion dollars that is the as I recall about the size of our entire military budget let’s come true that’s just to clean up one nuclear power plant catastrophe 300 billion dollars and and people talk about peacetime peaceful use of nuclear energy as a wonderful alternative to fossil fuels and various other things the thing is that when Reagan came into power there was a man named Dennis Hayes close friend of mine who is working for solar energy research institute and Colorado he was building is that now will the actually the chairperson for Earth Day interestingly enough Denis came out to visit and give a talk in Illinois just after the Reagan administration came in and Dennis I saw Dennis at the airport he looked kind of pale I’ve heard he had our time as to what was wrong he said well I’ve been fired and I said well what’s going on and he said well the Reagan administration is going to dismantle and basically put out a business except for a little bit research all solar energy initiatives in this country and he’s going to put in place atomic and nuclear energy honest that man Ronald Reagan our great president put us behind on environmental initiatives that we could have really put us ahead we could have gone ahead and prepared ourselves for an entry into the only kind of energy system that makes sense which is renewable energy source all the plants do it they depend on the Sun we depend on it in almost every way if we think about a little bit Reagan put us behind it at least a decade during a period when all the curves the crisis curves flowing out the Fed rate and I’m not sure we’ll ever get past that period that he put us behind the ignorance the vast ignorance of that period people do not realize but it will come home to wrist and unfortunately in the near future the only way to go is a good strong renewable energy resource program which depends on things like solar wind small mini hydro plants and a variety of other sources that basically work with the energy of the earth and the energy of the Sun and can i generate enough to keep up a sustainable sonnet of love insurance he’s John we’ve talked about these various separate different things that are ecological disasters and big problems we didn’t even mentioning mentioned things like TV monitors and video display terminals which they start kids in kindergarten in first grade they radiate and can hurt hurt people I think they’re kind of like many nuclear plants in that sense what well the first question is what can you tell us about that and the second question is all these things we’ve talked about they certainly must have some type of interacting synergistic relationship which to make all these worse right well the electromagnetic pollution is the subject to interest me very much because it has been relatively ignored I think we began to become aware of it when there was a lot of the the use of it as a military weapon I guess when the Russians were zapping the American Embassy in Moscow but in point of fact electromagnetic pollution is has become a major source of imbalance of the human body and in the mind the emotions in almost every American city it’s interesting that direct-current tends to be a much smoother kind of electrical current than alternating current alternating current literally introduces jerky vibration into the human body and it lives near those fields and they’re constantly going like this and pretty soon you start literally none at a very subtle level doing that too now if you live near high tension power lines high tension is probably a good word for it and you add on to that all the different kinds of radio and television and all the different kinds of waves which are constantly bombarding us my feeling is that we are it’s having a major effect on the health of the energy body we’re just beginning to realize from studies in Chinese medicine which again the American medical community would like to ignore but unfortunately acupuncture is so we’ll proven by now that they had to acknowledge that in fact there are energy flows I’m having a treatment right now with an acupuncture a couple of acupuncture points for a bad tooth maybe when they began to see the pain control was so effective with Juran I began to see that certain kinds of Qi Gong and Tai Chi movement exercises were so beneficial in the hospital center of China they began to say okay there is something here and maybe there is something to this theory of energy flow through the meridians of the body the basic thing about electromagnetic pollution is that it completely imbalances the natural energy flow through those meridians of the body and I’m convinced it’s one of the sources of dues about disease I mean disease is basically this ease lack of full bodily and mental and emotional ease and it seems like we’ve done everything possible to move out of that state and maybe not intentionally but if you think about it the human organism evolved over millions of years in nature surrounded by natural organic materials leading fairly natural food like nuts and seeds and tubers and leafy shoots and things of that kind probably some things from Jesus see and then oh we were living with relatively organic materials on our bodies with clean air and and environments which were very close to nature that was that was the way it was for millions of years we lived in relatively small extended family environments and tribal environments and we had people occasionally going out for periods of solo time to reconnect deeply with with nature and then would come back into the family we’re so far from that now I mean everything in our life is totally artificial and the urban industrial era has only been with us for what several hundred years if you were to take a look at the tendency of human beings on the planet how long we’ve been here and that was an hour on a clock we’re this urban industrial culture is just a tiny tiny fraction of a second for midnight and [Music] and we’re using this we assume that this is the standard as if you know this is the way it always was and this is the way it always will be that’s a vast illusion and this culture is not sustainable it will not last it is on the way out the question is what will replace it what will replace it depends entirely on the actions that we take now and in the future and it’s one of the reasons that the ecological awakening is so important but the main point I wanted to make is that our whole being our emotions our body our mind evolved rikuo volved with the organic system and fabric of life of the planet over millions of years in a few hundred years we replaced that with a totally synthetic and artificial existence how can we possibly expect to be healthy emotionally mentally or physically it is no accident we’re having diseases that are breakdowns of the immune system breakdowns of the basic cellular system like cancer cancer is behaving like we are it is simply chromatic control it’s the reflection in our bodies of what we’ve become in relation to the planet so if you think about it cancer is a cell that is is does not regulate itself it grows without any control the cancer spreads it kills you it kills the body in a similar way it has created as only wants to consume the resources of the rest of the organs of the body the organ systems of the body it doesn’t care it just wants to grow without limit the human being and it kills it kills it kills us the human being is growing on the planet with no regard for all the organ systems of the planet for mother Gaia it grows without any limit it will grow until the planet is dead that is how we were actually behaving so of course our bodies are now reflecting cancer which is simply the natural microcosmic reflection of behavior the behavior that we’re inflicting upon mother earth or self so to talk about synergy which was your other question synergy by the way means synergy is where you look at the total netis of the interrelated effects of all the different actions and reactions of something and you may have let’s say a cumulative effect of we have in our environment stresses coming in from driving to work four hours a day and beating on the steering wheel I was talking to somebody about it was a mechanic recently working with air conditioning units and I saw him down in Baja driving a Toyota and he said I said what do you what were you doing up there in California said well I I used to repair air conditioning units in San Diego and I liked it I said well why’d you leave and he said well too many years of driving on those freeways to get bigger and bigger and more and more stressed out I began to see people literally going crazy on the road there pounding you hear about the you know the shooting what you’re doing here about is the thousands if not millions of people screaming pounding on the steering wheel or trying to bottle it all up inside you don’t hear so much about that but that’s what’s going on and you take that kind of stress you add it to chemical pollutants you add it to pesticides you add it to poor nutrition and so on and the cumulative impact of all that did you take in together is synergistic if that means that when you add one kind of toxin to another toxin you get something usually that’s far more toxic than just one thing alone most of our tests of the effect of environmental pollutants or poisons of one kind or another Veta physiological stress or a literal toxin Thaksin is single factor analysis it means that we don’t look at the total system and the total range of impacts that are working on that system simultaneously as they actually do in nature in the actual world and through the single factor analysis the EPA and the rarest engines of government set their standards for what’s allowable in terms of a pollutant for example there’s no interest in finding out what the sum total of all that is if you took each one of those impacts and and took a look at the the impact of that on a human being or an animal another kind of animal I should say there’s no question that the cumulative impact would be far greater than the single factor alone far far greater a quantum shift greater and we are not measuring for that nowhere in government nowhere in science and yet that’s what’s actually going on it’s amazing and now we want to talk about what we can do what we must do in order to group to prevent all these catastrophes or less maybe heck maybe Homo Sapien and worth it maybe we should just you know shuffle off and give things back to the to the good animals of the world but anyway for going to do something I guess we have to look at Earth in a different way than we have in the past and do you have that some other people are doing this aren’t you yeah I think simile hopeful signs one of the things that is particularly interested me is the growth on the one hand of a different philosophical view of what the human being is and what the earth is and the relationship of the human being to the earth and also to the the matter in the mother might air the earth that we live with right here in our bodies and there’s a new of a friend of mine Jim Lovelock has been working for some years with a close friend of his they came up with a theory entitled the Gaia hypothesis several years ago Gaia yes got expelled because GA ia ji and basically this hypothesis says that the earth is behaving like a living organism and that may be sound a little radical to those people that tell our thinking about the earth is basically just a bunch of stuff out there you know a resource system that you go and exploit and you pull stuff in and you transform it into your BMW but in point of view the earth has been here much longer than we have it gave birth to us in our species we’ve been here maybe a million a couple million years the earth has been here for billions and billions of years and we don’t really know what the earth is it’s a great mystery we have something that we call science but just imagine if if our whole culture were a little cluster of cells somewhere down on the left side of the liver and that little cluster of cells was trying to figure out what is this what is this that I’m living within hmmm it would be very difficult it would probably be give particularly if it was a series of cancer cells living on the liver and starting to grow it would probably view the rest of this body that it was living within and on as simply a rather convenient kind of mass of organic stuff do utilize an extract stuff from for its own growth and then it would prove put together a philosophical system that would you know fit that view of unlimited growth of an egocentric view of the species now the eco-centric view eco-centric guru basically says that well the earth is a living organism it’s alive just as the human body is it’s a vast body of which we are part we’re cells in that great body all the living beings in that body have different roles and interrelationships that play a part within the that great body of Mother Earth some of them are acting like different tissues some of them are acting like different organs of the body like the tropical rainforests and the oceans are producing the oxygen and helping to uptake some of the carbon dioxide and maintain the atmospheric cycles and the rainfall cycles and so on and so forth Oh basically the self-regulating behavior of the whole planet so that all life is supported is what AIA is all about and what the Gaia hypothesis is all about the original idea came about when they discovered that the oxygen levels of the planet were exactly maintained at that level that if went any higher the if you had a forest fire you could not put it out they were just everything would combust if it went down below that level at a time we wouldn’t have enough to respire properly and somehow over millennia it has maintained a perfect oxygen equilibrium for the perfect maintenance of all the different species of the earth and when Lovelock took a look at all the different possible mechanisms for this he came to the conclusion that the only way the earth can do this is through a basic self-regulation system that would be just like how the human body self release regulates itself to maintain the equilibrium and the homeostasis and stability of the body as well as the growth of the overall bunny oh this is a revolutionary idea of course then they went ahead and began to examine that principle that hypothesis in light of evolutionary theory and they found the same thing began to hold true again and again they found principle examples within evolutionary biology that that basically pointed the same truth that the earth was behaving like a living organism so suddenly we’re beginning to move into a view that says is saying something very different than what our forefathers said that the earth is just dead thing but interestingly enough with a few species living on it to happen to be you know to survival of the fittest and all that kind of craziness doing what they’re doing we’ve never really given much attention to the interconnectedness of life the symbiotic cooperative nature of life but of course it probably began in a fairly small way and then somehow managed to grow out into this rather amazingly interconnected and mutually supporting system and cooperation probably has been about at least 90% of that process then there’s competition in there too but competition is just the flipside of cooperation the two are completely intertwined just like the Enna’s is a part of the young and the young is a part of the end so in a sense I think for the first time we’re beginning to look at life as a and of the earth itself as a guest organic being whose intelligence we can’t there’s no way to even begin to you and speak of that because it’s beyond us it’s beyond us to know what that is or isn’t but what we can say is that the a of the living process of the earth the flow of you might say of the life force through the organ systems and the tissues of the planet are definitely behaving just like a body of course now the earth evolved itself how does this hypothesis into the various stages of the earth the Aleutian knew the earth that’s a very interesting question because it occurred to me the other day that nowhere does the human being fit into all of this are we destined just to be cancer you know are we the Earth’s cancer is that it it’s an interesting question and if we take a little more up to this view some people would say oh no what I mean we may be the cancer now but actually were destined to be the intelligence I was a planet I love that one if we were truly the intelligence of the pilot I doubt we would become the cancer of the planet I think it’s more likely that we represent a highly developed ego structure for the planet you might say with the planetary ego we’re the sense of separate self we’re the part of the planet that can say we are here and everything else is out there subjectivity young and but that’s more the principle of modernity started beyond the Renaissance and the era of capitalism and Protestantism right tied in with that that also at that time the vision of the human is the master of the earth exactly which you have also in the Bible but the command to go and master and conquer you have dominion right dominion over all in the fields of flowers etc the interesting thing is that if we look on ourselves as the the development of the ego structure for planet Earth which is my personal theory it may be that the next phase forth since we’ve been caught up in being very egotistical as a for quite a while and manifesting that that new exploration of what Earth herself is and exploring that for Earth maybe the next step is actually to join with other really the step beyond which is where the ego structure begins to see how yes there is separation and self-identification but there is also tremendous interconnectedness also a level of ended indivisibility a level of which we’re all in great being again and obviously most interestingly if we are to survive as a species or maybe if the earth ourself is to survive at least in the organic richness that she now manifests we may have to go through that transition into valuing all the species and all of life in the same way that we value our own life and the life of our own species is in other words we’ll have to make that philosophical leap and gives that same value to other forms of life that we give to our own if we’re actually going to survive ourselves and that’s a curious thing is you think that Homo sapiens is the first species that is Paris has a parasitic relationship with Mother Earth rather than symbiotic and is this a fatal flaw that’s a hard question to answer I mean we’ve had so many of many other species that have been here and going extinct like the dinosaurs dinosaur species and so on but I think we can say that there are other systems of vast intelligence on the planet right now I’ve spent a lot of time with the whales and the Dolphins and there’s no question that those those animals are beings of tremendous intelligence when you think about a a frontal brain system that we identify with rational consciousness and intelligence that is so much larger investor than ours that you can put the brain of some of those things who would fill an entire pickup truck compared to our brain and their communication system is so incredibly complex as I click that is alone as an indication of intelligence and they’re vastly superior to us the feeling I’ve often got from spending time with whales down in Baja where I do these these wilderness solos in some that their intelligence is oh I guess an analogy would be to say it’s like a galactic level awareness of course the Dolphins the purposes are extremely intelligent too but they’re a little more I have a feeling a little more accessibility somehow there’s a tremendous open hardness to the whales and the Dolphins both when they come in when folks go out and do a wilderness solo down there and we’ve been doing this solo so that people can make a deeper connection with nature directly heading out by themselves any out by themselves and basically spending seven days after three days of doing some awareness training together and then they go out for seven days they’re completely alone but but it’s comfortable and they stay completely present working with their senses to connect deeply with the truth of what’s in the environment without any Theory just experiencing and what they experience is particularly for some of the political and social leaders that have gone through this process is absolutely amazing one man went through this recently as leader of a major technological university publishing house and when he came back he was his entire view of what the world was but did what earth is the diak quality of earthy organic beingness of Earth and his placement had changed and he has started up a major ecological publishing magazine and is going to host two major conferences on Gaia through this university which up until now has been largely focused on technology and industrial development that’s the kind of impact that a direct connection without any particular theories with mother earth can have if you just go direct and that’s of course the kind of thing that the Native Americans did through their Vision Quest and I think it’s no accident that the Native Americans because they had the Vision Quest were able to cultivate they would go out at least once in a lifetime and usually three or four times or the medicine people would go out sometimes once a year and because that direct perception linked them with with levels of truth that one can only know by going through the experience out of that truth came the kinds of values we talked about the Ethel on the last program which said we will make no major changes in in the earth and in our local earth unless we know that will be beneficial to all of our children and all beings out to the seventh generation that’s a value system that really understands the working so the planet and honors it so the reason we’ve been doing these these wilderness solar programs is to basically reintroduce that kind of a process into our culture so that we can create a different kind of value system which will have that kind of a organic wholeness to it and in John what kind of practical ecological measures come out of the gaia philosophy to preserve our earth we talked earlier of the pollution and depletion of the air of the soil of the water of the oceans what sorts of measures does this sort of philosophical meditation lead to to preserve these aspects of our natural environment if you some people call this deep ecology I prefer just to call it the ecological view or since it’s a sacred view because you you have a tremendously sacred feeling about life after you go through this kind of experience the what happens is you no longer can view your your own life or the life of the other beings of the planet as something apart from you you literally feel connected to everything it’s not that to say that you’re totally caught up in in unity but it’s to say that you feel completely interconnected you feel the relationship with all beings and you begin to perceive all beings as having meaning and direct relationship to you and you to them again it becomes more like family now when you begin to have a relationship like family with all the different ends of the earth your values shift when your values shift then you begin to place priority on things like well if I build a power plant down here or I’m going to put a nuclear power plant over here or I’m going to put an industry over there that’s polluting the river it’s going to kill all my brothers and sisters who live in that river it’s going to kill part of me what I’m connected to my part of my family the Native Americans called the the plants and they have the four-legged sand and the wicked people and the stone people and they saw everything in that way as family I feel that this kind of a process particularly for a widespread a basic part of our education the wilderness solo or the Vision Quest that it would completely change the way in which we relate to nature and that all of our laws all of our the way that we create technology would shift we would then say well obviously we’re going to have technologies that work in harmony with the whole fabric of life that’s important that we value that we place that just as important as social security Jon we only have about ten minutes we want to talk about what needs to be done we talked about a need to change philosophically but the world isn’t a very philosophical place when you talk about multinational corporations and capitalism and banks and social Eastern Europe and the government’s they’ve had their Stalinism all just destroying the earth for power and profits and production from the things you’ve told us last time we’re facing incredible disasters we must take enormous steps immediately I would assume there’s a lot of levels for hope I personally feel that one of the best things that people can do is to take direct action in their own lives on issues that have they have a direct relationship with I mentioned last time that they work that we did to stop I measure copper smelter in Arizona that was directly affecting polluting the air of everyone in southern Arizona everyone living in this country has issues directly affecting them in their lives today and I’m a strong advocate of taking direct action to to make the changes if government is resistant to the kinds of changes that need to be made get together with your friends and take a direct action go ahead and chain yourself to a bulldozer if necessary the main thing is when you take a direct action and you make a statement like that a very strong statement put your life on the line if you do that to keep a good compassionate heart a good ecological warrior has a loving heart Gandhi always honored and respected his opponents and saw the basic humanity of them underneath but he was a warrior at the same time he took the courageous action he put his life on the line where necessary and I’m saying this because I feel that ecological activism is on the rise people are really fed up and there’s a danger that activism could fall into the pit of becoming filled with anger and hatred then we would just be in the situation of the Lebanon or the Middle East we have all the factionalism and the fundamentalism and the hatred only feeds on itself so it’s very important for activists to radiate compassion and love to their opponents at the same time they’re taking the action there needs to be a real understanding this it’s not easy if you’re sitting there change of a tree and the logger is coming at you with it with a chainsaw with hate in his eyes but it’s good practice that at another level there are many many actions that people can take in your everyday life there are all kinds of shifts that you can make to bring solar energy into your into your home to bring recycling into your household to bring a reduction with a simpler lifestyle into your life if you live more simply you’ll have lower taxes you’ll have fewer worries have fewer possessions to worry about I I’m amazed when people go out and solo the one thing they tell me consistently is and what in them when I go back John I’m going to simplify my life tremendously because I realize for the first time that I really don’t need very much to be happy because these people go out with basically nothing and spend a week was nothing and realized that they’re blissfully happy just being in nature with nothing so why do they tie themselves up and knots back in the cities to support all this stuff which is making them unhappy basically they’re suffering as a result of their stuff so lonely sexist you you simplify your stuff and you boil it down to a more centralized form of living that’s that’s in harmony with nature and reduce your consumption if we can reduce our consumption we could dramatically reduce our impact on the environment the United States is consuming probably close to half the world’s resources we have what 5% of the world’s population I’ve seen estimates as high as 60 percent of the world’s resources Jim what about on the sort of national and even global level these environmental problems are global the air the water the earth all of these ecological systems are interconnected so what can people do to stop pollution on a more national level well one of the things that I’ve been doing give you another practical example there there are some very good organizations doing important work Rainforest Action Network San Francisco is an excellent group working on the tropical forest issues our threshold foundation has something called the environmental crisis fund at the philosophy behind that is to basically have people tie the portion of their they’ll say their salary their gross salary and then that salary and maybe five percent of their gross salary goes directly into environmental crises where a small amount of money can have a powerful impact usually if you’re trying to get a grant for a project you’re at you may sit back and try to get that money for a year if you’re going through a federal agency or a major foundation very often rainforest is lost before you can raise the money to do it about it so we thought it was important to have a fund that can I could immediately provide cash immediately to help support flying for example a rainforest person perhaps in a tribal elder from the rainforest to testify before a congressional hearing in Congress maybe an appropriations committee meeting that was that’s that’s being called on whether or not to give a big hunk of money to the World Bank to build a dam that will flood the rainforest where that man lives and it has to be done within a week so you can put your own energy your work and your help towards those kinds of outfits and you can certainly help them through your through your financing I think it’s very appropriate to tithe yourself and help out the environmental organizations that are doing such hard work today when you look at the amount of money going into all of the other often very socially questionable causes and you look at the poverty of the environmental movement I think it’s about time we at least tide ourselves five or ten percent for the earth and is there enough of an environmental movement to save the environment at this stage in history it’s building I don’t think we’re anywhere close to having a sufficiently powerful movement to to solve what’s ahead of us that’s why I’m saying we have to really get to work we don’t have the power the people have the power the ones who are benefiting on the short term from exploiting the earth and destroying it are these people getting increased sense of consciousness consciousness in a few cases perhaps but there’s a tendency for folks that handle to have a lot of power to hold on to their power at any cost and uh my own feeling is that at this point in time we have to put a tremendously strong pressure on all of the channels of change in government corporations government George Bush claims he’s the environmental president earlier show you critiqued Ronald Reagan for his disastrous ecological policies do you see any shift in Bush or is this just rhetoric I think Bush is a much more enjoyed politician and he basically reads the currents of and the winds of change says the right thing and then does what he really wants to do hind the scenes just to develop what’s a wide for example I saw in the paper today that yesterday he made a big pronouncement about how wonderful Earth Day was the next day what did the Interior Department do it went out and announced that it was opening up a whole new spectrum of oil leasing opportunities along our coasts I mean what does that tell you judge the man by his actions not by his words what would you be your final message to the American people out there place the environment first in your life at least for the next 20 years make that number one and put your energy a good hunk of your time and tide yourself some of your your money your income to put directly towards turning things around and come in the creation of ecologically sustainable society and not just helping your own immediate life in your neighborhood and your town and your County in your state a region in your bio region but also putting something into helping the global issues of tropical deforestation the true this destruction of the oceans which is upon us I mean we’re just beginning to address the tremendous loss of the oxygen producing plankton that we have in the oceans we’re seeing the need for having all of our fleets of oil tankers I think triple hulls not just double hulled and we need to do something about the unbelievable overfishing

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