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OTHER ITA SITES:
Are Our Environmental Issues a Result of our Psychic Clutter?
As we all recall, during the energy crisis of 1972, the entire country participated in the search for alternate fuel sources. Home owners in states with abundant sunshine got tax rebates for installing solar panels. Wind mills flourished in the deserts. We were all conscious of conserving fossil fuels. Then the crisis ended, and most of us went back to business as usual, some with a vengeance. One consequence of giving up an ideal is that the abandoned ideal is added to our psychic clutter, the unexamined and/or unconscious material that often runs our lives outside of our awareness.
While we have created supposedly nonpartisan agencies to protect the environment, environmental protection has become associated with the Democratic party. During recent Republican administrations, regulations have been changed to favor business interests over environmental ones. Big business and environmentalists seem to be in conflict. On one hand, environmentalists are labeled tree huggers, conjuring up images of pot-smoking hippies. On the other hand, business interests are characterized as ravenous wolves. Business, however, provides the jobs that keep our economy rolling. And most of the environment-offending companies are publicly owned corporations and therefore their stockholders or their elected representatives guide the company. Are you a stockholder or do you know any? What are your priorities? Are you in a situation to make a difference?
When the bottom line is most important, we human beings can easily lose sight of where we are dumping our effluent or how much our smokestacks are contaminating the air. We can perceive ourselves as victims of environmental interests, perceiving them as “messing with” our bottom line. We seek to go forward with the oil exploration on formerly protected pristine lands in Alaska. We allow exploration for fossil fuels in National Monuments. Do we lobby to spend a portion of the oil and gas exploration costs to make renewable energy less expensive? Are we happy with these conditions? Or, if not, do we say nothing and collect the resultant clutter from that undelivered communication?
What kind of stewards are we? Do we look for the “green” insignia when shopping for products? Do we recycle our household trash? Or does convenience take precedence, producing clutter in our environment and in our selves? Do we lobby our city to provide curb-side recycling if it’s not provided? Lobbying might take time, always in short supply. But consider the possibility that any excuse may, in fact, be clutter.
And most scientists agree that global warming is increasing due to a buildup in the atmosphere of human produced, heat-trapping, greenhouse gases -- primarily carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. The campaign to reduce global warming urges Americans to help fight it by driving less, driving fuel-efficient vehicles, recycling and turning down the thermostat a few degrees in winter and up a few degrees in summer. The Bush administration decided that global warming needed only more study.
The campaign to end global warming calls on citizens to lobby in support of clean renewable energy sources, other environmental legislation, and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that the Bush administration rejected. President Bush irritated many U.S. allies by pulling out of the Kyoto pact, saying it would hurt the U.S. economy. Instead, he has proposed independent policies to encourage industries to trim emissions. America is the largest greenhouse-gas polluter in the world. With 4 % of the world’s population, it discharges a quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide. Since each person is responsible at some level for the policies of our government, do you have clutter in this area?
Excerpted from Confession Is Good for More than the Soul
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