Do We Really Care About Our Planet?

Letter to the Editor circa 2005. Could still apply ( as in ‘no progress’).

Don’t be so surprised

My sympathies to Ms ##### of Waxahachie (Letter to the Editor 5/11/05). With regard to the polluting industries here in Midlothian and all across America, for that matter.

We may convince our local leaders that we as a community would like to clean up these problems, but is that really enough. The current leadership running this country has shown absolutely no concern for the downward spiral our planet has taken, while at the same time giving big business everything it asks for. Since taking office over 4 years ago, more than 300 environmental laws have been weakened, in addition to those simply not enforced. While I think they have faltered badly and should have been impeached yesterday, I see them as a reflection of society

James Watt, Interior Secretary under President Reagan publicly expressed the feeling that his god was going to return the planet to anew. Polls indicate that close to 40% of the population is in agreement with him, 20% of which believe it will happen in the next 50 years. With this sort of philosophy guiding our country, then as well as now, why are we surprised that resources are not devoted to averting long term environmental problems.

The bottom line is there is a price to pay for having a safe, happy, and healthy planet. We have not been willing to pay the true cost of what we consume. We want highways everywhere and inexpensive houses, but we don’t want the dirty air cheap cement gives us. We want local jobs and main-street prosperity, but we continue to buy the cheapest foreign junk we can find. We want healthy food for our family but we put family farmers out of business by the hundreds a year and then feed our kids processed fast food from factory farms. We don’t want polluted skies but gas guzzling SUV’s are the biggest sellers. Heart disease and cancer are the top killers in this country, yet we still consider meat and dairy good for us. We want cheap power but we gripe about the pollution from coal and gas and the danger of nuclear. If we paid the true cost for what we consume by not trashing our planet in the process, a gallon of gas would be 15 dollars, a fast food burger would be 50 dollars, and the cost for highways and houses would jump 100 percent

What can you do? Jump up and down and hope someone is not afraid to ask why, really. Get every person you know to pick an issue and look deep and hard. Tell them ahead of time, it won’t be pretty if not downright upsetting, whatever the subject. Stop listening to the corporate news media. If you’re ready to have your comfortable world upset for the near future and likely beyond, take a couple of hours to visit some of the news sites listed on midlothiantexas.net (like commondreams.org). These sites are offering unfiltered news from real people. You can then choose to return to the comfort of the status-quo, those of us jumping up and down will not hold it against you. At least you know.

America has been in the comfort zone too long, both locally and internationally, and the first step is a big one. Hopefully we’ll take it sooner and not later, there is too much at stake.

John McClean

Midlothian Texas