Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Only Man Can Destroy A Tree

Happy Fourth Anniversary to  
The Revolution Continues!

Who knew that four years later we'd still be publishing a weekly blog? Who knew that Bernie was going to lose in a rigged primary season in 2016? Who knew that progressives of all stripes would still be squabbling while millions of Americans go without adequate health care four years later? Who knew we'd go over 415 ppm of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and the Arctic ice flows would be no more... 

Yes, those are some of the reasons that we're still here. Thank you for being here as well. It's your comments and donations that make it worth it.  Speaking of which, your editor has been invited to cover the upcoming National Green Party Meeting in Salem, Massachusetts. Please consider making a Paypal donation to help defray our travel costs. Every little bit helps. Thank you. http://paypal.me/camatthews

And now, a lament to a dead tree and a dying planet.

Only Man Can Destroy A Tree
by C. A. Matthews

It was only a lowly mulberry tree--but it stands for so much more.

We are living in the last days of our planet. Recent massive flooding in the Midwest and a crushing heat wave in India give evidence to the growing climate crisis. Our atmosphere contains over 415 ppm of carbon dioxide concentration. While some moan, others take action. Millions around the world are planting trees. 

Just take a look at India. They made a world record by planting 66 million trees in 12 hours!  Their goal is to plant a billion new trees while creating new jobs.

Why would any country go to such lengths? A typical tree such as the silver maple can sequester 25,000 pounds of CO2 in a 55 year period. Our forests are our planet's lungs. We need every tree, bush and growing plant producing oxygen and cutting down the build-up of greenhouse gases that we can get.

And still there are some who will chop down a tree without a thought. 

I watched in horror as the mulberry in the yard behind ours was dismantled limb by limb, destroyed simply because it stood too near an underground electric box according to its destroyers. After it was gone, I surveyed its remains and discovered that it wasn't really standing all that close. It could have been trimmed back. If it was threatening the electric cables then the stump and roots underground should have been removed as well, but they were not. Probably the landlord wanted to clear the space so he didn’t have to pay the lawn service more to mow around it.

What a lousy excuse to destroy a tree... What a lousy reason to  jeopardize our future!

The disregard of the beauty and utility of trees is but a symptom of a great sickness that plagues our entire planet. It is a symptom of the disease of capitalism, an economic system that left unchecked will eventually cause the death of all living things. By placing a monetary worth on a living thing, such as a tree, capitalists are stating they value life only for what it can do to grow their bank accounts. Life has no intrinsic value in and of itself to them--only a dollar amount that a capitalist can give it. 

Think it over. If a tree has no worth, other than what its wood can fetch on the market, then what is the worth of a child or young adult to a capitalist? The worth of an elderly person with cancer? The worth of clean water and breathable air? The worth of living in peace, free from death drones dropping bombs on your village in an oil-rich country? 

The capitalist's credo: If it doesn't generate a profit, then who really cares about it, right? 

If this sounds too simplistic, consider this: Why does the US not have universal health care to this very day? Why are some 45,000 Americans yearly  allowed to die simply because they can't afford expensive private health insurance when we have the medicine and technology to save them?

One word--greed.

Only God can make a tree, but obviously Man thinks he's free to destroy them all at will. Sad to say, the joke's on him.

Related articles:

Amazon rainforest deforestation--satellites show 740 square miles cleared in 30 days

47 million gallons sewage released into river during Ohio tornado outbreak

Protecting Mother Nature

Algae Map: Tracking algae bloom outbreaks from 2010 to now

From Food & Water Watch:

The hazards associated with fracking are deadly: drinking water contamination, air pollution, accidents and explosions, and toxic waste accumulation. And, most alarming is how fracked gas is accelerating climate change.

Our new report, “The Fracking Endgame,” paints a harrowing picture of our potential future: even as our planet hangs on the edge of climate catastrophe, chemical, plastics and electric power industries and their elected enablers are seeking to turn up the pace of new fracking projects.1

Building out this infrastructure locks us into a future of more air pollution, greenhouse gases and plastic waste. Tell your Members of Congress to stop the fracking endgame!

The Fracking Endgame: Locked Into Plastics, Pollution and Climate Chaos
We have just a few years left to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. However, the chemical, plastics and electric power industries’ plan to capitalize on cheap fracked gas flies in the face of what science tells us we need to do to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Our latest research shows that over 700 new facilities have been built, proposed, or are under development to profit from an oversupply of cheap fracked gas. If even a fraction of these facilities come to fruition, they will condemn our planet to a future of climate chaos and will neuter efforts toward a real Green New Deal.
Stop the Oil and Gas Buildout
We need a climate plan that bans fracking and stops fossil fuels from smothering our planet in plastic and pollution. Tell your Members of Congress to ban fracking and stop the oil and gas buildout.

There is hope for a better world without fracking. With your support we have already won fracking bans in Washington, New York and Maryland and we have stopped or delayed dozens of fossil fuel infrastructure projects in communities across the country. We can stop this onslaught from the fossil fuel industry.

Every day we are working together to stop new fossil fuel development and to promote a rapid transition to a clean, just and equitable renewable energy future. It’s time to fight like you live here. It’s time to stop the fossil fuel industry and ban fracking everywhere.

Onward together,

Wenonah Hauter
Executive Director
Food & Water Watch

P.S. Check out our latest report, The Fracking Endgame: Locked Into Plastics, Pollution and Climate Chaos.

From Friends of the Earth:

The Trump Administration wants to open lands near Sequoia National Park to the fossil fuel industry. This is part of its new plan to expand drilling and fracking to vast amounts of federal lands in California. It’s not just Sequoia at risk -- the plan also threatens Yosemite and Kings Canyon.

Drilling and fracking destroy our wild places, spew toxic air pollution, induce earthquakes, and jeopardize human health -- not to mention contributing to the climate crisis. If we want to preserve a safe and liveable planet for future generations, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground -- not start more drilling and fracking projects. 

The good news is, the Bureau of Land Management hasn’t approved the permits for the California plan. If engaged Friends of the Earth members like you speak out, the BLM will have to listen. Can we count on your support? 

Sequoia National Park is home to the massive Giant Sequoia trees that are one of our nation’s greatest national treasures. The park supports communities living nearby who depend on it for tourism as well. But Trump wants to throw all that away to help his Big Oil friends.

If we can’t stop the Trump Administration in California, nowhere will be safe. We could see mining in the Smoky Mountains, offshore drilling in Glacier Bay, and even fracking in the Everglades -- nothing is off limits for this administration.

This is the opposite of what we should be doing. We need to keep all fossil fuels in the ground, not hand over our public lands to the fossil fuel industry over the objections of local communities and leaders. We need to end drilling and fracking nationwide, and we need you with us to do so.

Keeping fossil fuels in the ground isn’t just one solution, it’s the only solution. But Trump wants to undo the progress that’s been made in California and dig up more dirty fossil fuels. He doesn’t care that it would degrade air quality, or threaten cultural resources in the area, or scar some of our nation’s most beautiful landscapes.

Together with engaged Friends of the Earth members like you, we’re building a movement to protect our public lands and ensure Trump’s Administration doesn’t drive us to ruin. We can save our iconic lands and pristine ecosystems. But we need you with us, C.A.. 

Standing with you,
Nicole Ghio,
Senior fossil fuels program manager,
Friends of the Earth

Climate Hawks Vote

In the United States, we all enjoy the First Amendment right to assemble and protest -- at least that’s how it’s supposed to be. And yet, Donald Trump and his cronies want to jail people who protest the environmentally catastrophic pipelines transporting oil across this country. Ordinary citizens like you and me who feel compelled to speak out against climate catastrophe should be heroes, not criminals.

Red states dependent on fossil fuel extraction -- Oklahoma, South Dakota, Louisiana, Texas -- have passed laws making pipeline protests illegal. Now Trump’s Transportation Department has proposed Congress add 20 years in prison to penalties for protesting and demonstrating against these pipelines. 20 years!

Heaping massive fines and jail time on protesters is un-American and fundamentally undemocratic. Throwing those who disagree with you in prison is the stuff of dictatorships.

Let’s send a clear message to Donald Trump and his Transportation Department: not only are these pipelines not the right policy move, cracking down on dissent will only embolden our resistance.

Your fellow climate hawk,
RL Miller


“Trump administration seeks criminal crackdown on pipeline protests,” Politicohttps://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/03/trump-administration-seeks-criminal-crackdown-on-pipeline-protests-1499008

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