Blog post No. 1
Blog post No. 1 Wow. Day one, the start of a brief, yet hopefully meaningful adventure to yet another city to which I've never been, Washington, D.C. It has been a good year for traveling; Seattle last May for pleasure, Los Angeles in January to ...
Blog post No. 1
Wow. Day one, the start of a brief, yet hopefully meaningful adventure to yet another city to which I've never been, Washington, D.C.
It has been a good year for traveling; Seattle last May for pleasure, Los Angeles in January to explore social justice within the context of homelessness and those working to alleviate its ailments, and now to D.C. to lobby our Representatives within Congress for legislation moving the United States into the next energy generation.
I'm writing from the comfy seat of a Northwest Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Washington, and find myself lucky enough to have all three seats in the row to myself. Window seat, aisle seat; I've sat in all three so far. My luck has been indispensable to my unexpectedly thorough enjoyment of my flight and my ability to work on my first blog submission. I can only hope for the majority of my trip to go this smoothly.
Leaving Duluth [Friday] morning at 7, I can't help but be confronted by my choice to fly to D.C. in order to participate in all four days of the conference and only miss two days of classes. Being a full-time college student, missing two days of classes is challenging enough, but then on top of it I add being away from all of my family and friends on my birthday, not working those weekend hours that are so valuable when it comes to paying the monthly rent check, and a host of other things to attend to within an often hectic life.
I might question the necessity of this trip, but while reading the February edition of National Geographic, I was reminded of the far-reaching implications of the work all those traveling to D.C. for the conference have to do.
In an article highlighting the wild mustang and its shrinking place in the American West, I was surprised to find a link to my trip. The conference I will be attending not only trains individuals how to lobby elected officials and start a movement for truly clean, renewable energy; it also culminates in one of the biggest lobbying efforts for this power shift ever seen at the nation's Capitol.
One of the many tragic consequences of our country's dependence on oil is that as we have drawn down the readily accessibly reservoirs of it, we have begun pushing into areas once set aside for other uses. One of those uses is simply leaving it as untamed wilderness for animals such as the wild mustang to run free and be open to "management" by natural forces.
Power Shift is fighting to change our energy choices so that there is one less industry lobbying the Bureau of Land Management to open our dwindling and precious free spaces to economic cultivation.
Ultimately, contemporary American society is overrun by the practices of consumption and waste, leading us to the point where we are asking ourselves what exactly will be left for our great-grandchildren?
When we as a species face the reality of being on track to cause the extinction of 50 percent of life known and unknown to man within 50 years, the prospect of moving up to that next income level so I can replace the old car seems rather unimportant.
Yet, a majority of Americans would see themselves as faced with the expectation of providing transportation for themselves, often without alternative options being available to them or supported culturally. This prospect of refusing to input into the system with which many individuals depend on for life or unwittingly conspiring to eliminate half of the world's life forms seems like a rather unnatural dichotomy.
Ultimately, we are led to the realization that we don't have to change whether people support themselves or not, we have to change the systems by which people support themselves. That means systems which reflect values of environmental sustainability, social justice and spiritual well-being.
Although the change can start at home, it also needs to start at the home of liberty, freedom and all those truths which we stand on as Americans. It starts in Washington, where I am starting my life's work as a biologist, fighting for life and all that it encompasses.
Keep an eye out for my update on the first couple days in D.C.