From  Sept 27, 2011
I was recently lured into watching the latest disaster movie “Contagion” because Matt Damon was starring in it. This is a story about a future global pandemic. As these types of movies go, it was well done,entertaining and fairly accurate. However, even cute Matt Damon won’t tempt me into seeing it twice. I mean, what would be the point? I figure that ( just like the movie) by the time the World Health Organization issues a statement about an upcoming plague, it will be too late. Nobody opens an umbrella until after it has begun to rain. If you are already wet, what good is the umbrella?

We have had enough stuff happening locally lately – fires, earthquakes and hurricanes – to deal with. I know that the possibility of widespread infectious disease is certainly real, but we shouldn’t waste our time worrying about it. When they tell you a hurricane is coming, you stock up on supplies and prepare yourself as best you can. You won’t get a warning before an earthquake strikes. The only thing you have any real control over is yourself. (And sometimes, even that is questionable!)
It’s a dangerous, unpredictable world. But, I’m not going to fret about possible future events that I have no control over. Neither should you! Besides, most of the disasters predicted have never actually happened. Or, if they did, things didn’t turn out like they said it would. Remember these?
While all these are of some concern, I think a greater immediate danger to us is global terrorism and an unstable world economy. These are things that we can solve.
While I can’t pretend to be an expert in politics, my view of terrorism is that it exists simply because people are trying to fix something that they perceive to be an injustice, and they can’t see any other way to bring that change about except by violent actions.
Al Qaeda – wants to remove current leadership and foreign influence in Arab countries in order to promote their version of Islam.
IRA – wants to create a unified Ireland under Irish rule, not British.
Animal Liberation Front (Associated with PETA) – wants to end animal abuse.
All these groups have what they think are legitimate causes. The methods they use to promote those causes is what determines how legitimate the rest of the world feels their claims to be. Their success utimately depends upon support from others, and you can’t gain sympathy for your cause by following a negative path. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
We have an unstable economy because humans are basically greedy. We take what we want/do what we want, with no thought of the consequences. We pollute the air, poison the land and the water, and treat each other with disdain. We want wealth without work, we practice commerce without morality, science without humanity, and politics without principles.
The difference between what we do, and what we are able to do would be enough to solve most problems. We have to be that change we want to see in the world. Peace, to have meaning, can’t just be a word. It must be translated into food, shelter, health care, education, freedom and human dignity. If you want peace, you must work for justice.
There is no way to peace, peace is the way.

The Agricultural Link: how environmental deterioration could disrupt economic progress by Lester R. Brown

Deep Economy: the wealth of communities and the durable future by Bill McKibben

100 Ways to Save the World by Johan Tell

The End of Nature by Bill McKibben

One With Nineveh by Paul Ehrlich

Enough: staying human in an engineered age by Bill McKibben

Wild Solutions: how biodiversity is money in the bank by Andrew Beattie


Born to read, forced to work.

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