Connections 2000 April

Monthly Topics
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Race, Class, and Civil Rights
Poverty, Homelessness, and Unemployment
Imperialism and Economic Injustice
Nuclear weapons
Education, Information, and Communication 
Democracy and Religion
Hunger and Health Care
A dense metropolis is surronded by pastoral fields marred by power plants and acid rain.
April: Environment includes, for example, nuclear waste, toxic waste, eco-feminism, ozone depletion, rain forests, wilderness, soil erosion, preservation, agriculture, pollution, EPA, GATT, capitalism, greenhouse effect, farming, conservation, species extinction, chemicals, packaging, sustainable resources, NAFTA, environmental regulations, corporate agriculture, wetlands, water diversion projects, perma-culture, sustainable agriculture, environmental racism, and on and on and on...

"Oh, beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain. For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain..." Every corner of our beautiful planet is in jeopardy: the skies, the air, all vegetation, all animal life, all insect life, all reptilian life, all soils, all rivers, all lakes, all wetlands, all deserts, all forests, all oceans. Each of us is aware and troubled by part of this vast picture. Tremendous effort and thought attempt to correct various aspects of the problems, but the overall destruction continues faster than the rectification.

The mission statement of The Land Institute encapsulates what is necessary to turn around this vast earth-ship of eroding beauty: "When people, land and community are as one, all three members prosper; when they relate not as members but as competing interests, all three are exploited. By consulting nature as the source and measure of that membership, The Land Institute (email) seeks to develop an agriculture that will save soil from being lost or poisoned while promoting a community life at once prosperous and enduring.

Aldo Leopold's land ethic is another way to say it: "When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics."

"...a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for fellow members, and also respect for the community as such."

Again, the idea of the conqueror emerges. It seems that as long as there is dominance of human beings over each other or over any aspect or detail of nature, injustice will occur. As this logic is deeply understood and begins to inform every human decision, the great earth-ship's course will be changed. Seize these ideas and apply them to whatever your area of social, political or environmental concerns are and write about the connections. Send your letters, especially during April, to newspapers of every sort, all across the country. If everyone of like mind did this during the same month, the result would be profound.

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