"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." (Martin Luther King)
James Lovelock has done an incredible service to the world in the Gaia hypothesis, now the Gaia theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis). Says Lovelock: The Earth is "a complex entity involving the Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet." While the earth continues to suffer, many people have changed their consciousness about the earth due to the Gaia theory.
Despite the gratitude I feel to Lovelock for his lifelong work, Lovelock's idea that the Climate Crisis is too serious for democracy puts faith into leaders who have not been listening, while blaming the people. It is an idea that must spring from the inevitable frustration of seeing the earth continue to suffer - despite one's best efforts. Still, it is an idea that must be challenged.
If Lovelock's most recent suggestion about democracy were to be followed, all of the individuals working to protect the planet would be silenced, while apathetic world leaders coached by big business would triumph. Modern dictatorships are not exactly a model of ecological sustainability. And modern democracies barely listen to the people. Who killed the climate change process in Copenhagen? World leaders. Not the demonstrators outside being arrested. From the demonstrations in Copenhagen, to water defenders in Bolivia, to the Greenbelt Movement in Kenya, it is ordinary citizens and scientists - ones aware of climate change - who are the people making a difference.
The environmentalists who successfully helped President Obama get elected, for instance, did not vote for offshore drilling. Meanwhile, Canadians were barely even informed about the destruction of the earth in the form of the Tar Sands. Examples like this persist around the globe. We don't want the Tar Sands, and yet they continue. War continues to be the largest contributor to Greenhouse emissions. This is not even what democracy looks like. This is a system of continued injustice where we risk becoming immune to the rapid death of this beautiful earth, at our peril. As King said, "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."
Let's take a moment to reduce our energy consumption, join democratic movements for the planet, and to put pressure on our politicians telling them that tar sands, coal, nuclear, and off- shore drilling are NOT what change looks like. Write your locally elected politician today and tell them that this is no time for rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.
In most democratic countries, you can find your locally representative by searching: find my elected representative, with your country, or area name. Or, your government website should also have a link.
Peace, and remember: "The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood." (Martin Luther King)