JACQUELINE MARCUS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
We have grown up thinking that we were Earth’s owners and dominators, authorized to loot her. The violence that exists in the human heart, wounded by sin, is also manifest in the symptoms of illness that we see in the Earth, the water, the air and in living things.
- Pope Francis, Encyclical on the Preservation of Nature
This essay is written in memory of Rachel Carson, biologist, nature-lover, essayist, and a woman who had the moral fortitude to stand up, by herself, against the ruthless oil and chemical industries that resulted in the elimination of DDT pesticide from our environment.
If Rachel Carson were alive today she would be applauding Pope Francis’ Encyclical on how world governments must make the preservation of nature, (for there is no life without our forests, rivers, oceans and healthy soil), our moral and economic priorities instead of pushing through secret trade deals, without the people’s consent, that allow the major polluters to keep drilling, poisoning, and raping our only Home, Planet Earth, until there is nothing left to loot.
The industrial age should have been history by now. But thanks to a handful of greedy politicians, shifting to clean, harmless energy has been postponed for as long as they can postpone it—perhaps to the point of extinction of all life. That’s not hyperbole. According to Elizabeth Kolbert, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize author-scientist of The Sixth Extinction, life on this planet will perish if we don’t change course to sustainable energy as quickly as possible, given that time is running out. This major shift from the industrial paradigm to the renewable paradigm is long overdue.
It’s now up to the people to demand a global shift from all fossil fuels to renewable energy by 2025. 2050 is too late for the target date. Many countries are aiming for 2025 for 100% renewable energy. We must hold ourselves accountable as well as politicians. In our commercial society, we’re bombarded with the endless push to consume more junk, more stuff that is depleting our limited natural resources and polluting our air and water to the global warming point of extinction. We must try to live by the edict, "less is more."
As for the handful of corporate industrial polluters that are hoarding 85% of the world’s wealth, trillions of dollars—is still not enough for them. This goes far beyond human greed. There is no word in our vocabulary to describe their vile and unconscionable behavior of, as Pope Francis rightly observed, raping the earth of its last resources that in turn is reducing the majority of people and the animal world to cruel impoverishment.
It’s time for the people to stop being hypnotized sheep. Protecting Mother Earth will become the largest People’s Movement in history. That time has arrived.
Pope Francis’ call to do the right moral thing should shame our US politicians, including President Obama. Obama’s initiatives to lower emissions by 2025 are meaningless due to his offshore oil drilling plans. He’s the first US Democratic President to approve of oil drilling in the pristine and dangerous waters of the Arctic, and he is the first President to join Republican governors to permit offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, but shame requires that they possess moral consciences, which they do not. To add insult to injury, the Obama White House is authorizing the Navy to bomb the Arctic for “military exercises,” the last unspoiled region left in the world. Read Truthout’s journalist, Dahr Jamail’s "Destroying What Remains" for a full report.
No president with a moral conscience would allow the Navy to annihilate the last pristine wilderness lands and water in the world for military war games. The people, however, do have consciences, and that’s why they’re fighting back: fishermen, lawyers, grandmothers, children, environmentalists—they are all joining hands and forming that unbreakable circle of moral strength, guided by the Light of Conscience. And that compassionate Light is more powerful than all their stinking bombs combined.
Predictably, Pope Francis’ plea to save the Earth will provoke anger among our sold-out, fossil fuel politicians. Republican contender, Rick Santorum, “wants Pope Francis to stop talking about climate change.” Jeb Bush and a number of other Republican candidates running for President in 2016 all told Pope Francis to shut up about climate change.
Who in the hell are these sycophants from the oil industry to tell the Pope what he can and can’t say? But it gives you an idea of how far the US government has fallen, far below Dante’s worst circle in Hell. Santorum is proof that the Pope’s plea to be good stewards of the Earth will merely fall on mute ears at the White House and in the oily halls of Congress.
But the people, millions of people, if not billions, are applauding Pope Francis in agreement. According to recent polls, the majority of Americans want to protect the environment. In a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, 84 percent of U.S. Catholics, and equal percentages of Protestants and agnostics/atheists, said humans have a “moral duty to protect the environment.” Overall, 82 percent of Americans agreed, that percentage includes Republican voters.
For many years I’ve written about the oil industry’s devastating oil spills, and how pollution from fossil fuels is the major producer of carbon emissions known as “greenhouse gasses”. Those CO2 gasses are trapped in our upper atmosphere which is creating a global “greenhouse effect”. We’re now experiencing extremely threatening weather conditions as a result of human pollution-global warming: melting Arctic ice and glaciers, rising sea levels, cataclysmic tornadoes, floods, severe droughts.
Many species are going extinct faster than anyone wants to acknowledge—because it’s too depressing to see it up close.
Worst still, after undergoing meltdowns in three of its reactors in March 2011, TEPCO’s Fukushima plant released huge amounts of radioactive material. Contaminated water, used to cool the overheating fuel rods, gushed into the ocean. For the last four years, TEPCO has been dumping tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.
If you could see all the radiation that is polluting our Pacific Ocean, every living person would be shocked beyond belief.
But that's where the Fukushima nuclear power owners of TEPCO are able to escape scrutiny: you can't see the radiation with the naked eye. But it can, of course, be detected and measured through Geiger Counters. Predictably, the US government refuses to monitor levels of radiation. And if they are—they’re not revealing the results. When the government refuses to reveal life-threatening information to the public in the name of “top secret”, you know that it’s bad news.
In reality, this is an emergency crisis that is being completely ignored. It is the Red Fukushima Elephant in the room that no one sees or talks about. It’s invisible—so therefore, it doesn’t exist, right? Meanwhile, Japan is setting off a nuclear bomb every single day in the Pacific Ocean with tons of toxic radiated water.
In addition to global warming, what are the consequences of releasing tons of radioactive water into the Pacific, day after day, year after year, since 2011?
According to Global Research.ca, mammals, fish and wildlife are dying from radioactive contamination illnesses:
Thousands of sea lion pups are dying off California’s coast, an epidemic that began in 2011. This year, 2015, the death rates are off the charts. Nothing like it has ever occurred in our documented history of California. Corporate media reporters are calling the epidemic a “mystery”. I think not—unless you want to call four years of releasing tons of radioactive water into the Pacific a “mystery” as well.
And yet, the media, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and a number of environmental experts refuse to even speculate on the causal connection between tons of hot radioactive toxic water, (which explains the rapid sea-warming temperatures), that is continually being released into the Pacific Ocean, and the alarming rate of deaths, after Fukushima’s meltdowns. Gee, the NOAA just can’t connect those dots. And should the question arise, they immediately dismiss it: no causal relationship whatsoever.
In other words, dumping tons of toxic radioactive water, day in and day out, year after year, in the Pacific Ocean, has absolutely no consequences at all. Is that what they want us to believe? Sorry, but I can’t be that stupid.
True, global warming explains the warming of our oceans, but the Pacific Ocean has been warming up very rapidly in the last three years from a different kind of heat: radiation.
No consequences? I beg to differ: Polar bears, seals and walruses along the Alaska coastline are suffering from fur loss and open sores. Wildlife experts are studying whether fur loss and open sores detected in polar bears recently that are widespread and related to similar incidents among seals and walruses.
Along the Pacific coast of Canada and the Alaska coastline, the population of sockeye salmon is at an historic low. Canadians are blaming Fukushima. Something is causing fish all along the west coast of Canada to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.
Japan’s TEPCO must not be allowed to dump radioactive water from Fukushima in the Pacific Ocean. Pressure must be applied by world leaders to tell Japan that this must stop. Leaders of the world must call upon the best nuclear physicists and engineers to solve this problem as quickly as possible. TEPCO should offer $30 million dollars to any nuclear physicist or group of nuclear engineers that can solve this crisis as quickly as possible.
Question: If thousands of mammals are dying after four years, what will happen if TEPCO is allowed to endlessly dump this cancerous-causing radioactive water into the Pacific forever? Surely there must be some genius out there that can end this travesty before it ends us.
Pope Francis and the millions of people that are supporting his efforts assure me that I’m not the only one who cares about these poor animals that are dying from no fault of their own. We humans are wiping them off the face of this planet. Whether you’re religious or not, all animals, mammals, birds have a right to exist, a right to life.
It’s worth reading Jane Goodall’s and Marc Bekoff’s The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do to Care for The Animals We Love, and The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy — and Why They Matter.
As a proud mama of two sweet Labradors, it’s easy to extend your love of your pets to all animals with the knowledge that they are all sentient beings. New Zealand has come to acknowledge this truth. They passed a law recognizing that ALL animals are sentient beings.
Instead of promoting bad trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or antagonizing President Putin and the Russians with war threats, Obama and the G-7 leaders should be working together to save our Earth from pollution of mass extinction.