What is Peace part 2
Tying Together Health, Dangerous Inventions & the Environment
Ecomania is a fear of nature that may be explained as a defense mechanism malformed or exaggerated from its original function to aid survival. In its exaggerated misapplied form, the fear of nature works to threaten survival. Fear reinforces and drives interventions and actions that are devastating nature in aggressive attacks such as deforestation and chemical and biological warfare. The solution to the fear of Nature is saturation in nature, or education about what was perhaps in earlier times much more understood about the natural world we live in. For example a treatment for snake phobia would include holding snakes till the point the fear is lessened or in some cases totally overcome from the positive experience of learing how to identify snakes and hold the ones that are safe.
As humanity retreats to cities and begins to isolate itself the significance of how tearing down the habitat of the forest means less in part because people have been removed from understanding and appreciating nature and in part because the natural tendency is to make decisions that result in self gratification or benefit. Unfortunately, the long term consequences are often not examined and the sense of responsibility is not present in many decisions that negatively impacts nature. The cost of ongoing environmental destruction is a detriment to all life, not just our own.
Hatred, alienation, and the ongoing atrocities on earth can be at least partially explained by the failure to implement and actively practice nonviolent lifestyles that are based on principles of harmony, constructive self-determination, and mutual-aid sustainability. Thus, reformation, rehabilitation, restructuring, and discipline are pathways to establish a healthier civilization.
Many of the most severe environmental adverse impacts are largely due to the last several hundred years wherein the industrial revolution and scientific inventions have produced new ever more devastating threats and harms (Carson 1962 pg6 & ch 2, Doren 1991 pg.298, 394.) Organizations such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, the World Health Organization, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Rainforest Action Network, Earthsave International, and the Worldwatch Institute have presented an overwhelming amount of information that argues abuses that have taken place or continue to take place. Because of the intimate link between the environment and its’ inhabitants, many environmental abuses have led to human rights abuses, including forced relocation, ethnic cleansing, exploited labor and so on.
There are direct correlations of increased pollution or toxins and increased mental or physical illness. When the exposure rate to toxins increases, the probability for death or other severe damages also increases. It is known that toxins (i.e. radiation) damages the nervous system, adversely impacts chromosomes, and devastates or otherwise negatively impacts life in numerous ways (Caldicot, 1994 pg. 22,24,25,35-48.) Therefore, it is ignorant to permit the manufacture of harmful materials and extremely hypocritical to defend the use of toxins as being necessary when evidences are overwhelming conclusive that these substances are harmful to life. It is especially inexcusable that we allow these chemicals to be manufactured when cleaner alternatives exist, which is often the case.
The rate and amount of pollution generated by people has greatly increased as populations have grown and with the advent of more polluting technologies, especially since the industrial revolution. When the penalties are less than profits, the incentive to not violate is often a less significant force than the perceived reward that exists if one does violate nature. Modern laws designed to protect us and the environment are enforced by Government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and non-profits which are often at a major disadvantage to private enterprises for several reasons. Reactive based approaches to the problem versus preventative approaches are seriously limited ways to make productive changes. Soft punishments and adversarial approaches have proven non-effective in altering behavior. A combination of much more severe punishments, including the removal of the corporation shelter for gross violators, deeper consequences, and much more rigerous efforts to educate consumers and the business community about how and why the transitions to safer and cleaner production processes and technologies is essential.
Cancer is a disease defined as the rapid acceleration of the process of cellular degeneration or cellular death. In 2001 the American Cancer Association announced that lung cancer is the fastest growing cause of death in the U.S. and they estimated the rate of a person contracting some form of cancer in the U.S. is one in three women and one and two men. The voluntary or involuntary consumption or exposure to toxins helps to explain how the lung cancer rate has nearly tripled over the last 80 years in the U.S. Dietary habits, smoking cigarettes and exposure to second hand smoke or smoke in the environment are also major contributing factors to the development of lung cancer.
Toxins are liquids, solids, and gases that cause damage to life and may result in impaired development, disease, involuntary death or the extinction of species. Toxins are man-made and naturally occurring from the combining of elements that produce harmful reactions and effects. Toxins stem largely but not exclusively from industrial processes due to inefficient commerce, defense, and medical industries. Since the invention of toxins, there have been thousands of fatal accidents responsible for thousands, if not millions of deaths across many species of life (Carson 1962 pg.35,43,77,85-90,93-4,109,126,135,139,146,152,165-6,174,181-4,196-8, 209-211,216-222 & Caldicott 1994 pg.64,74-75,106). In the mean time many alternative nontoxic and less toxic options lack adequate support to convert and eliminate or significantly reduce harmful wasteful practices despite their availability to meet community needs and solve community problems. Who’s to blame, consumers or special interest corporations who are causing incredible suffering and financial losses not normally accounted for in the current economic accounting system that overemphasizes Gross National Product (GNP) and undermines the quality of life? The losses of human productivity, natural resources, and damages resulting from negligent mistakes like pollution should be accounted for and the people responsible for the damages, even consumers who endorse or reinforce such activities are responsible irregardless of whether or not it is apparent to them or not. The best way to assume responsibility is to end the support of harmful practices and use safer ones.
Some countries like Germany have started to require electronic signatures for certain waste products so that when housed in waste parking lots, or if discovered in an inappropriate dumpsite those manufacturers can be later connected to damages to the planet and pursued and identified correctly and so that significant incentives are present to have the materials better tracked and hopefully more safely stored and recycled. Also the system encourages manufactures to select the cleanest technologies over dirtier ones where possible. Such processes also changes planning and development and evaluation to include a longer term and broader risk analysis.
Should we continue paying for our tresspasses against nature through genetic defects, increasing physical and mental illnesses worldwide? What is really at stake? All actions lead in one of three possible scenerios. We either improve upon life, have unobservable impacts, or we worsen life by the behaviors we exhibit.
Unity and constructive self-determination are central to human advancement and survival. Emphasizing equality, empathy and decreasing unhealthy competitions reinforces sharing and justice. Demonstrating fairness or reasonable ethics and actions to address difficulties, needs, and disputes when they arise or develop is a process that is open for evaluation, refinement, and experimentation- all of which encourages participation. The development of diverse skills like reasonable prediction, reflection in and on action, courage and the exercise of the strength of humility, may help our modern civilization strike more productive ethical guidelines, minimize distress and provide more opportunities for harmonious development. Mistakes are inevitable. While those mistakes may seriously challenge progress or even cause regressions or substantial losses, humanity can maximize potentials and learn from such experiences to the advantage of future generations. We can learn to improve conduct and create responses in manners that are respectful to the diversity of life and in ways that are congruent with the diverse needs of life we are becoming increasingly aware of. The honorable attempt to improve and preserve the integrity and dignity of humankind may at times seem pointless or even arrogant, but without hope there is despair, without faith there is overbearing uncertainty and fear, without trust there is isolation and without love there is madness. Martin Luther King Jr. commented that the struggle for dignity and equality must remain non-violent so that when the walls of segregation and injustice are removed, people may live as brothers and sisters in peace without the dreadful inclinations of revenge or retaliation (Ely Landau 1969). At this very moment, we must find resolve in the reality that the survival of life depends on steadfast commitments to struggle for justice beyond monetary or personal gain. To win, as a human race we must affirm a willingness to confront and triumph over ignorance and abusive situations despite the predictable suffering that may result from active resistance and noncooperation against injustice because it is better to become empowered and work together towards resolutions than it is to be oppressed and contribute to creating or reinforcing suffering. It is better to be alive and face fear at the source, than it is to hide behind half-truths that attempt to deceive and prey upon the innocent and the naive. It is better to conscientiously object to injustice than it is to give consent to violent acts that support it. It is better to be empowered because fortune favors the brave, honesty aids trust, trust eradicates isolation and the power of unity gives way to the power of love which can not be divided, as love is the bedrock upon which life stems from and firmly depends upon. It is better to die on your feet for just and reasonable convictions, than it is to live on your knees accepting the dictates of irrational tyrants. However, offering resistance to people looking for a fight can be counterproductive, even dangerous. Thus, each of us must chose our battles wisely. Once problems are discovered, it is up to each and everyone of us to decide how we will respond to the pains of the world and it is our duty to make sure we do everything in our power to eliminate support for enterprises or activities we know are counter-productive to the well being of life. Then we may have the strength to look our children in the eye and honestly say we have invested wisely in the present and borrowed respectfully from the future with compassion to ensure they would have improved opportunities to develop into free and healthy individuals.
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Also inspired by: Ruth Caplan, Annie-Berthold-Bond, Donna Jackson