One Planet, Many Policies

“Policy is largely set by economic elites and organized groups representing business interests with little concern for public attitudes or public safety, as long as 
the public remains passive and obedient.”

~ Noam Chomsky on the Transatlantic Agreement and US Policy

The news and I have an on-again-off-again relationship. For the most part, I strive to surround myself with positive elements. After over forty years on this Earth, I’ve learned that worrying about something that hasn’t yet happened, or might happen, or is happening but there’s nothing I can do about it, is actually a waste of time. Right here, right now, in my life, wonderful things are happening and those are the things I do not wish to miss, simply because I was stressed about something that’s completely out of my control. In spite of the fact that I'm writing a dystopian trilogy,  I truly believe that the world is NOT out to get me.

Yet, as a writer of science fiction, I do a lot of research, and the news is a part of that. Particularly political news, since that is where the power lies—in the hands of those who work in our governmental agencies.

This morning, I found the quote above from Noam Chompsky very telling. It sums up the entire attitude of governance in America at this moment in time. Decisions are not made in the name of the people, but rather for those who have an economic hand in them. These decisions are being made daily, behind closed doors. However, given the fact that we are one human race, sharing one atmosphere, one biosphere and one planet, any decision made behind closed doors affects all of us, whether the politicians realize it or not.

It has long surprised me that most people refuse to believe that their government would hurt them. Folks like to complain about the government, but suggest that decisions might be made intentionally without regards to our safety, and people cry, “CONSPIRACY THEORY!” and tune you out.

“That’s impossible! The government would never do that.”

Is it? Take Chomsky’s quote above. I agree it’s a stretch to believe the government would kill citizens intentionally, but when economic powers are concerned, our governments already have a track record of disdain for our safety and our freedom. Take the nuclear testing in the 1960’s, which released new forms of radioactive carbon into the air we all share, and thus into all of our bodies. Remember Erin Brockovich? PG&E knowingly spewed carcinogenic waste into a town’s water supply as a way to cut costs.

And today, as I read Charles Eisenstien’s latest article for The Guardian, I learned that, “the US National Research Council endorsed a proposal to envelop the planet in a layer of sulphate aerosols to reduce solar radiation and cool the atmosphere.”

This plan, also known as geoengineering, is an important one because it involves changing our atmosphere without our consent. One country has decided to spray a layer of sulphate aerosols across the planet, without any testing of the long term effects on human and planetary health. Why would we rush to this type of solution for the environmental crisis we’re in? And why do we, the people, sit back and let it happen? Why are we so obedient?

Let me be clear, I don’t think this is a conspiracy to wipe out humanity, but for some strange reason, we’ve all been trained by the media to think that. Most people won’t discuss it when I bring it up, and I know I risk being seen as “out there” for mentioning it. But hear me out. Geoengineering our skies has been an idea for quite some time. Most likely it started out as a really cool patent that would help some company make a lot of money. It wouldn’t be too hard to figure that one out, there are many patents registered under this category. They’ve been testing and spraying since the late 90’s. Money is the driving factor here.

But now we’ve got a real climate change issue on our hands and geoengineering has yet another reason to be pursued—saving humanity. We must cover our atmosphere in a layer of metals so that we can cool the planet. It will save all of us! Yet will it? I’d like to see some answers first.

What is the impact on human health to be breathing in sulphates? How about animals, or insects? How cool do we want to go? What if we get too cool, how do we heat things back up? What do we spray then? The Earth naturally cools and heats over centuries, in patterns we don’t really understand, so are we sure we know exactly how to do this right?

The questions are endless, yet many aren’t asking them, for fear of being seen as crazy. Instead we look to the skies and say the grid like cloud patterns are normal, and that they’ve always been there. That’s only true for people born since the early 90’s. The rest of us know better, yet we don’t question. It’s as author Miguel Angel Ruiz said, “We only see what we want to see; we only hear what we want to hear. Our belief system is just like a mirror that only shows us what we believe.

For me, the real reason we need to wake up and ask the hard questions of those making policy is because both business and government have shown us that they don’t understand the web of life in which we live. Policies are short sighted, profit driven and made without regard to safety and wellbeing. A new perspective must enter our leadership. As Eisenstein puts it so well...

“The quick fix mindset behind geoengineering must be transformed to one that seeks a humble partnership with nature if we are to address climate change.”

I’d go even further to say we need to stop assuming that business and government will fix the problems we see, and seek our own humble partnerships with one another, as we begin to make the difference locally. The age of the quick fix has dominated us economically and politically for centuries, but in the larger scope of things, humanity knows instinctively that all is connected and that what we do to our skies will affect every creature on the planet. We’ve been here before, and it’s time to stop being passive and demand that our solutions take into consideration the wellbeing of not only our economy, but life on the planet as a whole.