Sunday, November 13, 2016
The forest still needs us, and we still need the forest
By Nathan Harrington
Like most Washingtonians, I am still reeling from the news that an openly racist, nativist misogynistic and Islamophobic con-man - a vacuous demagogue and crass narcissist - will be our next President.
Cherished illusions about what kind a country we are, how far we've come, and who we entrust with power have been painfully stripped away. The possibility that a sage, cool-headed black president might be followed by a feisty woman president was enough to provoke a fierce reactionary backlash.
More people voted for Clinton, but thanks to the arcane - and insane - Electoral College, we have our second undemocratically elected president in 16 years.
The electoral outcome is an unmitigated disaster for "the environment" - that is, the prospects for the planet remaining habitable. While future administrations will ultimately reverse the policy outrages of the next four years, the science of climate change is not negotiable or reversible. If the President-Elect follows through on his pledges of withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords, extract and burn more coal, oil and gas, and roll-back Obama's emissions and fuel economy standards - and if Congress goes along - the survival of our children may come to depend on the pipe-dreams of Elon Musk.
Let's hope that this dark moment in our history will break through our complacency. As the great historian Howard Zinn said "If you want change, it matters less who is sitting in the White House than who is sitting in, and who is marching outside the White House, pushing for change.”
All of our work for human rights, social and economic justice, peace, and a sustainable world must continue, but with a new consciousness of what's a stake.
Restoring and protecting Shepherd Parkway as a life-giving resource for the under-served Ward 8 community is one very small contribution to a better world. The forest still needs us.
In times like these, we all need the healing power of nature. We still need the forest.
Posted by Nathan Harrington