Our planet is an island oasis in an infinite universe, uniquely formed to support millions of life-forms, the many species of plants and animals, bacteria, insects, fish and human beings. The necessary ingredients for continued life are an oxygen atmosphere, fertile soil, sun, and water. To hold these sacred is to guarantee the continuance of life. From these basic sources come energy and food. All living things require both for sustenance. Whether you believe in God or not, these simple scientific facts are irrefutable. They do not run contrary to any religious belief. How our world was formed and when it was formed is of no consequence to our continued survival, completely irrelevant to resolving the problems that face the planet in order to support continued life.
The globe today is divided into countries, each governed in a different way, each with independent needs and goals. Over millennia their borders have been defined by geographic features like land mass, oceans, rivers, and mountains as well as arbitrary lines drawn on a map, creating many separate tribes, societies, and cultures, originally defined largely by commonalities like language, religion, and race. But as all these cultures have one thing in common, the need to continue to live, they formed many complex relationships to meet their needs: management of their native resources, laws governing their society, a moral code supported by religion and trade with their neighbors. All these were instituted to manage life. A society lacking resources and trade and further lacking an inclusive moral code and protective laws would seek to fill the deficit needed for sustained life through aggression, taking what was needed from a neighboring society through war, taking the lives of others.
The practice of preserving the life of a tribe at the expense of the reduction of the life of another tribe continues today, even though all religions regard human life as sacred. Other life forms are not regarded in the same way. Plants and animals, the earth itself do not get the same consideration. Why is that? Perhaps it is because humans are widely believed to have a soul. Just what is a soul? Perhaps it is nothing more than consciousness. Our bodies are shells filled with life for the duration of our consciousness. When we die, we are no longer conscious and it is said that our soul has left our bodies. The big conundrum is “where did it go?” Is there a place where souls, formless beings, reside together and are segregated into separate locations according to the activities of the soul during the time it inhabited and acted through a human shell? Heaven and Hell, Purgatory and Limbo–all religions have beliefs resulting in rules that determine the proper behavior and practices to establish the outcome for a soul. Principal among these is “Thou shalt not kill.”
In every age, and especially now in the age of globalism, we must respect this one commonality. We must respect all life. While it may be argued that plant life does not have consciousness, clearly animals do. They are conscious beings that live by instinct, unrestricted by religious or social laws. Yet, they like us must act out of a need for survival. Religions do not regard them as having souls because unlike humans, they do not exercise “free will” and therefore, their actions cannot be regarded as sinful. When an animal kills another animal for food, it is a simple matter of survival. While they can meet their own needs for food under the right circumstances, they are unable to control the other factors that continue to support the life forms they must consume to live. They cannot alter the content of the atmosphere, the energy of the sun, the availability of water. They are as much a part of global interconnectivity as are we, but with one glaring exception—we are uniquely positioned to be able to do something about it. Like them, we consume other life forms, be it plant or animal. The continuance of these life forms and ours is dependent on the continuance of the earth as we know it. Instead of “Make America Great Again” our very consciousness requires that we think differently in order to survive. We must “Make Our Planet Great Again,” protect and restore its health.
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It matters not whether global warming and climate change are man-made. Whatever the cause, we know with certainty that it is possible to exert a positive effect on the increasing deterioration of the very resources required for life. It’s common sense that we not pollute our air, our water, and our soil. It is common sense that we do not deplete our natural energy resources like oil and gas. They are finite. The competition for the control of existing energy resources creates conflict and war and creates massive shifts in wealth from one society to another, further enhancing the imbalance between both nations and social classes at a time we need to unite to survive.
One obstacle to this unification is religious fanaticism. Religions that have a central tenant of revenge and punishment will by definition perpetuate hate, maintain anger and require destructive, often the violent action of its members. In smaller tribes, this results in terrorism. In larger tribes, it requires controlling the society by controlling the government. It affects every aspect of every policy: economic, trade, immigration, the environment, consumer protection, education, energy, social, medical, law enforcement, military planning, equal civil rights, veteran’s rights, the climate, taxation, and monetary policy. All must be considered holistically in regard to how each policy serves to support life. Policies that protect or promote one tribe over another must not be allowed to stand.
To eliminate regulations protecting the environment is to attack all life on the planet. Regulations that allow for the pollution of air and water, or allow for more poisonous insecticides to be used in farming may result in short-term economic gains for specifically targeted industries and their investors, the 1%, but is short-sighted and unsustainable. The so-called trickle-down effect is the bait used to secure the compliance of the other 99% in securing their own destruction. Trickle-down should be rebranded hand-me-down, as these dollars are like tired and worn out clothes handed down by an older sibling to a younger brother or sister. “Fresh” dollars should be used for all, not the few, to secure our sustainable future, investing in energy like solar, wind and new technologies for alternative fuel. No, hand-me-down dollars have little value and like worn-out clothes are short lived.