Connecting the Dots
I recently attended a meeting of state environmentalists who seemed to represent all aspect of the environmental problems affecting our state and our country.
There were representatives of anti oil and gas fracking, coal mining, and the air and water pollution caused by these energy sources. There were state experts in organic farming, recycling, and farmers markets, etc. There were advocates of cycling, composting, water and air pollution experts and so on.
What I noticed as missing from the group were experts on money. If you ask how money is involved in environmental concerns, I will tell you that were it not for money and the obsessive compulsive pursuit of money, we would have no environmental crisis. Because it has become generally known that our environment has already passed the earlier relatively safe limit of pollution of 350 parts per million and has reached 400 ppm, it could only be blind greed motivating those who continue to foul our and their human nest.
Professor William Domhoff of the University of California, Santa Cruz, has published a study of wealth and poverty in our country that shows that the top 1% of the country’s population owns more than 42% of the wealth, the next 19% owns 53.5%, and the bottom 80%, just 4.4%. That’s four point four percent for 80% of us! Why don’t we hear these statistics on our News programs? The answer is clearly that the “News” is written FOR the bottom 4.4% and is written BY those in higher wealth brackets.
I can almost hear environmentalists complain that I’m being unrealistic - that wealth in this country is so firmly ensconced that there is no way to eliminate or even reduce its influence. In considering this objection the only answer I could think of was a Mutt and Jeff cartoon of many years ago. It showed Jeff on his hands and knees searching for something under a street light. Mutt says, “Jeff, what are you looking for” to which Jeff replies that he dropped a quarter. Mutt says, “And you dropped it here?” Jeff says, “No I dropped it a block away but there’s no street light there.”
- Jay Carrigan