Originally published August 10 2008
The Wastefulness of Consumerism - Brought to You by Al Gore
by Dr. Phil Domenico
(NaturalNews) I know heís an easy target; kind of nerdy and goofy; an elitist, in a bookish sense. Kerry was similar. Neither carried the Democratic ticket, apparently because they could not relate to the common man. Part of that perception arose from the Republican smear tank, where anything intelligent or different is made evil. Perhaps the Dems need another Slick Willy to weather such character distortions.
Needless to say, it wonít be Al Gore. He got burned in 2000, and still appears a little singed. Thatís OK, because our Democratic Presidential hopeful in 2008 is young, foolhardy and strong. As for Al, he is now beyond politics, having attained philosopher-king status as champion of the environment. He is currently focused on the one topic he is most comfortable with, and arguably the most important one of our times. And, the professor tells the story well.
Despite dropping out of politics, Al still gets his licks from the Republican machine. Thatís because heís talking conservation, which is a bad, bad word in corporate America. It runs counter to consumerism and wealth building. Be thankful there is someone gutsy enough to go against the tide, and to represent a voice that needs to be heard.
Say what you want about old Al, but remember this: These views do not belong to him. Billions of people around the world feel similarly. Al Gore speaks for the vast majority of scientists, many predicting dire earthly consequences from current human activity. All it takes is a little awareness and restraint to substantially reduce our consumption of electricity, water, paper, chemicals and fuel. Itís not a radical idea, except to those who profit from all this wastefulness.
When all the resources are used up, Republicans will argue that it was for the sake of commerce. Theyíll say a man has a right to earn his daily bread, without interference from some tree hugging liberal, or academic elitist. Theyíre sure weíll figure something out when the oil runs dry, instead of developing those technologies now. It doesnít matter that the environment is broken, as long as the stream of money isnít. Thatís the shortsightedness that helped dig the current hole weíre in, and will continue to bury us until weíre history.
In the end itís all just human nature. We are not the first self-destructive culture, though we may be the last. Itís the same old greed, ignorance and hatred that the Buddha warned us about thousands of years ago. No one is innocent. Yet, many folks are over the top and need to be reeled in. Corporations are way over their heads in stink, and must be made accountable. Thatís the role of government that was conveniently lost in the current world order. There is almost no distinction between government and corporation in the U.S. Industry Conglomerates in Health Care, Energy, and Agriculture stop at nothing to control wealth and promote wastefulness. Everything, including human life, is expendable.
Life on this planet is increasingly burdened from centuries of industrialization and wastefulness, especially during the age of consumerism in the last half-century. Most of the current global warming occurred in the last 30 years, and is accelerating. As a person born in the early 1950s, I have seen ominous changes over the years, like the disappearance of frogs and crayfish in rivers, the browning of forest trees, and the epidemic of chronic debilitating disease. Now the bees are disappearing, which is an ominous sign. Itís not only polar bears that are on thin ice. Perhaps it's too late.
Some call it karma; others, a natural process of decay. But folks like Al Gore choose to stand up and take action. To him, not all is lost. Nor for many young people, whose futures look bleak. They remain vibrant and active, despite looming uncertainties. They sense something is wrong, and that it's time to act. They will be asked, like no other recent generation, to make sacrifices. Yet, there are many ways we can conserve now, without excessive pain. Whatís lacking are education and leadership. Which explains why young people are rooting for Obama.
Many people do not want to see the dark side of this, especially if theyíre making good money from it. You can even say old Al profits from global warming, but that would be an ugly twist of reason at best. Yet, for Republicans, it's all in a dayís work. Why not another mindless rationalization? Hey, if it works, why stop now? Convince Americans that Al Gore is full of smoke and our problems will go away. Right?
Go Get 'Em Al!
About the authorDr. Phil Domenico is a nutritional scientist and educator with a research background in biochemistry and microbiology. Formerly an infectious disease scientist, he now works as a consultant for supplement companies and the food industry.
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