From our friends at Shambhala Sunspace.
“The American way of life is not negotiable.”
So declared President George H. W. Bush at the 1992 “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro. It was his response to what everyone else there had realized: that the earth’s ecology is endangered and “that nothing less than a transformation of our attitude and behavior would bring about the necessary changes” to protect it, according to Maurice Strong, secretary-general of the conference.
In 2002 a ten-year follow-up to the Earth Summit was held, but President George W. Bush did not bother to attend. When his White House press secretary Ari Fleischer was asked whether the new president would encourage Americans to reduce consumption in order to reduce pollution, he said no: “The American way of life is a blessed one.”
What happened during those ten years? Unfortunately, not very much. After the Earth Summit it seemed like the world had finally awakened to the eco-crisis, and for a couple years I noticed that almost every media report on the oil industry referred to global warming. And then … the world seemed to fall asleep again. The environmental crisis was not really forgotten, but the linkage between ecology and economy was de-emphasized — and so very little was achieved, because not much can be achieved without addressing their interconnectedness.
For more from David R. Loy check out: