Gut Check

Goldman Sachs has announced it will stop financing oil drilling in the Artic. They are reckoning with something that the United States government has yet to realize.  As the White House rushes to open bidding on 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Goldman Sachs is refusing to continue to support drilling in such delicate and important reserves.  They will also no longer support coal–fired power plants that do not have carbon emissions technology.

Now we know that Goldman Sachs is devoted to making money, so we can surmise that its stockholders are coming to the truth of this moment: There is no monetary gain in destroying the earth.

As a people we have been divided over the cause of climate change, but as we become witness to the devastation of fires, floods and unprecedented winds, we are acknowledging this: the costs to survive these calamities will continue to be much greater than the costs to mitigate them.

Capitalism is being moved by the bottom line of profit. But make no mistake; the efforts of young indigenous and non-indigenous youth to end the use of fossil fuels have hit their mark. They wisely recognize that profit can no longer lead the way. It must be common sense and respect for the earth and her people that will direct our course.

There is a debate that the personal choice to live free of fossil fuels is not as important as forging a change of laws. But I would argue this: it is those who have the conviction of personal conscience and love of the earth that are driving the changes in laws and perspectives.

The Rights of Nature and the Rights of Indigenous People must continue to take precedent. As human beings on this earth it is time.


Photo is of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, looking south toward the Brooks Range mountains. Compliments of Wikipedia Commons.

Our Mistake with Iran

It appears the king of frenetic energy has done it again. Pulling out of the nuclear “deal” with Iran, President Trump has sent allies and others into frenzy. They are trying to salvage the one step that had promised some semblance of peace to the troubled region. Everyone had admitted there were flaws in the accord – I try to refrain from using the word deal which is better left for car sales and snake oil – but with the US walking out of the efforts to correct the accord, the promise of peace is greatly diminished. When asked if this pull out has brought us closer to war, even right wing pundits admit, “Yes, it has”.

From what I can tell there are two ideologies leading the pack. One is the very old “might is right”. Certain that increased sanctions will force regime change; this out dated wisdom ignores the reality that the people of Iran had already moved toward a more reasoned and modern government. And now with the threat of severe sanctions again impeding their lives, Iranians question the wisdom of creating a new “deal”, which a new president could once again discard. Keep in mind; the Iranians had not broken the accord that President Obama had signed onto.

The second ideology is equally outdated. Our interest in the Mid-east is due to oil. Oil has us selling weapons to the Saudi’s to bomb Yemen. Oil has the world spinning to control Syria. Oil created the “shock and awe” of Iraq and make no mistake, oil is the incentive in destroying Iran.

While Israel, Pakistan and India’s nuclear weaponry sits unquestioned. And only the Saudi’s and Israel are celebrating this hawkish move to disavow the accord, one has to question the sanity of ‘might is right’ and the need for oil.

I once heard that if pigs knew their dung would be used for explosives, they would still be constipated.*

We need to look at our choices. We are implicitly to blame if once again our military or our weaponry are used for regime change. And it will be innocent blood again on our hands. Divest from oil. Call for diplomacy. Humanity is watching and the yet-to-be-born children of the world are begging.



This “Consider This” aired on WDRT, Thursday, May 10. You can catch Consider This every Thursday at about 5:28 pm CST. You can also hear it on Soundcloud.

*Through the decades, Prem Rawat has kept me thinking and has urged me to my humanity. This quip I remember from the 70’s.