Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Interdependence Day

And here I thought I was so very clever, coming up with this spin on "Independence Day." As it turns out, it seems as though there are people who have been after this notion for more than a decade now. This idea of worldwide peace and sustainability didn't originate here in the land of the free and home of the brave. Nope. Instead, it began in the very enlightened corner of the planet known as Johannesburg, South Africa. They even have their own declaration,  with Doctor Jane Goodall as their John Hancock. I suppose it makes sense that the smartest monkeys get to got first.
Of course, if I'm serious about this I'm going to have to start taking on "we" as a pronoun, eschewing "us" and"them," even if it means making Roger Waters sad. Though I don't imagine that anyone could pin the cause of Roger's misery on me, I might still feel bad, since he seems to be one of the early adopters of the interdependence ideal. Not in a particularly hopeful way, but we all do what we can.
Because that's what it's coming down to: We. The People. In order to protect a less than perfect planet, we are scrambling to hold together a world that has given so much for so long, but now it's tired. We stopped using DDT in 1972. We stopped using spray cans with CFCs way back in 1978. And yet, somehow in enlightened year of 2013, some people's drinking water can still be set on fire. Keep this in mind, citizens of Earth, that flaming water trick is happening in the rather developed and clever nation called the United States. Does it make you wonder what other less responsible countries might be doing? How about what we might be doing to the lakes, rivers, and oceans just downstream from where we see fit to dump this or that? Sure, we know it's bad, but we're done with it. What should we do with our plastic bottles after we're done with them? What should we do with that refrigerator after it stops keeping our collective beer cold?
Oh, and we've got to start getting along better with each other, too. Just the other day I was watching this movie about how there's a zombie virus and it's going to take one very scruffy but good looking young UN employee to figure it out before we all get eaten. But there may be some ironic justice in that yet: The idea that mankind would finally just eat themselves. It's good to have options, anyway. In the meantime, can I suggest that doing what we can to keep ourselves alive is probably a much better alternative.
There's some precedent for this, even in our hardened, win-at-all-costs American society. Ben Franklin said, some two hundred and thirty-seven years ago, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." I wonder if he was friends with Roger Waters.

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