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OPINION

Letter to the Editor: Witnessing the willful killing of our Earth is soul-devouring

Submitted by Chuck Goyette
Crookston Times

    Often in these very troubling times I feel and experience what is known as informed futility. It’s the bearing of the gift of knowledge and the burden of silence.

    I know very well that climate change is the greatest problem we face as a civilization. Nature is dying. I observe it daily. That harsh reality is often overwhelming. I am silent. It seems people can’t face reality or they just don’t care or they are distracted and owned mind, heart and soul by corporate-controlled hi-tech devices – very removed from the natural world.

    With this said, I will break my silence and inform. Donald Trump is simply the worst imaginable person to have immense power at any time – especially now. He never expresses any interest, care, concern or respect for the natural world, the giver of life.

    Behind the scenes of the COVID crisis, he and his fellow plunderers and polluters have been very busy.

    By executive order, government agencies have been instructed to bypass environmental regulations and speed up fossil fuel projects like mines and pipelines. The order will allow White House officials to circumvent bedrock environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act and all but eliminate public participation in decisions affecting communities near infrastructure projects.

    In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the rule rolling back fuel economy and emission standards for cars, which will allow nearly a billion more tons of carbon dioxide to be released. And the agency also issued a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws, and it won’t pursue penalties if power plants, factories, manufacturing plants and other companies exceed pollution limits. It’s an open license to pollute and the impact on our communities and the climate could be unimaginable.

    Repeated attempts to gut public health and environmental regulations have nothing to do with jumpstarting the economy. In fact, they go back well before the COVID-19 pandemic. Since taking office, the administration has tried to weaken or repeal more than 100 policies designed to protect people from pollution, ensure access to clean air and water, and give communities a voice in decisions that impact their environmental health.

    It’s clear that Mother Nature can’t take another four years of neglect, abuse, violence and destruction by Nature’s Exterminator, Donald Trump.

    We all are responsible for the dire state of our Earth. We are sacrificing what is big and permanent to prolong what is small, temporary and harmful. We’re sacrificing animals, peace and children to retain wastefulness. We do things that we know are wrong day after day, just because that’s the way the system is set up and we think we have no choice.

    It’s soul-devouring. We do have choices. Every time we say no to consumer culture, we say yes to beautiful and sustaining. Life is not something we go through or that happens to us; it’s something we create by our decisions.

    Live simply so that others and all the living world may live. We are born with obligations: obligations to those who came before us, to those who will come after, and to Earth itself. When we orient ourselves around “What are my obligations?” the deeper the question arises. Knowing what is happening to the planet, what do I devote my life to? Let’s resurrect our hearts and souls and actively and respect our Earth.               –

Chuck Goyette, Red Lake Falls, Minnesota