We all have blind spots. Ourselves, our institutions, our society.
Blind spots are simply those things that well meaning people miss either by denial or omission. As Donald Rumsfeld might describe them they are either the known unknowns or the unknown unknowns.
Here is a short list of local blind spots of local institutions. I believe these current blind spots will help define our common future.
a) A Democratic Party (local, state and national) that has largely forgotten it’s responsibility as the party of the 90%. Reference: Thomas Frank’s Listen Liberal. Solution: We need all need to get involved.
b) A local environmental movement which largely forgives or forgets about the cumulative effects of our largest and growing agri-dustrial sector. Reference: Fundraising letter from EPIC below the fold. Solutions: Demand accountability from those we task with being the conscience of our commons. Also, greater structural changes.
c) Businesses that have forgotten or deny that their own workers deserve a living wage and this is critical for any sustainability of our society into the future. Even if they themselves cannot afford to pay these, they rightfully should be advocates for the injustice of the status quo and helping us to define where it is we need to go. Reference: Co-op and Eureka Natural Foods as two examples who sell sustainability, except when it comes to living wages which they will fight against either with silence or advocacy. Solution: Get the word out to those businesses you frequent that the wages of their employees is important to you. Also, greater structural changes.
d) An economy and society that only remembers that some percentage are not making it when they are forced to live in the same vicinity. Reference: Houselessness in Humboldt and Eureka. Solution: Greater structural changes, not what we are currently doing.
There is an unintentional theme here. It’s how we all make our own lives and priorities match with what is essentially an economic system with winners and losers. This takes us back to a), our Democratic political party which has dropped the ball and needs to regain focus combining FDR’s view of governmental action against a rigged economy with a continuation of LBJ’s action on civil rights and racial justice.
e-mail from Natalyn DeLapp of EPIC received yesterday and title “The Forests Need You”
Contributions, from people like you, have helped to protect critical forest habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl and Coho Salmon from post-fire logging and advance Endangered Species Act protections for the Humboldt Marten, Pacific Fisher, and Northern Spotted Owl. With your financial support we will have the resources we need to achieve lasting protections for the wild forests of California’s North Coast and Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion.
We’re facing an unprecedented attack on public lands and wildlife as special interests try to cast aside our strongest environmental laws so they can log and exploit the wild. Big Timber is trying to destroy bedrock environmental laws like the federal Northwest Forest Plan and Endangered Species Act so they can get at the last remaining old-growth in our forests. The Koch Brothers are giving to groups that advocate giving our national public lands away, which resulted in the armed standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
With your help in 2016, we’ll watch over nearly one million acres of forest, methodically craft public comment letters, organize and petition—and if necessary—sue to save the forested ecosystems of Northwest California.
Situated in the heart of the North Coast—the region that we are working to protect—we offer unique advantages to conservation efforts. We know local decision makers, have a wide network, and are able to impact decisions on the ground by directly interacting with land managers in the field.
Please help us now by ensuring we have the resources to keep up the fight rather than diverting our energies with continued appeals. Take a minute now and help us advocate for the protection and restoration of the forests of Northwest California.
If you still need convincing, let me remind you why we do this work. We do this work because we love the land, wildlife and community; we do this so our forests can grow big and old—and store lots of carbon; we do this so our children’s children will know what it is like to have wild salmon running up our rivers to the furthest reaches of forest streams. We do this work for people like you. With your support, we will be successful.
Not a mention of Weed Inc. which is a greater threat to Humboldt property – public and private – than The Koch Brothers. There is a reason it is not mentioned. I’m guessing the reason is many of their contributors earn some portion of their income from Weed Inc.