People Power: Government, the Environment and Us

For some years I’ve been increasingly fascinated by the degree to which Americans want government to do everything for them yet don’t want to pay taxes for it and simultaneously dislike “big government”.

Lately I’ve been finding it especially ironic that many are reviving the old “red scare” which completely misunderstands socialism (and conflates it with Soviet Communism) while also wanting government to take care of everything from roads to health care to the environment to jobs, etc.  Which is kind of socialist…

Liberals have always been more complacent about government but in some ways the widespread assumption that government intervention is the most important source of help for multiple problems is misguided in my opinion.

For instance, the liberal/left keeps jumping up and down about climate change and making the federal government’s role in it central and crucial to any success.  In the meantime, though, if you look around at what’s happening around the world, the greatest and most vibrant projects with potential for saving the earth arose from individuals, non-profits and local governments taking initiative to work on new and creative ideas.

Project Drawdown is an extremely heartening book detailing innovations already under way with potential to turn around climate change if they continue and expand. Multitudes of projects are already happening and almost none of them were implemented by national governments. See also Yes Magazine, Planet tab, and note this article in particular: How to Not Be Completely Depressed About Climate Change.

I’m not saying that government can’t play an important role or that it isn’t a huge help if national governments get on board.  But the reality is most federal governments are so ruled by corporate interests and so deeply corrupted by those ties that to me it isn’t realistic to assume even the “right” elected representatives can create changes of the magnitude we need.

The one heartening piece I’ve seen lately was the number of newly elected representatives to the U.S. House who raised money only through individuals, not through corporate PACs.  If we could accomplish a turnover in which the majority of those elected are doing it without corporate money, we might start shifting the corruption because they might be less subject to influence.  I also think that might take too long.

Too me the great hope for the world is in having more of us participating, from trying out the kinds of innovations others have already launched, to financially supporting non-profits with viable programs to creating your own climate saving project.  From projects you can do in your own yard to ideas for solar buildings and/or neighborhoods, etc. there are multitudes of ways people power can expand and create ever greater impacts.

Throughout this series I’ll be calling for local action and for more conscious meshing of ideas, groups, volunteering etc. within communities in order to separate ourselves on many levels from the greed of the 2% and corporate power.

A topic for another day is using people power to break corporate power and thus the global corporate tendency to destroy the environment.  In the meantime, yes, work to elect “green” candidates and push for helpful legislation, but even more important look at your local landscape and see what YOU can do.  What’s happening that you could participate in with friends?  What organizations are doing great things that could use volunteers or more funds?

And for the spiritually-minded, who believe in the power of prayer, visualization and energy:  holding a vision of a healthy world, raising your own vibration to help raise the world’s vibration, sending healing energy to Earth and affirming the positive innovations by bringing attention to them are all ways to contribute.

The People Power series so far:

17 thoughts on “People Power: Government, the Environment and Us

  1. Pingback: Walking a different drummer/spiritual path in a secular world | Not Just Sassy on the Inside

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  3. Leigh what you say here is so true.. Individuals have been the ones with the great ideas, and who have made huge strides in thinking about our environment, and creating eco-friendly homes, and ways to live in harmony within nature than to destroy it.
    We have come to a point in our ‘evolution’ I think, that we are seeing the break down of our governments, because they are no longer serving the people,( if ever they did? )
    So people are losing faith, as they begin to ‘See’ them for what they are.. Corporate slaves in themselves as they are bought and sold and often have self interests in large corporations doing all the talking and controlling.

    I See a time when governments are going to break down, and people power is is going to start at the grass roots and create co-operatives of co-operation. Where skills and resources are pooled..

    This too doesn’t come easy or over night, because a lot of chaos will ensue before such a system could be established, because there will always be those who want to take and not give.. This is why I feel ‘Drastic’ changes will occur world wide.. If not from Mother Nature from man’s own destructive forces. Either way not good for Mankind, humans or our animal kingdom..

    But such events have occurred in the past and will do again, as these cycles of planetary evolution come around every 26,000 yrs or so..

    You are so right about our local issues,, and it all needs to be brought back to community.. Something I too have been writing about Leigh..
    Its great how we are saying similar things yet in different ways as you say..

    I love it when the Universe aligns us giving us the thoughts we need to get out to wake others up..

    I wish more would read your fine words Leigh..
    Sending love and well wishes my friend ❤

    • I have a bunch of tabs open right now for info and links to go on a post on co-operatives and bringing it back to local community efforts, etc.
      Yes, “the universe aligns us giving us the thoughts we need to get out to wake others up.” Exactly. Hugs, Leigh

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