THE FUTURE AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE
The author of this column's title was Yogi Berra, a legendary Hall of Fame baseball player and coach in the last century. He was celebrated as much for his unique brand of fractured English as his baseball prowess. His sayings literally grew on you and his true philosophical nature revealed itself over time. Yogi was a genuine character on the national stage and turned out to be an extraordinarily prescient commentator on baseball and many other topics.
The sense of Yogi's comment was that as our species struggles our present challenges create the possibilities that our future will change. Unforeseen events lead to new directions. All our efforts, conscious or not, work to modify the future as it becomes part of the old past. One of the most prominent and powerful effects of the new future is the speed that events seem to generate. It not only seems like the pace is picking up, it actually is. As I write this the news is chock full of serial hurricanes, historic flooding, a disgusting president and congress, and a completely unnecessary and costly trade war. Perhaps thew worst of all is the tenacious support for the anti-women policies which has become another Trump signature. All these will create the changes that will affect the future and prove Yogi was right - still is.
Thirty years ago, a time that saw significant growth in environmental awareness, scientists believed that the effects of many environmental crises were relatively long-term and manageable. Many scientists, educators and activists believed that we had at least several decades to deal with the growth over time of many problems and issues. From loss of species to industrial pollution in our oceans, from global warming to plastic proliferation, we knew we had a lot of work to do. We also felt that we had the means and the will to prevail. The consensus was that we knew what was happening, we knew how to deal with many if not most issues and that, over time, the US population would support environmentalism.
For those of us who choose to work for solutions to environmental challenges "the future ain't what it used to be" is a constant theme in our work. An important part of this is our needs to be flexible and adaptive to changes as our future evolves. Part of this is because we have become more committed to, and active in, the environmental community.
The future looked if not bright, at least attainable. Many of us thought the future looked predictable and, given increased support of government and the general population, our view of the future also looked attainable. This was not an unreasonable belief given the fact that the establishment of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air and Water Acts were becoming important tools in the environmental toolbox. The future was bright and Americans involved in environment movement had good reason to be optimistic.
Unfortunately, the last few years have illuminated anything but a bright future. Under the misguided guidance of our current president, and his followers, the bloom is definitely off the rose. During his short tenure President Trump and his minions have wreaked havoc on our government's laws and customs. While it might be fun to list the many environmental transgressions this administration has committed space does not permit. However, a visit to a Google search on "trump and the environment" produced over four hundred million items. For more information check out this link - "Trump's lasting damage to the environment" This election is truly important, even vital. If we don't exercise our will and utilize our power the future will truly not be what it can be. Our job is to make sure that "the future ain't what it used to be." Finally, for an additional dose of environmental positivism check out this link to ENVIRONMENTAL SUCCESS STORIES.
WHAT WE CAN DO
The good news is that we have the capability to make this election step 1 in a nationwide campaign. The fact is that we have more voters and both small and big D Democrats. Not only do we lead in raw numbers, even more importan they are enthusiastic. New/first time voters, women, millennials, baby boomeers and super-seniors. All are already turning out in recored numbers. Our opponents lack both numbers and enthusiasm. If we work hard and effectively, if we tell everyone how, where, when and who to vote for. If we act, follow-through and tell everyone we see to vote then the day after Election Day will be the first day of our new future.
We can do this, and more and more and more of us are realizing that we must. It will be fun, it will be a great thing, it is something we can and have to do.
TO GET STARTED ON WHAT MAY BE OUR MOST IMPORTANT ENVIRONMENTAL CAMPAIGN EVER, CHECK OUT THESE LINKS
To access the National Geographic's "A Running List of How Trump Is Changing the Environment" -- CLICK HERE
TO learn more about participating in Democratic Party Election Campaigns CLICK HERE
We can learn more at the The Democratic Party National Committee WEBSITE
A picture is still worth 1,000 words. As a matter of fact, positive images of environmental success are worth a lot more. For those of us in further need of inspiration the images on this GOOGLE SEARCH -- ENVIROMENTAL BEAUTY PHOTOS.
SWING LEFT is a fast-growing citizen initiative devoted to identifying and campaigning in swing districts. It is a unique grass roots movement. CLICK HERE for their website.