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November 8, 2007

The well-known activist, Lois Gibbs, writes about bringing people together at neighborhood meetings.  The most memorable message that I took from this book, was that the people who attend are at various stages of acceptance regarding environmental health issues, and that this is where we need to start.

We are all stakeholders, invested in one way or another in products, practices or policies that are harmful.  Eventually, each of us butts up against “the gray area.”  This is the chink in the armor of our values.  How much do we compromise?  This is the vulnerable area of our morality.  And it’s the part of us that is the most exploited.  You do come to realize that on so many levels few issues can be seen in simplistic “black and white” terms.  Still, we know that what’s right is right.

With regard to our environmental dilemma, I believe we’re on a learning curve, much like those neighborhood meeting participants, only on  a planetary scale.  Do we have time to go slowly as the free-market extremists would have us believe?

I think the idea that, while even these stakeholders are just as capable of seeing through the veil of greed, they are by nature reluctant to become a part of a larger picture–a landscape of sustainability that promotes respect and walking softly on our spaceship Earth.

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