The following is an independent, op-ed piece by Matthew H. Griffin, long-time sounding board and conscience of Hooper's. The opinions expressed in this piece are the author's, and they do not have to be yours. But he certainly wants you to think about them.
And you should. Please read on.
Listening to McCain's speech on Thursday night, I repeatedly heard invoked "global economy." What I really long to hear is a politician that starts talking about "global ecology."
A global ecology envisions the benefits of letting the earth lie fallow, of cultivating inefficiencies in the hope that something will germinate because it has the time and positive conditions for growth. Unemployment benefits, state-supported universal access to excellent, affordable health care and education: the global economy that I heard so much about does not allow for such inefficiencies. The global economy holds true that there can be no end to the parade of commodities that ceaselessly stream into our homes and pass out just as quickly. The motto of the global economy is, "Drill, baby, drill."
I long for a politician who can make a convincing case for conservation and for preservation in all its myriad forms. The real candidate for change will formulate the problem thus: unfettered access to profit is resulting in our poisoning! The global economy is causing immeasurable degradation to our bodies, to our planet, and to the delicate web of wildlife about which we know so little and hear, see, and experience increasingly less.
I struggle with the fact that I can't bring this point home to those to whom it matters most. My friends will not hear me equate my father's poisoning and death by cancer with the machine behind, "drill, baby, drill." They will say that's liberal crazy talk.
Who now would stop to consider if his condition has been adversely affected by the lack of migratory birds that pass through Hinsdale, Illinois, because of the toxic sprays used fifty years ago in the campaigns against insects that killed Elm trees? Who would stop to consider if he has been hurt by the increasing indiscernibility between art and marketing. For surely art--which is using up and wasting a lot of paint to quote Monet--is one of those inefficiencies that has to go!
We need inefficiencies and fallow time to let the earth produce wonders that we can only come to appreciate in future generations. Otherwise, our constant demands on the finite resources of the planet will make deficiencies our only legacy.
-Matthew H. Griffin