Year 4, Month 5, Day 17: It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

Radical economist Winona LaDuke, in the Duluth News-Tribune:

The problems facing our nation can’t be solved in Washington, D.C., said Winona LaDuke, economist, author and two-time vice presidential candidate for the Green Party. The solution starts at home.

“You’re either at the table or on the menu,” LaDuke, a member of the White Earth band of Ojibwe, said in a speech Thursday at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

She focused on three main issues: climate change, extreme energy addiction and the rising cost to transport food.

“I’d really like to get people to hang around another thousand years,” LaDuke said. “And so the question is how are we going to do that?”

People today have two paths in front of them, one well-worn and scorched, the other green and less traveled.

“We’re the ones who can keep them from putting a mine in … our watershed, which is the wrong thing to do,” she said. “We’re the ones that can keep them from combusting the planet to oblivion. We’re the ones that can keep them from changing the direction of any more rivers or blowing off the top of mountains, yeah. Or genetically engineering the world’s food chain … what a great spiritual opportunity that is, to be those people, to do the right thing.”

I like Winona LaDuke; I think she’d probably agree with the gist of this letter. May 4:

It’s indisputable that the struggle to address global heating and its devastating consequences must be waged on the home front, and Winona LaDuke is correct in her assertion that for the most part, useful approaches to the climate crisis will probably not emerge from Washington, DC. But this simplistic formulation ignores the role that our notoriously dysfunctional Congress plays in making it exponentially more difficult for individual, local, and regional solutions to develop and flourish.

When Republican Representatives and Senators demonize science and block even the most eminently sensible legislation for patently political motivations, this sets them in opposition to the American people’s natural impulse to action and innovation. When conservative media downplay the danger of climate change and instead assert bizarre conspiracy theories, they corrupt the national conversation and make it harder for ordinary citizens to stay well-informed about the grave threat posed by a runaway greenhouse effect.

Warren Senders