Unite Against...

I often receive emails that ask for support to unite against environmental damage or other world issues. There are some causes in which I fully support and others I’m decidedly not involved. One that comes up most often is uniting to End Violence Against Women! A noble goal indeed! However, does anyone really believe that we can end violence against women?

It seems to me that we have been battling, supporting and uniting over that issue since the dawn of civilization but still it remains constant. We can make changes in government, laws and individual thinking but I remain unconvinced that we will ever END violence against women. Worldwide we see the price women pay with their bodies and lives. It has been purely tragic to hear and read the stories of the systematic rape and torture of women in war torn areas. Then there are the transitions houses which in many countries are filled with women seeking safety from abusive relationships. According to the  Canadian Women’s Foundation “On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. In 2009, 67 women were murdered by a current or former spouse or boyfriend.” The foundation also provided the following,  “rates of domestic violence has decline over recent years” but interestingly another stat followed which stated, “victims are now less like to report an incident to police.” So, has it declined or is it just swinging more towards under-reporting?

How about saving the environment? A popular topic with a constant call for action. Unite Against Environmental Destruction! The only way we can end environmental destruction is to start with birth control. According the World Population Clock we have already hit 7 billion people and if you watch that clock tick by you can see there are more births than deaths. We simply can not sustain ourselves at such a rate. Start with reducing the amount of births across this planet and you will see all of its non-human inhabitants breathe a little easier. I see the environmental hypocrisy every week in my neighbourhood with recycling bins lining the streets for pickup and garbage cans packed to the lids. Meanwhile, huge and I mean massive houses are replacing perfectly good homes so that a family of four can each have essentially their own apartment. Trees falling with every living creature displaced from ground up to accommodate the modern family who is consuming and acquiring more stuff.

I’m reminded of George Carlin when he said:

“The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles…hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages…And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet…the planet…the planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE!”

After a well thought out analysis of humans and the planet Carlin follows up with, “The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system.”

We are not a self correcting system. We may make small or even at times significant gains when we unite to save ourselves from our own stupidity or to feel good about ourselves, which is really all we are trying to do. I believe it is next to impossible to fully END anything that we have so meticulously created. Racism and slavery exists today despite many attempts to end their existence. To my estimation religion, politics, money and our own self importance dictates that we will forever have these issues and more. Well, maybe not forever.



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