Kucinich: “We Have Disassociated Ourselves from Nature”
We Must come to an Accounting of the Kind of Energy We Use and the Damage it Causes
Jun 9 -
Speaking on the House Floor in support of H.Res. 1330, Recognizing June 8, 2010, as World Ocean Day, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) made the following statement:
“I rise in support of the resolution to name June 8th as World Ocean Day, but for the last fifty days, and for the next six months at least, every other day is going to be ‘Ruin our Ocean’s Day.’
“While we would like to think that this is all about BP, I think that we have to go a little bit further. We have to understand that we have been pursuing a way of life that is not sustainable.
“It is not sustainable for we, as human beings, and it is not sustainable for our planet. So we can be here today to talk about the oceans, and we should, but we have to keep in mind, Mr. Speaker, that our oceans receive billions of gallons of runoff flows: pesticides, metals like mercury and lead and massive amounts of fertilizer, volatile organic compounds and countless other chemicals. Even before the Deepwater disaster, this runoff caused the single biggest dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Our oceans are absorbing the malfeasance of oil companies, who are not only responsible for at least three separate major, separate oil gushers as we speak, but are responsible as being one of two major contributors causing climate change -- and we are subsidizing them with taxpayers’ money.
“Our oceans are absorbing the malfeasance of coal companies, the other major fossil fuel contributor to climate change. For decades our oceans have been our repositories for the greenhouse gasses that come mostly from the burning of fossil fuel. The result is that oceans have grown more acidic. Coral is dying, underwater temperature patterns are shifting, undermining entire ecosystems, and there are signs that our oceans have reached the limit. Some studies indicate oceans won’t be able to absorb anymore greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere. That only increases the urgency with which we must act to achieve a carbon-free and nuclear-free energy portfolio.
“The ultimate challenge that we have about upholding the environmental integrity of our oceans comes because we have disassociated ourselves from nature. We see nature as being out there. We see nature as being not even a part of us. And because we are avoiding our responsibility to protect God’s creation, the price we are going to pay in the future will keep getting higher: oceans that are poisoned, a planet that is ruined and all of life threatened with extinction.
“So, we can keep temporizing about what is going on in the Gulf, but the fact of the matter is that sooner or later we must come to an accounting with the kind of energy we are using and what damage it is doing to the environment, the human race and all other life on this planet.”