Every day women around the world spend 200 million hours collecting water for their families. While they walk, private ownership of water, excessive use of water for vast mono-cultural agribusinesses, deforestation/desertification practices, and climate change go unchecked, creating and worsening this situation. Their paths are not romantic, safe or easy. They can walk for hours then trip, fall and lose their days work. Their backs, internal organs break down from the incessant, cumbersome weights they carry, sometimes three times/day at all hours. Surely, this is something that must be attended to.
Mess around with the bones of the earth and there is liable to be trouble. Earthquakes are appearing in new, startling places like Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Netherlands, not known for earthquakes but sites for fracking. It’s madness. Check out Like Thunder in the Ground, (Tom Dart, The Guardian, 1/5/18) to find about fracking and earthquakes in north Texas and what an environmental group, Liveable Arlington, is doing in response.
Here’s another poster protesting the U.S. military’s role in polluting the earth. The Department of “Defense” produces more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. oil companies combined! At the same time, the Pentagon is exempt from all international climate agreements!!! How can this be? For another article on this issue, check out Project Censored’s US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet.
When we think about environmental destruction, we must think about war because modern warfare (most particularly coming from our own military) is the number one enemy of the earth. Ecocide — the destruction of the natural environment, especially when deliberate — is both a strategy (i.e., Agent orange) and a consequence of our military practices (i.e., oil use) of U.S. wars. So, we fool ourselves if we think we can address climate change and the environment without being anti-war. If you would like to check an article on this topic, read Karl Mathieson’s What is the Impact of Modern Warfare in the 11/06/2014 issue of The Guardian.
When I was a kid, my friends and I could hop on our bikes, pedal a mile or so and cup our hands to fetch and drink delicious, clean, ice-cold, fresh spring water. We knew the water was safe and never dreamed that it would disappear or that others could not have what we did. When I hear of the phenomenal numbers of people in the world without access to clean water, I am stunned. When I find myself not trusting the water flowing out of my tap or hear about impending and already occurring scarcity, I am stunned. Water and humans go together. There should be no assigning of privilege with access to this basic elemental right. Nor should there be corporate practices that hoard, misuse, or defile our water. If you’d like some facts on water, check out this United Nations fact sheet. Staggering.
I was moved to design this poster on fracking after watching the documentary, “Gasland,” written and directed by Josh Fox. Listening to the people whose lives have been immediately affected by fracking on or near their property is an eye-opener and a call to action. While fracking occurs or may begin in many different environs, including in my city, I used the red barn in this image because of the threat to my beautiful beloved home state of New York. I warmly remember countless rides with my grandparents through the luscious countryside, being taught to love nature, to honor our farmlands, to value those distinctive red barns. Those kinds of places are now suffering from or being threatened by environmental destruction due to fracking.
It is easy when doing political posters to focus on our troubles. There are many, after all. Sometimes, however, I nudge myself to concentrate on our vision of a better life, to remind myself why I got involved in movements in the first place. The power and joy of deep connection with earth, the natural world, with other human beings. The importance of creating economic systems and social institutions that honor and support those connections. Doing this poster brought me back to those first exciting, very connected days way back when.… Sigh.
Butterflies grace us with their presence as they alight quickly, tentatively on blades of grass, a quick kiss on their long distance journeys. We watch, transfixed and delighted. They make our days a little more special, beautiful. And, yet, they are dying in staggering numbers, victim to an economy which digs up, paves over, pollutes and just generally messes up the fragile paths our winged friends travel. Do we really need this kind of economy, represented here by our mechanical, more destructive long haulers?