“We all share in the feeling of being trapped and helpless when the air we breathe outside has been declared hazardous to our health”
by Frederick Sinclair
We find ourselves engaged in lives which are first and foremost supported by a complexity of life giving natural resources provided by Nature. The potential frailty of life support systems on this spaceship earth has never been more obvious than during recent impacts of massive Canadian wildfires burning out of control. We all share in the feeling of being trapped and helpless when the air we breathe outside has been declared hazardous to our health. How quickly and completely has our quality of life (QOL) been altered? Many other threats to QOL have recently appeared on the environmental pollutant radar screen, which are less obvious than the choking wildfire smoke. PFAs (the forever chemicals), glyphosate, oxycodone, fentanel, radon, atrazine, electrosmog, carbon dioxide, greenhouse gasses and myriad other cumulative toxins are less obvious yet continuously degrade our QOL.
How do we repeatedly, as the allegedly conscious beings on earth, come to paint ourselves into such a compromising corner? Where did mankind go wrong and why are we perpetuating such self destructive behavior? A prominent answer to these questions comes in the realization that mankind, as it grouped into large communities and massive physical support systems were required, adapted into a quantity over quality standard of performance and accomplishment. Accumulating quantities of things, resources, control and power, steadily grew into a losing sight of the importance of protecting quality of the very resources that support life and the health of the earth and ourselves. The sickness of insatiable greed was spawned with a lust for money and power, supporting convenience and profit at any cost. A subsequent industry capture and control of government resulted in the disconnect between public policy and environmental health.
The antidote, to this extinction level mindset, is in the adoption of a weighing of impact to Quality of Life as THE standard upon which personal, group, institutional, government and communities can achieve excellence in action, environmental protection and public health. For those who would ask; what does that have to do with putting out the wildfires? I propose that prioritizing breathable air justifies allocating 10 billion dollars from the half trillion national defense budget to outfit and maintain a squadron of C130s for a rapid delivery of millions of gallons of water to put out wildfires. In other words, making protection of the ability to breathe, for millions of people, a priority over the ability to kill and blow things up.