Who would think that poking a few bean seeds into the dirt could preserve many of our constitutional freedoms? The process of growing our own food and pulling our hard-earned dollars out of the commercial/industrial food production conglomerate could be considered one of the most powerful political statements any individual can make. Since everyone has to eat every day, our sustainable gardening efforts grow a healthier existence for each of us now and for future generations.
Recognizing that we are in the midst of historic political, cultural and environmental changes is half the battle. Remember in the 1960s when smoking marijuana was considered a political statement? The culture of the hippies brought the awareness of weed into the mainstream, but then the disco culture merely added cannabis to its list of distractions. With the wave of economic refugees and homesteaders during the recession of the mid-1970s growing their own, frugality became the norm. Next came the big money smugglers and cartels to ruin it all. Think of the mayhem that could be avoided by legalizing victimless crimes and taxing their maintenance costs. (Some of the first federal actions taken by George Washington were to collect excise taxes on whiskey.) Oops, I advocated the “t-word.”
I consider that many in the U.S. Congress receiving agricultural subsidy moneys for which they vote be seen as a conflict of our personal and national interests. The five-year farm bill due for renewal in 2012 is on hold while the super-committee of our representatives and senators finalize their budget. Then both houses plan to fast-track one of most important pieces of legislation. I can only surmise that few sustainable agricultural laws will survive this cantankerous process.
Even the scientific facts of climate change are spun to a political advantage. Al Gore’s “inconvenient truths” are just the tip of a melting iceberg. Coalescing statistical trends to conduct populist polls goes far beyond a scientist doing hard research. Special interests that buy a study might find a small piece of data to dispute a larger trend, but heat islands in cities do not deny the fact that polar ice caps will melt in my lifetime. Keeping the lid on a pot of boiling frogs because corporations can anonymously influence political campaigns will only push the problems to disastrous extremes.
All I’m saying is to level the playing field. If our elected representatives are unduly influenced by an advantaged percentage of the electorate, our voice must be heard through other methods. Occupy your garden, grow some of your own food and be aware, be very aware!