Posted on April 22, 2014 by the Communications Committee
Statement on Earth Day by Peace and Freedom candidate Eugene E Ruyle, candidate for State Assembly, 15th District.
As we celebrate Earth Day, it is important we keep in mind just who is threatening our beautiful planet. As Dr. King might say, the biggest purveyor of pollution on this planet is our own government, specifically the U.S. military. This was made clear in a report on one of the most unreported stories of 2010 by Project Censored, which states, in part:
The US military is responsible for the most egregious and widespread pollution of the planet, yet this information and accompanying documentation goes almost entirely unreported. In spite of the evidence, the environmental impact of the US military goes largely unaddressed by environmental organizations and was not the focus of any discussions or proposed restrictions at the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. This impact includes uninhibited use of fossil fuels, massive creation of greenhouse gases, and extensive release of radioactive and chemical contaminants into the air, water, and soil. (Project Censored, "US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet," October 2, 2010)
World’s Worst Polluter? The U.S. Military
Perhaps it is time that we ask that leading environmental organizations, such as 350.org, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, recognize this fact and call the U.S. war machine to task. While it is essential that we continue to protest fracking, the Keystone XL Pipeline, and GMOs, we can’t let the war-mongers themselves off the hook.
But the worst environmental impact of the military is its role in maintaining the global system of corporate capitalism that puts profits before people and the planet and is destroying our Mother Earth. The Peoples of the Earth would have put an end to capitalism before now had it not been for the military invasions of places like Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan as well as CIA subversion in Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, and everywhere.
Our Peace and Freedom Party was concerned about the destruction of our planet even before the first Earth Day, and our earliest platform in 1968 included a clear statement on Ecology. Our continuing concern is made clear on our latest Platform, passed in March 2014:
The same corporate forces and economic system that exploit and brutalize the world's working class people are destroying the world's biosphere. These social policies and ecological destruction often overlap. Socialism is necessary to end the ecological destruction caused by capitalism. Our goal is a society that is in harmony with nature as it is in harmony with its own people. The Peace and Freedom Party therefore calls for:
- Restore and protect air, water, land and ecosystems.
- Outlaw destructive practices such as clear cutting, fracking, mountaintop removal, tar sands extraction, and offshore drilling.
- Promote conservation and develop solar and other renewable energy to replace nuclear power and fossil fuels.
- End environmental racism: no toxic dumping in anyone's back yard.
- Massive development of public transportation available free or at nominal fares.
- Promote an environmentally sound agricultural system which meets human needs and protects farm workers' labor rights and standard of living.
- No genetically engineered organisms in food production.
The date of the first Earth Day, April 22, was chosen because it coincided, approximately, with the Spring Equinox, long a time of celebration of the powers of our Mother Earth. It is no doubt purely a coincidence that it also coincided with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin, a National Holiday in the Soviet Union. Perhaps this is why the FBI sent its agents to spy on Earth Day activities around the nation in 1970. Perhaps also it is time to make Earth Day a subversive idea once again and realize that organizations such as NASA, Wells Fargo, Southwest Airlines, Reagan Wireless, and Chevrolet are no friends of the environment, even though they sponsor Earth Day.
And it is definitely time we make the rich and their corporations pay for the destruction they have caused to our planet and the people on it. That’s why our slogan on Earth Day should be: "End the Wars and Tax the Rich AND SAVE THE PLANET!"
For more on socialism and the environment, see