Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


March 25, 2014

Lion and the Lamb: The unheard deafening roar

CROSSVILLE — Climate change is a social and environmental problem unlike any we have seen before. The largest and most prestigious non-governmental scientific society in the world, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, with over 125,000 individual and institutional members, released on March 18 a public warning of the dangers posed by climate change,

The report focuses on three messages: 1) Climate change is happening here and now. 2) We are at risk of pushing our climate system toward abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts. 3) The sooner we act, the lower the risk and cost will be. According to the report, 97 percent of climate scientists have concluded that humans are changing the climate. (The full report can be downloaded at

Combating climate change requires not simply banning a substance, changing our personal habits of consumption (paper or plastic?) or buying sub-compact cars. Climate change will require that the human race immediately stop what it's doing, reorganize its social, economic, and political systems, and engage in an orgy of policy-making which focuses on long-term solutions enacted in the short term, for the whole of the human family. We've never thought, planned, or enacted change like this before. Yet for some it's just too much.

The voices and power blocs that seek to censor climate change discussions are those ideologically committed to a rapacious, free-market capitalism. It is this system, with its uncontrollable appetite for resource consumption, that has brought a small slice of humanity a level of wealth never before seen in history. Those who benefit from this system, the global 1 percent, can neither imagine nor entertain any other possible future. As Francis Fukuyama wrote in his 1989 essay "The End of History?", we are, along with the uncontested dominance of global capitalism, at the end of an epoch. Beyond our current economic order, we can imagine no other possibilities. With history's end, does this mean that the planet must go, too?

When the next storm hits, the next drought commences, the summer fires burn, the permafrost melts, and our shorelines erode, one hopes that there will be those who can hear the deafening roar, just outside humanity's door, of a planet in mortal anguish.

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  • Lion and the Lamb: A promised land?

    Back in biblical times there was a group of people who believed that God had promised them a segment of land on this planet that would be theirs forever. Who could have known back then that this ancient promise and territorial justification would be used by their descendants today to claim the same segment of land?

    July 29, 2014

  • We the People: Bring back the American dream

    Our economy continues to expand. The stock market is at record levels, yet many ask why so many of us are struggling?  Barely half of us believe the American dream is attainable.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

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