In Katherine Lee Bates' song "America the Beautiful", our country is hailed for its "spacious skies/ For amber/ waves of grain/ For purple mountain majesties/ Above the fruited plain". But the face of Lady America is changing before our eyes. Her waters grow grey from pollutants, those purple mountains are shattered for black rocks the size of fists. That fruited plain becomes barren. America is losing her beauty.
If we excluded terrorism in the list of challenges for the United States in terms of National Security, I think the next line on the list is ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY. There are several reasons for this. And like most national security concerns, this one is quite confusing. The reason is twofold:
1. We as the United States do not want to blame ourselves for the issues. Who really wants to blame themselves? It could make us look weak in front of the rest of the world. Or it could exemplify our responsibility. This is where the forum of word choice is super important. If we stress that we want to work together than we can accomplish so much. The environmental conference in Copenhagen, or "Hopenhagen (yah right. Thank you USA and China) made me pretty miffed. The tension between these two economic powerhouses did not lead to any signing that was for the betterment of the planet. But when self interest is involved, who cares right if half of Guyana is submerged under water? WRONG! If we work with other nations and lead the world in environmental protection it could A. Better our image on the world stage and other countries will trust our services. Do we still want to be po
rtrayed as gas guzzling monsters? Our image is being tarnished by our primitive industries while EU and Asian car companies create alternative energy cars and technologies. We are slaves to the oil princes of the Middle East. That is a huge reason why we are fighting so hard. And do not even try to justify that we are not. Why is it that when the US invaded Iraq, thy destroyed all the cabinets but the oil sector? And B. Countries that we trade with are having environmental issues. If we need raw materials such as wood from Brazil and use it all, our industries will fail. WE HAVE FINITE RESOURCES ON A FINITE PLANET IN A FINATE SPACE. Its NOT gonna last FOREVER. So we need to help other nations out so that our industries can survive. Also, this brings environmental issues straight into the heart of America. We are in the midst of environmental problems on our very lawns! We have environmental issues right here on US soil! This leads into my second point.
2. Environmental Safety is an umbrella of several issues including but not limited to water woes in Las Vegas and surrounding regions, pollution and deforestation in Chesapeake Bay area where fishing industries once thrived, strong fertilizers that dry out agricultural lands and become unusable while polluting water that the very farmers who are using the very fertilizers drink. And the worst of all: the moving of mountains of West Virginia and the harm coal companies are doing wildlife and the people who are tucked into those once verdant hills.
National security is a forum to protect the American people. Then why is it that the quality of water is slipping in West Virginia? Why is water running black in taps and children are getting sick from mercury poisoning? And we need to protect American industries from failing in the near future because of the lack of raw material for us to work with. We need to protect our image on the global stage. We shou
ld be leading coalitions to do so because we have the resources and it could boost our image. There are several reasons why we should protect our natural resources. Its based on self interest and interdependence and it empowers those who do. It brings me pride when I read about legislation for the protection of wildlife and our environment for America the Beautiful. But one day that beauty could be gone. Lets keep American beautiful for me, for you, for our nation, for the rest of the world.