of Two T-Shirts
When I hear wonderful words I sometimes find a T-shirt and paint
the words on it.
Here’s one I heard on Public Radio:
“It’s not just about charismatic megafauna.”
I’m all for whales and pandas but it’s the magnificent, delicate,
interdependent living system, earthworms and microbes and all of it,
that stops me in my tracks with awe and reverence.
reverence led me to Friends Committee on Unity with Nature (FCUN), which
I represented at the United Nations where I found another T-shirt
preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and
at the Summit itself I found the actions of the United States appalling.
Over and over again I heard US delegates strike out the words
“responsibility” and “accountability.”
They made sure the phrases “Polluter Pays” and “the
Precautionary Principle,” accepted 10 years ago at Rio, did not
They tried to deny Universal Human Rights protection to women
receiving health care by inserting
“…in accordance with local custom and religion…”
They blocked language specifying that Type II Outcomes (new,
UN-backed “partnerships” between financing sources, governments and
civil groups to provide “development” through for-profit projects)
could exist only within the framework of Type I Outcomes (traditional
I could go on.
The international anger and frustration were palpable.
morning at a preparatory plenary session the presider, thinking his
microphone was off, said, “What are we going to do about the United
That’s my other T-shirt.
By afternoon most NGO shirtfronts sported pinned-on signs
repeating the question, and next morning printed T-shirts appeared.
When these were immediately banned people covered the last two
words with masking tape and wore the shirts anyway.
The cosmos is a living whole in which all life forms are equally
blessed to participate.
And our government is leading the push toward unlimited wealth
for the few and dire poverty for the rest through ruthless, unrestricted
exploitation of our sacred , living Earth.
not just about charismatic megafauna.
What are we going to do about the United States?