Thursday, November 10, 2022

#315 / The Industrial Order


Having told readers of this blog that "Growth ≠ Good," as I did on Wednesday, November 9th, it seems fitting to direct attention to an article in the September 2022, edition of Desert Report, which provides news from Sierra Club California and the Nevada Desert Committee. The article in question, by Shannon Salter, is titled, "When Is A Review Not A Review?" Salter lives in the Mojave Desert of Nevada and California and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Salter's article is about a "Green" project - at least a project that is being called "Green," and she warns us that this word has become an "abstraction...masquerading as thought." Calling something "Green," in other words, is a way to distract our attention from what is really being discussed or proposed. It is a tactic, Salter says, of "The Industrial Order." 
I don't remember having heard that expression before - "The Industrial Order" - but I immediately knew what Salter was talking about. It is appealing to our sense of pride when someone suggests that our hard work and "industry" are the most important things in the world. Really, we like to believe, the "world" actually depends on us, and that we create the world in which we live. That's partly true, of course, but only partly. While we live most immediately in a world that we ourselves create (hard work and "industry" doing the job), we live, ultimately, in the World of Nature, which we did not create, and upon which everything we do is totally dependent. 
Since we ultimately live in and depend upon the World of Nature, all our hard work and "industry" won't save our civilization if what we are doing undermines the natural environment that sustains all life on the planet. Those with the big bucks, though - guys like Warren Buffet, billionaire - would like us to focus on proposed human activities as though our human activities could be detached from any understanding of what our human activities might do to the "Natural Order."

The "environmental review process," mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act" (NEPA) and the "California Environmental Quality Act" (CEQA), are supposed to force us to "Stop And Think," before we make alterations in the natural environment. The idea is that we need seriously to consider what the impacts of human activity might be on the Natural World. Ignoring those impacts, in the pursuit of our own projects, is a shortcut to disaster.

Calling a proposed project "Green," says Salter, can distract us from the actual impacts of what will happen if we proceed. We all know that "Green is good," right?

Read what Salter has to say about the proposed "Greenlink Transmission Line," and I think you will be persuaded that "The Industrial Order" should not have the last word on how to build a sustainable energy future! "The Natural Order" is more important, in the end!

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