Archive for May, 2011

What is Your World View?

May 29, 2011

Recently, I was encouraged to check with my daughter and granddaughter to compare our world views. For example, what are the biggest problems in the world, who or what is causing them, and what do I see as my role in this dance?

 It’s a great question.

 First of all, what does the question ask? No doubt, we each have a different answer or different questions about the answer. For starters, ‘What’s happening in the world and why?’

 In 2007, I spent 3 months in the Suriname interior with the Peace Corps. I was aghast to see what happened after SURALCO, an offshoot of US ALCOA, was allowed to dam up the Suriname River to generate power for their aluminum plant. The project, which was promoted to make money and jobs for the people in Suriname, literally buried several towns in the interior under water in what is now Lake Brokopondo.

 In turn, the people, who had been living in cool, thatched roofed houses in their rain forest, were displaced north of the lake. Land there was cleared of trees and uniform slab houses were built in straight rows, each with a metal roof. The effect was to put people in virtual Dutch ovens to deal with equatorial heat.

 While the project has made money for the aluminum people and provided some jobs, it has brought with it the health problems of substandard housing, lost hunting grounds, and ruined the possibility for people to live off and care for the land.

 This is a repeat of the way our country treated Native Americans. They just don’t call them reservations in Suriname.

 So now, the shoe is on the other foot. We’re faced with a foreign country wanting to use our land as a conduit to make money at our expense, while putting out great promises that will lead to our demise. This time they’ve upped the ante to bogus TV commercials with visions of the very luxury and robust health they will undermine.

 Time to take off the blinders and say, “No thanks!”

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