Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Diane Wilson Goes on Hunger Strike to Raise Awareness About Global Warming

The following is an essay from Diane Wilson in which she explains the reasons behind her latest hunger strike. It was originally posted on Fasting For Our Future. I’ll be honest with you. I’m a fourth generation fisherwoman that has been fighting environmental issues on the Texas Gulf Coast for over twenty years but this hunger fast is the first time I’ve did anything on global warming. My environmental activism started after the county where I live, Calhoun County, was ranked No. l in the nation for toxins to the land, according to the 1989 Toxic Release Inventory. That year was the beginning of a skirmish that quickly escalated into a trench-like 20 year war against petrochemical companies that wanted nothing better than to leave their steel-toed shoe imprint on the marshes, rivers, bayous, and bays of Texas. In twenty years of what I call my baby-like naivety I have seen something that I never expected to see in my lifetime and, in fact, is what is currently spurring my hunger strike. In one lifetime, I have seen the consequence of what unclear thinking, tunnel vision, and short term unsustainable living can inflict on a community, town, fishery, and a bay. WHAM! Fish houses shut down. Boats rotting in the harbor. Business shut down. Oysters stressed out. Bay full of mercury. Crabs full of mercury. Cattle’s DNA mutated. Rampant cancer. I have a houseful of boxed information on everything from dolphin die offs, to political buy-offs, kick-backs, worker deaths, fraudulent reports, exposures, stressed out oysters, mercury superfunds, contaminated seafood, and everything you never wanted to know about super-sized industries hell bent on destruction. People who don’t live on the Texas Gulf Coast have a hard time believing my story and quite frankly, I have a hard time believing it myself. The story gets stranger and more and more bizarre and after a while I don’t need the incredibility brimming in my listener’s eyes to I stop myself. I just stop myself. You see, usually cause and effect is sooooo much slower. So slow—which gives you time to forget what it was that caused that effect in the first place. Kind of like that Bhopal/Union Carbide/Dow issue. Twenty thousand dead but twenty years of forgetting right there. Then, too, the saying is: death by a thousand cuts. Right? Takes a long time for a thousand cuts. Mighty long time. Several generations, at least. But apparently not in Texas. We get to the hanging much quicker. One time a Washington, DC reporter called me and after talking for awhile he said he sure wished he was down in Texas covering a story because in Washington DC, the footprints were well-muddied and hidden but in Texas the footprints were everywhere and in plain sight. So you see, when the reports and statistics and the stories come out about global warming and the message is clear that we, as Americans, need to cut our greenhouse emissions by 40 percent, I understand. And I understand because I live with stunted inaction and misinformed disbelieve all the time. It lives and breathes where I live in Texas. We are bringing the roof down over our heads– but yet, what do we do? We bring in two coal burning power plants, a nuclear power plant, a liquid natural gas terminal the size of three footballs fields that will require dredging up the bay where hundreds of thousands of pounds of mercury that were lost by a malfunctioning Alcoa plant. That is the reality of my home. So I will fast forty days. Maybe more. [Ed. Note: We love you Diane! Be safe!] Related Posts:

Bullshit. *Charisma, Icon, Intelligence, Empty Sandwich

How does the word “bullshit” connect to Charisma, Intelligence and the notion of The Empty Sandwich?To find out the answer to this question we meandered through David Fleming’s Lean Logic. A dictionary unlike any other, Lean Logic encourages readers to actively and intellectually engage with its entries. These entries are often cross-referenced so that you […] Read More

From Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Everything

No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from hospital and office cafeterias to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants.Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Today, most of the food consumed in […] Read More

The Three Cs of Farm-to-School

Most people know about the three “R’s” – reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, have you heard about the three “C’s”?If you, or your kid, is at a school that takes part in the Farm-to-School movement, then you may already know about them.October is National Farm-to-School month, and in their book Farm to Table, authors Darryl […] Read More

“Rules for Revolutionaries” Offers New Political Playbook for Activists

A riveting behind-the-scenes look at the “rules” used by the “revolutionaries” who helped harness the volunteer power that fueled Bernie Sanders’ historic, and insurgent, presidential campaign.Authors Becky Bond and Zack Exley led the Sanders campaign’s efforts to recruit and engage volunteers at an unprecedented level, which was crucial to the Vermont senator capturing 46 percent […] Read More

Born on Third Base: A Q&A with Author and Inequality Activist Chuck Collins

As inequality grabs headlines, steals the show in presidential debates, and drives deep divides between the haves and have nots in America, class war brews. Does it have to be this way?Can we suspend both class wars long enough to consider a new way forward? Is it really good for anyone that most of society’s […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By