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Chelsea Green Blog

My Moral Heroes

This morning I read an article about Bunnatine Greenhouse, Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It was a story about “Bunny’s” refusal to sanction Halliburton’s outrageous overcharging for everything from soda to laundry. She has publicly questioned why Halliburton is awarded over 50 percent of the contracts for rebuilding Iraq without any competitive bidding. Her high-level job mandates that she get the best prices for the best quality she can find, but she has been consistently overruled in her pursuit of that goal. Bunny Greenhouse is a person who believes in doing the right thing and for that she has been demoted and sidelined by her superiors. This is not a new story, but something about Bunny’s role in it made me think about the meaning of morality. I don’t think it means the same thing to me as it does to those in power. Bunny is a staunch defender of “doing the right thing”. She was charged with doing a job that if done correctly and fairly would benefit everyone. As she said, “I have never gone along to get along.” She’s a moral hero. But our culture and our leaders don’t include that in their definition of morality. Their “morality” revolves almost exclusively around the judgement of sexual mores. They have made the private public and the public private, meddling in the private affairs of individuals while privatizing what should be benefiting the public good, and they have done this for their own enrichment. Worse, they’ve led the public down this dangerous path; too many are willing to “go along to get along” and too few have the courage to stand up and say no. My moral heroes, like Bunny Greenhouse and Diane Wilson, are those that know the right thing always benefits the common good, not just a select few. They know that if we weren’t trading the welfare of one group for the benefit of another and that if we operated on a truly moral basis, there would be no want in the world, there would be no war. My moral heroes stand up and express their outrage at injustice, whatever the personal cost. They tell the truth. They are whistleblowers. We need more moral heroes, and we all need to be moral heroes.


The Future Is Hopeless, So Give it Your All

The never-ending national election in the United States, the “surprise” pro-Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, climate change … the list goes on and on about how easy it can be to lose hope in the future.Like many of life’s frustrations, or overwhelmingly large topics, most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the […] Read More

How Carbon Farming Can Save the Planet

Carbon farming alone is not enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, but coupled with new economic priorities, a massive switch to clean energy, and big changes to much of the rest of the way our societies work, it offers a pathway out of destruction and a route to hope.Along the way carbon farming can also […] Read More

Look Under Your Feet for Global Soil-utions

For several years, Chelsea Green has been publishing books that look under our feet for solutions to some of the most vexing problems facing the planet – hunger, drought, degraded farmland and grasslands, damaged waterways, and much more. Those books focus on (mostly) one thing: Soil.  In 2016, we’ve published two more important books that […] Read More

Climate Change & the End of Stationarity

Just as predicting the rise of Donald Trump as a leading presidential candidate stumped even the best of political analysts (looking at you Nate “FiveThirtyEight” Silver), the advent of the Sixth Great Extinction due to climate change and an increasingly potent mix of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has completely upended how we predict the […] Read More

Use Simple Games to Better Understand Climate Change

How is it that emissions keep growing despite rising concern about the climate change they cause? It is possible to identify several reasons for the paradox, most of which lie outside the scope of The Climate Change Playbook. But one important reason is relevant here: people do not understand the behaviors of the climate system.And […] Read More
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