Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So How Callous am I?

America empties its collective pockets for Haitian earthquake victims. Faster than you can say "Katrina", tens of millions of dollars have been collected to enrich the coffers of corporations such as Pepsi (Aquafina) and Coke (Dansani), those ubiquitous suppliers of bottled water. Never mind the empty bottles, what about the carbon footprint just getting it distributed, whether in Haiti or Honolulu?
A moot point you say in the face of the suffering in Haiti. But, Haitians have been suffering for years; mostly from different forms of exploitation - colonial or governmental (or lack thereof). What have Americans been seeing for all these years if Haiti seems to be a new problem? American Idol hasn't been on all that long....

So, what exactly is my beef other than with CocaColaCorp and PepsiCo? Maybe it has something to do with our ostrich like belief that bottled water can save a nation in distress while we do nothing to conserve the water that we bequeath to the next generations. Perhaps my callousness stems from my belief that rather than the empty promises of the spiritual hereafter, organized religion has done nothing for desperate countries like Haiti, other than with hold birth control and reproductive choice.

Over population is a looming issue with implications that many nations have yet to understand. If times be tough now, imagine how tough they'll get in the future when rich nations find that water is so expensive we hoard it for ourselves alone.

As we viral humans expand to all reaches of the planet, we displace the niche life that has developed in our absence. Ever where humanity walks, nature suffers.

While we extend our generosity toward the stricken of Haiti, how can we assure that population that it can go forward? Do we rebuild their world with the same technologies that have devastated ours? Or do we add insult to injury by delivering on the same empty promises that we make to the next generations?
What hope for Haiti when we can't seem to reach out to our own future?

To answer a question which I don't think is anyone's business; No, I have not donated to Haitian Disaster Relief. But I have donated to International Programs dedicated to conserving wetlands and aquifers. I donate money to conserve land where wild things can thrive - not to build tent cities and support corrupt political systems.

The people of Haiti should project their anger where it is deserved, on their own government, not the international effort to bring them aid. The people of Haiti perhaps have lived on "island time" too long and allowed their regimes to dictate their expectations.
If civil unrest can unseat efforts to assist the dying and sick, why not direct that same anger at the people who allowed a nation to sink into such despair in the first place? If Haiti is to survive and rebuild, it will be through the efforts of Haitians, not relief efforts.

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