Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Not Just Alaska.

So, it's not just Alaska...

Published: January 8, 2008

Environmental groups sued the Shell Oil Company and several of its affiliates, claiming that the oil giant has for years released pollutants from its suburban Houston refinery that are well above state and federal limits. In the federal lawsuit, the Sierra Club and Environment Texas claim that the excess air pollutants, including the toxic chemicals benzene and 1,3-butadiene, are a violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

Two things occur to me:
the first is that the toxins released by our proximity to and reliance on fossil fuel no doubt exceed anything we can imagine or can currently measure.
the second is that we are very hung up on blame in this country, and that without some other means of understanding it is impossible to imagine human progress.

Two more things occur to me:
this is the same as in everything we do -- talk, travel, buy, desire, raise our children, kiss.
unless we can change somehow, without blaming other people, there is no hope for new growth, for progress, for breathing freely.

Another poet friend is very interested in the idea of what is new, and often writes about it and posts quotes about it on his blog -- as in, can we invent, can there be anything new --

Ring In The New

"... one might imagine the good New growing naturally out of the good Old, without the need for polemic or theory..." - T.S.Eliot

The conversation revolves aroung poetics, but why not oil -- maybe the question is the same of politics or science or industry...

Ted Hughes, writing from Boston in 1959, on American poets:

"... you have to take into account the way their whole life is condensed on the superficialities of the moment. Relation to a changing past ... they are without, and get no pleasure from contemplating it." And, "[autobiography] is the only subject matter really left to Americans. The only thing an American really has to himself, & really belongs to, is his family. Never a locality, or a community, or an organisation of ideas, or a private imagination"

Maybe it would be refreshing to imagine this all an American dilemma -- that the only reason I see it all as human nature is because I am an American. Maybe then the rest of the world could save us... humans elsewhere... who own their own breath...

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