Sen. Hank Sanders

Number 1580 - September 20, 2017


              

                          
             
           The Earth is protesting. The Earth protests when terrible storms rage. The Earth protests when tsunamis ravage our coasts. The Earth protests when earthquakes shatter our communities. The Earth protests when fires burn our lands and homes. The Earth protests when waters flood our communities. The Earth protests when droughts invade our lands. The Earth protests when polar ice caps melt and oceans rise.  The Earth is protesting. The Earth is shouting out in its most powerful language.

            The Earth is in great pain.  The Earth is hurting something terrible. It is shouting out in pain from our abuse. The Earth shouts when powerful storms destroy. The Earth shouts when tsunamis rage. The Earth shouts when fires burn our lands and consume our homes. The Earth shouts when droughts make our lands unusable and ground waters scarce. The Earth shouts when oceans change. The Earth is shouting:  “Stop! Stop!! Stop!!!”

            God gave humans dominion over the Earth. Therefore, humans are duty bound to be stewards of the Earth. That means we must protect and nurture the Earth. We have failed to protect. We have failed to nurture. Instead of protecting, we have attacked the Earth. Instead of nurturing, we have diminished the Earth. The Earth is in great pain. The Earth is protesting. The Earth is shouting out: “Stop! Please Stop!!”

            Hurricane Harvey was a mighty shout. Harvey was an extremely powerful storm that rained for four days and four nights over Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Galveston, Victoria and other parts of Texas and Louisiana. Harvey just lingered while the rains poured. It was almost like in the time of Noah’s flood. Fifty-two inches in four days. More than a year and half of rainfall in just four days. The Earth is protesting. Hurricane Harvey is shouting: “Stop! Please Stop!!”

            So many streets flooded. So many homes under water. So many people rescued from danger. So many people in shelters. So many people displaced.  So much damage to lives and property. So much disruption in the land. The media said it was a once in a thousand years storm. The Earth is protesting. The hurricanes are shouting: “Stop! Please, Please Stop!!”

            Then came Hurricane Irma just 10 days later. Never before have two such powerful storms hit the U.S. mainland in such a close time frame. And we are little more than half way through the hurricane season.  Irma was even bigger and badder than Hurricane Harvey. It battered the whole state of Florida and then moved into Georgia and South Carolina. We felt the effects in Alabama hundreds of miles away.  It devastated the U.S. Virgin Islands and many other islands.  Havana, the capital of Cuba, was under rushing waters.  So much damage to so many places. So many lives lost. The Earth is protesting. Hurricane Irma is shouting:  “No more! No more!!”

            Hurricane Irma dealt havoc to Florida and Georgia. As many as fifteen million people were without power just in the U.S.  Many homes were flooded. So much damage to the land. And all this with the eye of the storm missing the heavily populated areas. What if the eye had struck these population centers?  Irma is also a once in a thousand years storm. The combination of Harvey and Irma is a never-before happening.  And Maria and Jose are lurking as I write this.  The Earth is protesting. Hurricane Irma is shouting out, “Stop hurting me!”

            Hurricane storms are not the only forces of nature shouting. The tsunamis also shout.  Tsunamis are long high series of waves caused by an earthquake deep in the ocean. These waves of turbulent waters can reach 80 feet high. When they hit land, they sweep away everything in their path. One tsunami erupted in the Indian Ocean in 2004 killing more than 300,000 people and damaging property in the billions of dollars. It was the most powerful tsunami in recorded history. The Earth is protesting. The tsunamis are shouting out, “Stop the abuse now!”

            The water one time, the fire next time. Fires burn millions of acres each year. The fire burn season is now two months longer than it was just a couple of decades ago. Fires disrupt and take lives. Fires destroy property. In 2014, 8.5 million acres were devastated in Canada. In 2016, 367,000 acres were burned just in one area on the Kansas/Oklahoma border. The Earth is protesting. The fires are shouting out, “Please, please, stop!”

            The 2010 Earthquake in Haiti took as many as 316,000 lives. It displaced millions of people. It was a terrible international disaster. In addition, there are so many earthquakes across the world even in areas not earthquake prone. The Earth is protesting. Earthquakes are shouting out, “The Earth is hurting! Please stop!”

            Then there are the droughts and wetness. In the 2000 – 2010 decade, there were many areas that experienced droughts to a far prevalent degree than usual. They lasted for years. Parts of California had to ration water. At the same time, there were many areas that were far wetter than usual. Extremes on both ends of the spectrum. The Earth is protesting. The extreme droughts and extreme wetness are shouting out: “The Earth is already in great pain! Please stop the abuse!”

            Polar ice caps are melting. Huge chunks are sliding into the Arctic Ocean. That changes so many things in ways we cannot fully fathom. However, we know it is not good for the world as we know it. The Earth is protesting. The melting polar ice caps are shouting: “Please! Please!! Please Stop!!!”

            The oceans are changing. Its waters are rising. Its waters are warming. The evidence is abundant. The Island nations of Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Marshall are on the verge of being swallowed up by the ocean. All the low coast cities are experiencing rising tides. The warming waters of the ocean are fueling terrible storms. The Earth is protesting. The oceans are shouting out to us, “Please Stop!”

            The Earth is a finely balanced organism. Every time one basic element of nature shifts even a little bit, the entire balance is thrown off. A shift of even a half degree in the temperature of the Earth shifts the whole balance of the Earth.  The Earth is protesting. The Earth is shouting out in its most powerful languages: “Stop! Don’t hurt me anymore! Please Stop before I hurt you!”

Now on to the Daily Diary:

Saturday, September 9, 2017 – I walked two miles, handled various matters, traveled to Montgomery for an Alabama New South Coalition (ANSC) Board meeting, then traveled on to Baldwin County where I spent the night. Among others, I communicated with the following: ANSC President John Zippert and State Coordinator Shelley Fearson and Board Chair Rufus Gilmore; Sharon Wheeler and Gus Townes of Montgomery; Roberta Watts, Roger Watts and Robert Avery of Gadsden; Senator Vivian Davis Figures; Beulah Toney and Dr. Herman Mixon of Huntsville; Reporter Alvin Benn; Greene County School Board member Dr. Carol P. Zippert;  Sharon Calhoun of Montgomery whose mother is back in the hospital; Jeanette Thomas of ANSC; Robert Turner Sr. of Bullock County; Matilda Hamilton of Tallapoosa County; Bobby Agee of Chilton County; and former Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford.

Sunday – I was still in Baldwin County, but I called in on The Sunday School Lesson with Dr. Margaret Hardy and Radio Education with Perry County School Superintendent John Heard III. I handled various other matters before returning to Selma for a Grandparents Day visit. Among others, I communicated with the following: Faya Rose Toure, Ainka Jackson, Askhari Little, Amadi Sanders, Josiah Jackson, Joe Jackson and Franklin Fortier of Selma; Greene County Commissioner Lester Brown; and Cherie Mobley of Wilcox County.

Monday – I did not walk because of rain generated by Hurricane Irma, but I exercised. My trips to Lowndes and Greene Counties were canceled because of Hurricane Irma.  I read Sketches on the Faya’s Fire Radio Program. Among others, I communicated with the following: Lowndes County Administrator Jackie Thomas; Jasmine Walker, Gloria Pompey, Sherrie Mitchell and Khadijah Ishaq of Selma; Melodie Ellis of Montgomery; Selma businessman Dale Purdie; Gainesville Mayor Carrie Fulghum; Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd; Senator Quinton Ross, soon to be President of Alabama State University; Greene County Commission Chair Tennyson Smith; Paula Bird of Greene County; and former State Senator Lowell Barron.

Tuesday – I exercised again because I could not walk in the rain. I traveled to Lowndes County to handle various matters and discussed issues over lunch with Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd, returned to Selma, handled additional matters, traveled to Wilcox County for a Volunteer Firefighters meeting and returned to Selma. Among others I communicated with the following: Lowndes County Commissioners Carnell McAlpine, Dickson Farrior, Joey Barganier, Joshua Simmons and Robert Harris; Lowndes County Board of Education Member Ben Davis; Teresa Dekle of the Examiners of Public Accounts; Dr Joe Reed of ADC (Alabama Democratic Conference); Brian Winter of Tuscaloosa; Veronica Williams,  Josephine Curtis and Virginia Menefee of Selma; Monroe County Probate Judge Greg Norris; former Lt. Governor George McMillan; and Shannon Hollinger of Wilcox County.

Wednesday – I walked one and three-fifths miles, read Sketches on the Yusuf Salaam Radio Program, handled various matters, co-hosted Law Lessons on the radio with Attorney Malika Fortier, participated in several meetings, discussed issues over dinner with Faya Rose and Rev. Darryl Moore of Selma and worked into the night. Among others, I communicated with the following: Leigh Ann Poole of Tuscaloosa on her birthday; Sue McInnish of Montgomery on her birthday; Carol Bullard of Montgomery on her birthday; and Clarke County Commissioner Rhondel Rhone.

Thursday – I walked, handled various matters, traveled to Lowndes County, shared dinner with local education leaders, returned to Selma and worked into the night. Among others, I communicated with the following: Rep. A. J. McCampbell; Carolyn Wheeler of Tennessee; Greene County Revenue Commissioner Brenda Goree; Dallas County Commissioner Valerie Reubin; Lowndes County Board of Education members Steve Foster, Robert Grant, Travis Rogers and Donald Carter; Yvette Patterson of Lowndes County; and State Board of Education Member Ella Bell.

Friday – I handled many matters, read Sketches on Faya’s Fire, and worked into the night. Among others, I communicated with the following: Shaurice Carr of Alabama; Greene County School Board Member Leo Branch; Veronica Williams and Dr Ernest Okeke of Selma; and Youlanda Curtis of Washington County.

EPILOGUE – Sometimes our parents speak and we don’t hear. Sometimes others in our lives speak and we don’t hear. Sometimes moments speak to us and we don’t hear.  Sometimes the Earth speaks to us and we don’t listen.  When we don’t hear these speaking to us, we suffer greatly.