Letter From the Publisher
In December, I posted one of the most personal letters to you all in nearly four years of publishing. I was blessed by the response that I received to my offering of the Prayer of St. Francis, with his call to “make me an instrument of thy peace.” While I hope to keep parts of my life, and certainly this magazine, out of the political realm, the implications of where we may be headed over the next four years has real implications for our health—individually and for our communities.
Every day there seems to be a new and even more egregious headline that confronts us. Just to mention a few, the Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Noted in The Washington Post, he served as Oklahoma’s attorney general and while there, “Pruitt has sued the EPA more than a dozen times during the Obama administration, challenging the agency’s authority to regulate toxic mercury pollution, smog, carbon emissions from power plants and the quality of wetlands and other waters.” For those of our community who felt that the EPA, and our government, wasn’t already taking seriously enough the scientifically established threat of climate change, this appears to be a backward step.
Additionally, the Office of Surface Mining's Stream Protection Rule, a regulation to protect waterways from coal mining waste that officials finalized in December, was quashed. According to the Department of the Interior’s website, this rule was set in place to “better protect streams, fish, wildlife and related environmental values from the adverse impacts of surface coal mining operations and provides mine operators with a regulatory framework to avoid water pollution and the long-term costs associated with water treatment.”
While I recognize, as a self-proclaimed political nerd, that mostly every argument, rule and ideal is multifaceted. The protection of streams from coal waste favors the rights of those who live by and enjoy the stream, including those who may draw drinking water from it. The new ruling favors the business interests of a struggling coal industry.
The pendulum is now moving in the direction of privileging business interests over the environment. Stepping back a bit further to watch these early days of 2017 unfold, I would argue that our sense of balance has been profoundly shaken. We have been jolted by a new reality, along with a newly energized opposition to the abrupt changes. Many in the environmental movement are simultaneously hopeful, with rallies, marches, online petitions and house parties, and despondent, without an effective voice to challenge the onslaught of protections that seem to have eroded so quickly.
My dear friends, my purpose in this letter is to encourage you to take that step back with me. See the greater picture of your personal equilibrium and how your voice can be added to the growing chorus of defenders of our Mother Earth in a way that honors the calling and your own personal health. Recognize that pendulum is swinging and find ways that you can achieve balance.
Part of your self-care, I humbly suggest, is to spend time with loved ones (with CNN turned off), eating good foods (and check out our articles this month on food sensitivities and some of the great practitioners in our community that can help you determine what you should be eating) and if you still feel uneasy, read our article by Dr. Patricia Frye, on legal forms of cannabis to help overcome anxiety. Finally, to feel that you are not alone, join one of the many marches being held in the city to show our leaders and the rest of the world, that standing up for our dear Mother Earth is our calling. The People’s March for Climate Change will be in Washington, D.C. this year on April 29. Maybe I will see you there!
Most of all, find ways to find your own center of gravity. You are not alone in this big, sometimes scary, world. We are with you.