Dear Dirty America

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Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Final Destructive Mission

September 04
11:00 2012
DDA

Space shuttle Endeavour will crawl through a 12-mile stretch of South Los Angeles streets to end up at the California Science Center. At first, everybody thought that would be great. Get a glimpse of the big spaceship. Be a part of the legend. But then they learned that Inglewood would lose 128 trees, and South Los Angeles neighborhoods would have to spare 265 trees.

Over 400 Los Angeles neighborhood trees will be chopped down and pulped to clear the way for the titan ship. The titillation and joyful tittering among affected residents soon gave way to protests. Hey! You can’t cut down our trees just to haul that big bastard through our neighborhood.

The California Science Center has promised to plant twice as many trees throughout the impacted neighborhoods in an effort to replace the trees. But is that enough? Of course, it’s plenty of planted trees, but they will be spindly, tree skeletons that will require more than a decade to approach maturity and provide the type of shade and aesthetic quality they do now.

Of course, some city officials are fine with hacking into mother nature’s side for the much cheaper instant gratification of being to able to forever brag that the Endeavour shuttle came through their neighborhood. From a Real Source:

“The move of the shuttle allows the city to be a part of this national endeavor,” said Sabrina Barnes, Inglewood’s director of parks, recreations and library services. “And gives the chance to address problematic trees that have eroded the landscape.”

Except long after everybody has forgotten about the famed cosmic aircraft being touted through city, they will see every day, for the rest of their lives, those spindly tree skeletons that won’t be full grown and majestic until many of the residents in that area are dead. What a shame, just to house a spacecraft at a California space center. Dear Jesus, just lock the thing in a hangar somewhere.
Why do we hang onto the relics of the impressive things we’ve done in the past? Dismantle the spacecraft, for all anybody should care, and move forward. Who decided the space shuttle is more important than seventy year old trees? Use what we’ve learned from the explorations of the shuttle and its crews, and don’t perform a tree holocaust and an expensive national tour to hang onto a piece of physical equipment.
This story is a metaphor for our world, and our humanity, and our industrialized nations. Nature is expendable and will always be made to give way to what we consider our arbitrary, man made achievements. We’ve gained much of our satellite-based technology from these space shuttles, but let’s expand on it, and better our lives here on earth.
We can explore Mars and send men to the moon, but our earth civilizations are in shambles, the global economy we’ve had set up for us has failed, our precious metals have been dug out of the earth and tempered and split into a trillion tiny pieces, our oceans have been fished out, our rivers polluted, our air choked with chemicals and smoke and nuclear fallout, yet we’ll easily sacrifice hundreds of trees so America can pretend to do one more victory lap.

It’s a ruse. An economic collapse is coming. There is very little in this society for us to take solace in. Our way of life has been dramatically reduced, and is slipping away further every day. But we will always be distracted by another parade. If it’s not sports heroes, it’s a trip to Mars, or it’s a dead, world famous celebrity.

But how hollow is the victory? How cheapened are the achievements of our space program when thirty million plus people have been out of work for years. Families without homes. Criminals on Wall Street not in prison, and still doing business as usual without any government regulations or reforms. Millions of children in this country go hungry. Homeless shelters full of single mothers and children. Our banks have become spiderwebs that have ensnared most of us, and we’re being sucked dry.

Our economic models are not sustainable. Consumerism is not sustainable. Resources become scare. People buy more than they can afford. Credit bubbles expand and burst. Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to lug a space shuttle around the nation on a congratulatory victory lap, and to replant and repair the neighborhoods affected by the shuttle’s transfer, we could put our last remaining national wealth and energy into sustainable energy, good-paying jobs, and make certain everybody has a place to live, food to eat, and a chance to create their own prosperity.

The goddamned space shuttle! What a distraction.

SEE ALSO

If we can explore Mars, can we solve our problems here on earth?

In wildness is the salvation of the world

Capitalist savagery

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