Friday, September 12, 2008

Landscape & Politics

I believe that part of being a  landscape photographer is spreading a message of environmental protection to the world. The stakes are too high with the upcoming election to risk electing leaders who feel our earth is here to be plundered, and who do not see the urgency of combating global warming. We need to elect leaders who understand the importance of protecting the Earth's ecosystems. It is in this spirit of urgency that I publish the following:

Drill, Drill, Drill
By Eve

I am having  Sarah Palin nightmares. I
dreamt last night that she was a member of a club  where they rode
snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar  bears
around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe
 it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they
live in  the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or
touched one. Maybe it  is the fact that they live so comfortably on
ice. Whatever it is, I need the  polar bears.

I don't like
raging at women. I am a Feminist and have  spent my life trying to
build community, help empower women and stop  violence against them.
It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why  the Sarah Palin
choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people  who made
this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and
practices is  antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one
story -- connected to  saving the earth, ending racism, empowering
women, giving young girls  options, opening our minds, deepening
tolerance, and ending violence and  war.

I believe that the
McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most  dangerous choices of my
lifetime, and should this country choose those  candidates the
fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many  areas
that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the
 impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately,
this is  not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the
inept, the bizarre  be elected to the presidency with

Sarah Palin does not  believe in evolution. I take
this as a metaphor. In her world and the world  of Fundamentalists
nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not  believe in
global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are
 destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all
part of  God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the
endangered  species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be
taken and plundered.  The wolves and the bears are here to be shot
and plundered. The oil is here  to be taken and plundered. Iraq is
here to be taken and plundered. As she  said herself of the Iraqi
war, "It was a task from God."

Sarah Palin  does not believe
in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and  incested
and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine
 whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously
does not  believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her
daughter was  practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that

Sarah  Palin does not much believe in thinking. From
what I gather she has tried to  ban books from the library, has a
tendency to dispense with people who think  independently. She cannot
tolerate an environment of ambiguity and  difference. This is a woman
who could and might very well be the next  president of the United
States. She would govern one of the most diverse  populations on the

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own  custom
Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a
 clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

believes in  God. That is of course her right, her private right. But
when God and Guns  come together in the public sector, when war is
declared in God's name, when  the rights of women are denied in his
name, that is the end of separation of  church and state and the
undoing of everything America has ever tried to  be.

I write
to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this  election in
our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future  not
just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create
 policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for
humans. It  will determine whether we move towards dialogue and
diplomacy in the world  or whether we escalate violence through
invasion, undermining and attack. It  will determine whether we go
for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest  our money in
alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction.  It
will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether
 we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether
America  is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear,
fundamentalism  and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move
you to go and do  everything in your power to get Obama elected then
consider the chant that  filled the hall after Palin spoke at the
RNC, "Drill, Drill, Drill." I think  of teeth when I think of drills.
I think of rape. I think of destruction. I  think of domination. I
think of military exercises that force mindless  repetition, emptying
the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I  think of

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the
 ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the
trust  between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this
precious thing  we call


  1. We're supposed to listen to the woman who wrote Vagina Monologues tell us how to vote?

  2. We're supposed to listen to the woman who wrote Vagina Monologues tell us how to vote?

  3. The purpose of my post is to share my opinions as an artist who works in the natural landscape, not to tell you how to vote or decry hunting (although I do decry the barbaric aerial extermination of animals). I find this poetic essay by Eve Ensler sums up the fears I have about the choices in the upcoming election. To me the choices are clear if I want to protect a livable planet for my daughter and her children, if I want to prevent personal choices about reproduction from becoming choices made by elected officials, and if I want to prevent fundamentalist extremism from being implemented by our national government.

  4. I think it only fair that you check before posting letters like this and to be as clear as possible who the author is and what her bias is - in this case radical liberal. When we adopt intolerance in our thinking, we are "us" and "them," and then, there is no hope. That spirit of intolerance comes across loud and clear in the letter you posted and I frankly expected more from you. Makes me very sad. Kind thoughts to all of you.

  5. Unfortunately the system of checks and balances did not save us from George Bush's rush to an unecessary war, or from his disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina, or from his lack of leadership on Global Warming, or from his eagerness to dispense with civil liberties. We need leadership at this crucial juncture in our country's history, and that's why I am voting for Obama. I can't think of one thing the Republicans have accomplished in the last eight years to make them worthy of my vote, or anyone else's.

  6. I completely agree with Emily. If the last eight years represent Republican success, I'd hate to see failure. I'd take Trent Lott over Sarah Palin. At least he believes in evolution!

  7. Good essay, as far as it goes, but it greatly understates the danger. In Palin we have an extremist the likes of which have not been seen in American mainstream politics in many years. From quoting Westbrook Pegler (racist anti-Semite McCarthyite) in her RNC speech, to character assassination via radio, where Gov. Palin is heard laughing in delight as (Alaska state Sen. Pres.) Lyda Green is called "a bitch", along with a slew of other insults including "a cancer" (a cruel reference to Sen. Green's battle with cancer; yes, I have listened to the entire radio show and you should too, if you are considering voting for her), to lying repeatedly, etc., etc. This is the most dangerous political moment in my 50-plus years. McCain is very weak and stupid, and Palin would be in charge. Look at Palin's immense popular "appeal", despite her sneering, dishonest attacks, her vapidity, and her bizarre beliefs, and tell me she does not pose a danger as a right-wing populist demagogue. Please, please, do everything you can to stop these people before it is too late.

  8. From someone a long way away from the USA (NZ) and its politics I can still say with complete certainty that the election of McCain and Palin will be a disaster of immense magnitude. There will be no photos to take of many things as we will all be at war through their making.

  9. Call me simplistic, but I think it all comes down to either love or fear. If we choose to continue to act from fear based thinking we will be headed down the same road the Germans were in the early thirties. Let's have the courage and faith and trust to move forward into the 21st century as the guiding light America has been in the past. Theory is a critical part of science. That the earth was created in 7 days and is only 6 or 7 thousand years old is a "theory" that Sara Palin would have taught as being equal in weight to the "theory" of our current scientific understanding of the universe. Ignorance breeds fear.