Bruce Springsteen in New Orleans

Bruce Springsteen played at the 2006 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on April 30. And he took this opportunity to criticize the government’s response to the disaster, calling it “criminal ineptitude”. He also called labeled the man in the Oval Office as “President Bystander”. Rewriting the lyrics to some of his songs to highlight on the disaster Mr Springsteen brought many in the crowd to tears and causing some to hug nearby strangers.

Yes, Hurricane Katrina was a devestating natural disaster… or perhaps not so “natural”. Some environmentalists have pointed out that such superstorms are forming due to the changing climate. And yes, it all leads back to the President Bystander who refuses to uphold the Kyoto Protocol.

It really baffles me as to how does one get voted in twice on a track record like his. It really must mean something is wrong with the democratic system. While it is the best political system we have so far, it is far from being the best there is. I do not usually get political on this blog but sometimes it is necessary, especially when it is the political powers that are perpetuating environmental problems.

So Mr Springsteen is right and couragous to speak out. As an American icon (one perhaps greater than President Bystander) he will hopefully wake up the slumbering masses to the nightmare that is America today.

With that said, let me return to a more sane message. The fact is that superstorms are related to human action. Our numbers and expansion has an effect on the tiny globe called Earth. Regardless of politics and business necessities we need to lessen the effect we have on the planet and its diversity. For without diversity the lifespan of our species (if we so choose to see only our future) is most definitely shortened.

The saying “no man is an island” could be (re)read as “no humankind is an island”. Even the loss of one species could mean the end of ours, and that is not an exaggeration. And whether we can verify this directly or not is inconsequential. Only humankind would want to verify this in the first place. No other animal does this except us.

But in the same vein, we have the ability to see this and do something about it. Our ability to see things on the macro-level is remarkable, if not god-like. But when we wake to this fact it may be too late to do something about it.

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