Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Solstice Eve!

Tomorrow is the shortest day -- longest night -- this year. Then the sun will start slowly, very slowly, very, very slowly, to return to the north. Although I really enjoy Christmas, I wonder if the earth and us inhabitants would be better off if we returned to, or at least were more aware of and involved in, the pagan background to this special time of year. More and more, I'm wondering whether we don't need to add some druidry or shamanism, or both, to the global capitalism juggernaut (instead of the global capitalism juggernaut?). Actually, since my family occasionally reads this and worries that I'm getting all new age mystical as I enter my dotage, what I'm proposing is a massive restructuring for corporate entities.

A shiny new day for a warming new era?
A shiny new day for a warming new era?
Photo by J. Harrington

The way things work now, so to speak, is that profit maximization opposes environmental protection and social equity because costs associated with those latter two concerns can be treated as externalities, so profits can be increased. I think what is needed is a new, earth-centered, corporate legal framework that requires social equity and environmental protection responsibilities be met internally, before taking profits. Sort of like Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility on steroids. Here's why. We all live on one earth. There is no "Planet B." Henry Ford realized that paying his employees a wage that allowed them to afford an automobile made business sense. That kind of common sense is becoming increasingly uncommon these days, it seems to me. One way to move in the "new and improved" direction, with Minnesota taking a leadership role, would be to require that mining entities have ISO certified environmental management systems and a "clean" human rights record to qualify for a mining license in Minnesota. Corporate Social and Environmental responsibility should start at home and shouldn't be a game between regulators and regulated with "shell" corporations serving as pawns in a huge chess game. I'm only to happy to give this concept to my adopted home state and, particularly to the Iron Range, as a Christmas Solstice present. I hope you enjoy it and use it in good great social and environmental health. For tomorrow, here's a chant.

Winter Solstice Chant

By Annie Finch 
Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
now you are uncurled and cover our eyes
with the edge of winter sky
leaning over us in icy stars.
Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
come with your seasons, your fullness, your end.

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