Presidents Can Take Our Breath Away

We all depend on our breath

Our breath is vital for life. Any doctor will confirm this. Meditation practices often focus their exercises around our breath to calm our hearts, clear our thoughts, and bring us to our center. We – and all God’s children – must breathe.

The Amazon forest is on fire

It comes with some great alarm, then, when we learn of how the Amazon forest is burning. It’s not a simple forest fire that, like here in the United States, a few houses are destroyed. No, homes for millions (again, God’s creatures) are turned to ashes with their residents having no place to go, if they’re able to escape at all.

But that’s not the worst of it. The Amazon forest takes in (a carbon sink) and contains much of the world’s carbon. In a miraculous exchange, the Amazon forest contributes around 20% of the world’s oxygen. Think of this: for every five breaths you take, one of them had its oxygen supplied from this forest.

Now it’s burning. In short, the earth’s lungs are on fire!

082619 Breath

The Amazon forest fires ignite presidential sparks

As Axiosreports in its article entitled: Earth’s lungs are burning.

The Amazon may not belong to all of us, but what happens there affects all of us.

The fire alarm has been pulled, alerting all nations of the tragedy. If you’re sensitive to what this means for climate change, or on the fence regarding this scientific truth, it catches your attention – or should. However, Brazil’s president has dismissed the fires as a nuisance. Evidently, he views these fires (close to 73,000 of them) more as a political threat than life threatening.

Ernesto Londono, Manuela Andreoni, and Leticia Casado, in The New York Times, reported how Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, reversed himself from an earlier climate change denier stance. They note:

“This is a critical time,” he [Bolsonaro] said in an interview. “Part of the international attention to what is going on comes from the fact that Brazil has been such a pioneer and leader on environmental protection and it has shown the world it’s possible to have economic development while protecting the rain forest.”

President Bolsonaro received rebuke from France’s president, Emmanual Macron. The article reports:

In what has become an unusually nasty exchange among leaders of major democracies, President Emmanuel Macron of France went so far as to accuse Mr. Bolsonaro of lying about being committed to fighting climate change and protecting the Amazon. “Our house is burning. Literally.”

Our own President, Trump – an avowed climate change denier – weighed in with his own response of support (note the lack of alarm) for Bolsonaro:

I told him if the United States can help with the Amazon Rainforest fires, we stand ready to assist!

The presidential weigh-ins are not voicing alarms but are leveraging political optics. Do they recognize the Amazon fires as a political opportunity or a missed future? Do they realize they take one’s breath away?

Amazon fires are a social justice issue

You might be wondering how the Amazon fires relate to a blog mainly devoted to how we elect our president. Let me explain.

I often say that how we elect our president can be considered as the most significant social justice issue we have. I say this because the presidential administration touches every other social justice issue we encounter. While the Amazon fires are a continent away, they pose an existential threat for every living creature. We must not ignore them nor how they are treated (ignored or contained?). Preserving these trees – earth’s lungs – is a justice issue in that it affects our health and global awareness.

Presidential voting is a social justice issue

Just as we should not ignore the burning trees thousands of miles away, we should not ignore the millions of presidential ballots that are ignored in every presidential election. Each vote may seem insignificant, as do individual trees, but collectively they make a difference. We cannot capture the sentiment of the governed if we ignore any votes, let alone so many. We cannot breathe without the trees. We cannot speak without our votes!

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) captures the discarded votes. EVV makes everyone’s voting voice matter. The EVV approach collects the popular vote, on a state-by-state basis so we can move a presidency and a nation in the direction the citizenry truly desires.

Keep our attention on the Amazon forest fires

Let’s keep our attention on the burning Amazon fires. We must pay attention to what, to us, may seem very far away. Our very breath depends on these fires and the lungs of our beloved earth. As we watch the international news and these raging fires, let’s take up the mantra:

MEGA: Make Earth Great Again!

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by Jerry Spriggs & the Equal Voice Voting team

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