Continuing to Declare (and FIGHT for) Independence
Walt Vernon, PE, LEED AP, EDAC, FASHE
Principal, Chief Executive Officer
250 years ago, a group of people who called themselves Americans, decided that it was intolerable to be governed by others without their consent.
And so, they fought back.
These people were able to free themselves from THAT oppression, but they did so imperfectly. In this newly found independence, people without property, women, non-white people were still governed by others without THEIR consent.
History has taken us far, but further we must go.
I wrote before about being reluctant to write on these issues, as I do NOT want to be all talk and no action. We are now therefore working internally to best understand what we can DO that will make a difference. I have no illusions about who we are in the world and about what power we have to make everything better. I am determined, though, that we will do what we can.
I have read that environmental destruction is racial violence. This is because the poor are less able to defend themselves against pollution and the impacts of climate change. I have seen this with my own eyes. When I helped Project Hope in Sierra Leone, we saw places where entire villages of people had been destroyed. In that country, summers are now longer and dryer, and winters are shorter and wetter. The villages become bone dry in summer and then get washed away by intensifying storms during the rainy season. The rich pollute, the poor reap the rainy rewards.
None of us can do everything needed to change destructive paradigms and social norms, and none of us can do it overnight. But we can (and must) do what we can today and every day. We can and we must continue to perfect the independence from human hate and oppression, including the intertwined independence from fossil fuels and environmental degradation. I’m grateful for my communities—Mazzetti, clients & partners, my local community, and family—to be on this journey together. Together, as communities, we can continuously declare our independence from evil, and continuously perfect that most important independence.
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