Corporate Cooperation!

Via on Jun 15, 2010

An Outrageously Injurious Legacy?

The real cost of gas:

Back when Captain Joseph Hazelwood ran aground in Prince William Sound on Bligh Reef, his New York State Driver’s license was revoked for his third DUI.

Lo and behold, he was apparently drunk on that fateful evening when his Exxon Valdez slammed into that reef named after another sea captain who had an ill -fated voyage on the Bounty. Some 22 years later, we’re still dealing with the horrific aftermath of this spill and Exxon has despicably avoided financial responsibility!

Now, we have Tony Hayward of BP in the spotlight—we might suggest he was drunk on greed as the CEO of the fourth largest corporation on our precious planet. But our troubles are not entirely due to pilots drunk on alcohol or CEOs and shareholders drunk on profits—because, of course, all of us have long been drunk on consumption.  It’s a classic case of “both-and”.

Russell McDougal, good friend & neighbor, inspired artist and acronym master, i.e. ART (Arranging Reality Tastefully), has motivated me to come up with a few acronyms of my own for OIL — I’ll warn you, I’m as angry as anyone about the haunting reality of the spill in the gulf:

Obviously Insidious Liquid

Outrageously Injurious Legacy

Outdated Indulgent Lifestyles

When I’m willing to acknowledge all the benefits and freedom that oil has afforded our society, I’ll reluctantly offer one more acronym for Oil here:

Outstanding Ingenious Libation

There, I said it, it has provided for most of our modern wonders.  However, our addiction to oil ( you fill in the acronym ) has run it’s course.  It’s time to liberate ourselves!

It is a commonly held belief that people will only change their behavior as a result of personal pain and suffering. Of course, most humans would rather avoid facing this mess in the gulf and deny that each and everyone of us is responsible.  Our insatiable appetite for consumption drives risky behavior on the part of all companies to keep satisfying our cravings.  We have become a species that is very clever at avoiding personal responsibility.  It is easy to blame “other”.

I believe it is important for humans to feel the pain and suffering the oil drenched birds in the gulf are experiencing.  Perhaps that pain will inspire us to change our behavior.  Are these tragic images enough to open our hearts and inform us that we all created this horrific disaster together? How much more horrendous does this tragedy have to get, for us to take immediate action?  To simplify our lives and reduce our consumption is a great place to begin.  To convert our energy supply to clean, renewable sources is another!

While we do our own searching and recognize both our complacency and our complicity, we must demand that our corporations and our governments put the health and well being of our planet and our communities at the top of the “economic-pyramid”.  We must re-visit our belief that economic growth is the answer to all of our problems.  In fact, we need to completely redesign this economic model that places money at the top of the pyramid while all other human endeavors are subsumed beneath the weight of “economic growth”.

We must begin in earnest to design and implement an organic, natural system of ecological accounting.  While we demand this transformation of the system currently run by public and private powerbrokers, we must also demand radical change in our own behavior and buying habits.   By doing so, we will replace the pursuit of money and ever increasing quarterly profits as our primary motivation for living.

Once we face the damage caused by our individual choices, we can make better choices.  We can experience contentment in simple pleasures, we can appreciate the beauty of nature in its natural state, we can learn to relax and trust that economic growth is not the solution to our problems.  We can experience joy in simply being here now!  Our new focus and our renewed purpose must be simplicity and happiness!  It is time to place a high value upon human kindness, cooperation, love and a positive vision of our shared future with all life on Earth.  We can dedicate ourselves to a shared mission “to bring forth an ecologically sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet.”

When recently asked how can we respond to a tragedy of the magnitude of the Gulf disaster, His Holiness The Dalai Lama offered this, in his endearing way of speaking, he shared advice he received as a child:

“If a way to overcome a tragedy, then no need to worry – If there is no way to overcome a tragedy, still no reason to worry”.  He continued: “There are many positive signs of caring and compassion growing in the world.  Develop positive action and realistic methods — positive vision & sincere motivation — personal conduct must be open, honest, truthful and transparent.  This is necessary to reduce problems and human suffering”

Let’s make sense together!

After graduating from Harvard University with an interdisciplinary degree combining, child development, innovative education and urban social policy, Bud devoted his energy to hosting professional conferences and seminars in the mountains of Colorado as National Sales Director for Snowmass Resort.  He was marketing and development Director for John Denver’s Windstar Foundation.  He has designed and founded educational programs for Rotary International’s Preserve Planet Earth Campaign and was Founding Executive Director for an inner city, after school service learning program.  He is an awareness instructor and wilderness guide for Sacred Passage and the Way of Nature.  He recently served as Vice President of New Business Development for Oblique Design – a Boulder based branding and full service advertising and marketing firm.  Consistent themes of honoring nature, advancing education and promoting healthy living have guided Bud’s life and career path.  For more than 30 years, Bud has devoted his passion and energy to raising awareness that we are all living in an interdependent, interconnected world where there is more than enough for all of humanity to live in peace and harmony.

About Bud Wilson

As a student-athlete-activist during the tumultuous era at Harvard University Bud emerged with an interdisciplinary degree combining, child development, innovative education and urban social policy. To recover from academia, he moved to the mountains of Colorado and devoted his energy to hosting professional conferences and seminars in Snowmass Village, followed by a few years working with John Denver's Windstar Foundation. He has lots of stories to share about those formative years living in the Roaring Fork Valley. Bud continues to consult with many organizations including Newfield Network, Environmental Communications, Inc. and The Living Green Foundation, Next Culture Network, The Unified Field Corporation, Regenerative Community Development of Colorado and The Agora Projects. Bud has 25 years of experience as an awareness instructor and wilderness guide for Sacred Passage and the Way of Nature. As Global Director of Eco-Regional Leadership for The Way of Nature, in May 2011, he co-created and coordinated the first World Nature Quest. More than 35 groups in 17 countries on 5 continents simultaneously communed with the Earth for healing and renewal. His articles have been read by more than 70,000 Elephant Journal Readers His adult son, daughter and son-in-law are the source of great joy in his life.

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25 Responses to “Corporate Cooperation!”

  1. Ed & Deb Shapiro Ed Shapiro says:

    Hey Bud – welcome to the Elephant Journal community. Waylon & Merete are a joy to play with.

    Your article is great – important – timely!

    Cheers, EdS

    • Bud Wilson says:

      Thank you Ed! – I'm delighted to be part of this team – all doing our best to awaken our fellow citizens – Thanks also for your ongoing contributions to the most important conversations we're having. It is essential we build the movement toward a "green tea party" – since the other one claims they are going to "take back the country"!
      Cheers and onward with courage, Bud the Blogger Bloke :)

  2. Chelsea Matthews says:

    This is a great post Bud! Very relevant and enlightening. I'll be sure to share this. I can't wait for your next posting.

    P.S. It's about time you started blogging!

    • Bud Wilson says:

      Hi Chelsea, Glad you liked it! I hope everything is going well for you at the RainForest Action Network! Thanks for stopping by E.J. – Waylon does a great job with this online publication! Did you get a chance to click on some of the excerpts in the article. The last part of my article about the Dalai Lama in red type takes you to an interview with him!

      Enjoy! Bud

  3. Sat Tara Kaur Khalsa says:

    BUD = Brilliant Understanding (the) Divine

  4. Bud Wilson says:

    Thanks Sat Tara,

    Perhaps some of the members of your Global Women's Forum would enjoy reading my post. You can click on the red type and it takes you to some pretty cool related articles, including an extensive interview with the Dalai Lama.

    All Best Wishes, Bud

  5. Megan Matthews says:

    Thank you for sharing your insights!!
    I agree – it is a sad fact that nowadays even horrific images of destruction fail to inspire change in most people. Are we that de-sensitized to reality? I take responsibility. I live where I drive my car a lot. I am constantly aware that I am contributing to pollution, so I try to be effective in other areas, recycling, not buying bottled water, and in general things I don't need.

    Go Bud!!

    • Bud Wilson says:

      Hi Megan,

      Thanks for responding, it is the little things that do ultimately add up… our entire infrastructure is designed around "cheap" energy. So, where you live in Los Angeles, automobiles are part of that landscape… of course, there is an ugly legacy that General Motors purchased all the bus and rail capacity way back and trashed it, in favor of building roads for private cars.

      Keep doing what you can!

  6. Tina Collen says:

    Amen. My friend Miles is in the gulf right now helping and taking photos. You can get to see his personal view down there from the wall at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Storm-of-the-i-An-A
    Click on Oil Spill.
    Thanks, Bud.

    • Bud Wilson says:

      Thanks Tina, That's terrific that Miles is helping out! I went to New Orleans after Katrina and can't imagine how discouraging this second round of tragic interruption in people's lives means to them. We've all got so much work to do to bring human behavior back into harmony and balance with Nature.

      Your art certainly contributes to a brighter world! Cheers, Bud

  7. Hey Bud – Greetings from Sweden and the Western Basque Pyrennes where I'm now guiding a Sacred Passage in collaboration with the indigenous Basque Shamanic community. Congratulations on your fine blog! A superb wake-up call to all those who can still hear Mother Earth's Voice.. Keep up the fine Awakenings…
    And much Love to you, – John

    • Bud Wilson says:

      Thank you John,

      A compliment like this from you is personally meaningful and especially moving, since you are recognized and honored as one of the most significant fathers of the entire "environmental awakening movement" world wide! As a major artery in our mother earth continues to bleed, we must all join together to stop the abuse of extractive industries and contribute directly to her healing! I know how deeply you care and profoundly respect your tireless efforts to be a major catalyst for humans to come back into harmony and balance with great nature!
      Lots of love back to you, Bud

  8. Obvious Indignation and Lamisters – well put Bud, a truly horrific time in the light of capitalism and the exploitation of our earth. Let us remember that our earth will heal itself and we will survive, but the fallout is something that should teach us never to repeat these mistakes again.
    Keep sharing your truth,
    Many Blessings,
    Seth

  9. Bud Wilson says:

    Thanks Seth! Let's trust that the BP Lamster's don't run away from their obligations and play the same game the Exxon Corporation played by hiding behind attorneys for 20 years… and then settling punitive damages for 10 cents on the 100 dollar bill.

    While I agree, the Earth has a tremendous capacity for healing, we must stop all the harm we are inflicting. Let's ask the question: "why would the so-called dominant animal species on this planet behave in a manner that requires the Earth to heal herself in the first place?" Yes, humanity will most likely survive, albeit, in greatly diminished numbers if we don't change our behavior and grow in consciousness. Contributing to a toxic burden that creates dead zones in our oceans is not a path to survival. The acidification of our oceans is accelerating at a rate that will profoundly disrupt the entire food chain of this beautiful biosphere. With courage and hope we will wake up and all contribute to a healthier and brighter future – your friend Bud

  10. Chris Willett says:

    Hi Bud
    Great post. I love the acronym, Outdated Indulgent Lifestyles. It brought up the question that I often ask myself, that being how much do I want and how much do I need? It's not always a easy question to answer but it's always a good question to ponder.

    Thanks
    Chris

    • Bud Wilson says:

      Hi Chris,

      Great to hear from you… yes, the question for our entire civilization is "how much is enough"? The tension between wants and needs is most acute in societies with great prosperity.

      onward with courage… Bud

  11. Bud, I love your "voice" in this article …. which for me is a unique combination of comprehensiveness, insight, ferocity, and gentleness!

    Appreciation, Frederic Wiedemann, PhD

  12. Bud Wilson says:

    Hello Frederic,

    With much appreciation for your comment! Looking forward to our "in person" conversation soon.

    All best wishes, Bud

  13. Great article Bud! Thanks for the information & inspiration!
    B.U.D. – Bringing Understanding's Delivery
    Keep 'em coming!

  14. Robert White says:

    Great post, thoughtful content and personally engaging–you powerfully communicate your passion for creating a sustainable future with both intellect and feeling. You already know that by slipping in the social justice line and the emphasis on motivation by "community/the commons" instead of influencing individual hearts and minds, you'll access my reactive mind. Both of those concepts fly in the face of thousands of years of human experience and "what works" in changing behavior.

  15. Bud Wilson says:

    Thank you Robert, …for taking the time to offer your much appreciated and sincerely valued comments. Alright, I surrender to your insistence that "the individual" always comes first. Now that we've established the proper "order" of things, can we work together toward creating a healthy community? I never said we wouldn't have to reach individual hearts and minds. In my view, that's how it works! Stay tuned, Bud

  16. john crouse says:

    Thank's for the reminder Bud. Lots of work yet to be implimented at club John to quiet the good angels constant nagging. By the way do you know what a typical fuel conversion kit for an auto runs? Next time you see me ask me about the youth empowerment project. Cheers mate.

    • Bud Wilson Bud Wilson says:

      Hell John, Not sure what fuel conversion kits cost… are you leaning toward bio-diesel or natural gas? I know our former Senator Tim Wirth, now Director of the United Nations Foundation converted his vehicles to Natural Gas nearly 20 years ago! What about the youth empowerment project? I'll have to depend upon you to tell me about it! I've got another post about youth leadership here: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/07/fly-with-h
      Check it out and let me know what you think! :) cheers to you too!

    • Bud Wilson Bud Wilson says:

      Thanks John – not certain about fuel conversion kits. Although I'm sure there are internet resources for you. Yes, I want to hear about the youth empowerment project. I'm doing some work with "Generations Waking Up" – The young adults are awesome.

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