Miners die for our sins. That they get paid reasonably well to do this does not disconnect us from our responsibility to them. Miners' lives are cheap, so coal can remain cheap. Cheap as in dollars. Cheap as in life.
We mostly lead cheap lives. If we thought about what we do moment to moment, thought about the consequences to our neighbors, to our babies, to our babies' babies, most of us would stop. The few that wouldn't would go to jail.
Most of us don't think. Most of us. Yesterday I got to meet a hive of activists who know a bit about water and they think about what they know. Even more important, they do something vastly more useful than wringing their hands. They ring doorbells instead.
Yesterday I got to talk to a group of aware young adults, canvassers for the New Jersey Environmental Federation--Clean Water Action. I talked to them about clamming, which is dependent on decent water, and while clamming is one of my passions, it's not something most 20somethings spend a lot of time contemplating, but they were polite, and nobody fell asleep.
They work for us and the Earth. They are passionate, knowledgeable, and obviously happy to do the work they do. They do important work, work that matters, and they do it well.
They are not Pollyannas. They make connections. They can see where current cultural practices will lead us. And despite this, they seem, well, happy.
If someone who know a bit about water rings your doorbell, listen to them. Handing them a check for their work keeps them employed, but if you really want to see them glow, listen to what they have to say. They're passionate and knowledgeable, and they believe they can change the world.
And if we pay attention, they will.
Yep, my son is in the picture.