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  • Writer's pictureFrank Basler

Enemy? Opponent? BE AN ALLY

Our President-elect says to heal our partisan divide we need to view others not as enemies, but as opponents. Better: We must be allies.

Shortly after the election, Joe Biden tweeted: “To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies. We are not enemies.” That’s a step in the right direction of saying to survive we must treat our opponents as allies.

Websters defines an ally as “...one that is associated with another as a helper: a person or group that provides assistance and support in an ongoing effort, activity, or struggle.” We are all confronted with a struggle to the death with the pandemic and with global warming.

A forecast from one of the country's leading coronavirus modeling groups projects more than 170,000 people could die from COVID-19 between now and Feb. 1, bringing the pandemic's overall death toll to nearly 390,000.”


If that’s not bad enough, a conservative estimate by the World Health Organization in 2014 is more than 250,00 people may die each year due to climate change beginning in 2030.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/16/health/climate-change-health-emergency-study/index.html If that estimate were made today (6 years later), it would certainly be much higher.

Yes, on at least two fronts we are confronted with a struggle to the death. We need allies!

It’s relatively easy to find people that “…provide assistance and support in the ongoing effort” to curb the pandemic by wearing masks and socially distancing. See the CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) When I walk downtown with my mask on, others have no idea if I am a political opponent. All of us wearing masks are allies in containing the virus.

It's harder to find allies among my political opponents in our effort to help people survive global warming. All the people I know who talk about trying to reduce their carbon footprint are progressives. I assume that’s true of the folks lobbying for a national carbon tax and dividend in my local chapter of CCL: https://citizensclimatelobby.org/ The bill, HR 763 has only one Republican among its 82 co-sponsors in the House – hardly a good example of bi-partisan allyship.

Nation-wide, though, more Republicans than Democrats support the Baker-Schultz Carbon Dividends Plan. https://www.clcouncil.org/media/YaleGMU-Poll-October-2018.pdf https://clcouncil.org/our-plan/ There we do see bipartisan allies working, or at least wanting, to reduce carbon emissions. Where I personally am finding allies is in our CCL chapter’s effort to influence Connecticut to become the first state to declare a climate emergency, joining 1800 governments in 30 countries: https://www.theclimatemobilization.org/

If you browse each of the above websites, you’ll see that millions of people of goodwill across the globe are allying with each other in the struggle to curb the pandemic and prevent the impending climate catastrophe. Redouble your efforts to join them. BE AN ALLY.

Theists and mystics would say Spirit is expressing itself in these millions or billions of allies. Look at this video by Mooji, where he says globally we are one, and we must win, taking on what threatens us all. He says our true nature is not fearful, but peaceful and kind. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3wTOKjH3xM

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Richard Greene
Nov 19, 2020

Here's a link to a fascinating op-ed piece in the 11/19 NY Times by a distinguished Muslim-American intellectual, Wajahat Ali, who in late 2016 tried to "reach out" to Trump voters by asking his speaking agency to book him for events in the states where Trump won:


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/19/opinion/trump-supporters.html?action=click&algo=bandit-all-surfaces&block=trending_recirc&fellback=false&imp_id=159730675&impression_id=488e7ae3-2a66-11eb-835a-2743548254dc&index=3&pgtype=Article&region=footer&req_id=768463165&surface=most-popular


And here's a snippet of Ali's biography indicating what a high caliber spokesperson he is. "Wajahat Ali is a journalist, writer, lawyer, an award-winning playwright, a TV host, and a consultant for the U.S. State Department."


However, I'm not convinced that reaching out to Trump voters is as futile as Ali claims. It appears that there was no follow-up to his efforts to reach out. Although he may not have changed a…


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Richard Greene
Nov 18, 2020

John, Thank you for the Assault Against Life On Earth documentary. It's powerful, beautifully done, but I doubt that many, if any, of those 40-some percent of the American public who believe in Trump and are skeptical about environmental concerns will see it.


That's the fundamental problem as far as I'm concerned. Those who are concerned about the environment and trusting of science aren't sufficient to override the power of the 40% and the industry and 1% supported lobbyists who oppose environmental laws and regulations.


The question is how we reach the largest possible number of the 40%. One possibility that occurs to me is for someone tied in with your organization to launch a program to have something lik…

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John Ankele
Nov 17, 2020

Richard, You might be interested to see and share Rollbacks: Assault Against Life On Earth, a short (half-hour) film we made compiling Trump's efforts to overturn rules and regulations that had been put in place to address climate change and protect our environment. It's streaming free on our homepage at: www.olddogdocumentaries.org

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Richard Greene
Nov 17, 2020

John, I don't think the immediate Arctic National Wildlife Service problem can be solved by trying to change peoples minds. I would hope that law suits can be brought that would delay awards of drilling rights until the Biden administration can reverse the process. However, there's the longer range problem of how you persuade enough people of the importance of environmental concerns, not just climate change, but wilderness and forest preservation and air and water quality as well, to prevent future Republican administrations from doing the sorts of things the current administration is doing.


It may be that the increasingly progressive orientation of young people will take care of that problem, but if not, I don't think people like us…


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John Ankele
Nov 16, 2020

This afternoon's Washington Post reports that Trump officials in the Interior Department are rushing to auction off drilling rights to nearly 1.6 million acres of pristine wilderness in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge so that oil and gas companies can lock in leases before the new President-elect takes office. Scientists warn that our planet is reaching a tipping point and we're running out of time. The challenge is how to communicate to people who mistake the urgency for hysterics or who simply don't care?

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