It is Day 15 of my 365 Days of Living Deliberately blog, and I am still trying to clarify to myself why I feel compelled to share my thoughts with the public and why the public would want to entertain these thoughts. I continue to examine my motives for blogging, for committing myself to a year-long public conversation that consumes large amounts of my time, time I might otherwise spend living more privately while deliberately doing such things as organizing my lifetime of family photos which are in tupperware boxes under my bed.
As I assess my motives for blogging, I see they are much the same as those that compelled me to a ten-year effort to write a first-person narrative, documented history about the launching of the nation’s environmental justice movement in rural Warren County, North Carolina, a movement known for “transforming environmentalism.”
I am compelled (as the Ancient Mariner) to share my PCB and related experiences and to share what can be learned about the causes and effects of environmental injustice and pollution so that hopefully I can help spare other people and communities some of the hell that comes with being dumped on or environmentally assaulted. I just want to share the unvarnished history as I know it, as I have documented it, cataloged it, videotaped, and lived it.
In both cases — blogging and writing my book — my goals are to share information from an insider’s historical point-of-view; to help generate meaningful discussion of past and present environmental justice and pollution prevention issues, and to inspire people to find ways to take political action against pollution and injustice in their communities, counties, states, and regions.
Years ago, another Episcopal minister friend of ours, Henry Pressler, contributed to the connections of Ken’s and my environmental justice advocacy work. Henry got Ken and me precious tickets to a small gathering at Duke University where Bishop Desmond Tutu spoke and then answered questions. That evening, Ken asked Bishop Tutu the following question that went something like this: “In light of the fact that poor and often minority communities are being targeted for toxic waste landfills and other high-risk facilities, what should we do,”
With a wide smile and a glimmer in his eye, Bishop Tutu answered in a cheerful tone: “You’re job is to continue to raise the consciousness!”
This blog is part of that consciousness-raising purpose.