is the only candidate who begins to think hard enough about solutions
to the problems we are causing in our rush to use up the planet,
disregard equity, pretend nature has no rights, destroy the capital
it provides at no charge, while the media tend to ignore what
he is trying to tell us.
San Franciscans who braved the bruising
wind on Earth Day 2000
were rewarded with a superb Nader presentation, and I urge
them to wake up the press. Remember
Seattle, which Ralph Nader does and the media missed
the meaning of. They heard the glass break at Starbucks, and
little else. They didn't note how the police had become handmaidens
of the transnationals, and were stupid about the value of common
Nor did it occur to them that the Washington
police became, to borrow the expression from Doonesbury, compassionate
fascists, accepting Duke's message and going a step further:
if protesters annoy you, arrest 600 of them; they'll get the
Let me suggest some other messages.
Look up Ralph Nader's overall
statement on our web site The
Wildness Within Us.
Read William Greider's series in The
Nation, starting with "Raising a Ruckus For Global
When you get a chance, try these three
books: Natural Capitalism,
by Paul Hawken, Amory and Hunter Lovins; Democracy
at Risk (Rescuing Main Street from Wall
Street), by Jeff Gates (no relation), and Midpoint Correction,
by Ray Anderson.
If you find it hard to get and read
books, get the gist of what they are saying and Ralph Nader has
been thinking for quite some time from the poem Robert Arthur
Lewis wrote for Seattle, Why
We Are Here, which he had wanted to remain anonymous
but we overlooked the anonymity when including it in Let the Mountains Talk, by Steve
Chappel and me.
Is this, per chance, why you went to
Seattle, or wish you had gone?
we had imagined,
the one we had always counted on
Because the sun is becoming cancerous
and the planet is getting hotter.
Because children are starving in the shadows
of yachts and economic summits.
Because there are already too many planes in the sky.
is the manufactured world
you have come here to codify and expedite.
We have come to tell you
there is something else we want to buy.
we want money no longer recognizes,
like the vitality of nature, the integrity of work.
We don't want cheaper wood, we want living trees.
We don't want engineered fruit, we want to see
and smell the fruit growing
in our own neighborhoods.
here because a voice inside us,
a memory in our blood, tells us
you are not just a trade body, you are the blind tip
of a dark wave that has forgotten its source.
We are here to defend and honor
what is real, natural, human, and basic
against the rising tide of greed.
here by the insistence of spirit
and by the authority of nature.
If you doubt for one minute the power of truth
or the primacy of nature
try not breathing for that length of time.
you know the pressure of our desire.
We are not here to tinker with your laws.
We are here to change you from the inside out.
This is not a political protest.
It is an uprising of the soul.
A small group at the President's Council
on Environmental Quality heard Father Thomas Berry tell us "Put the Bible on the shelf for twenty
years and read the Earth." I think we can do both. Read
the Earth eloquently, and don't overlook Isaiah's "Thou
hast multiplied the nation and not increased the joy." Or
what Christ said about Solomon's clothes compared to the lilies
of the field. Who was it who first said the clothes have no emperor.
The man who wrote Unsafe at Any
Speed will be a good man to advise the World Bank
and IMF about the speeds at which they have been driving.
Berkeley, CA 4/24/2000
Founder and chairman, Earth Island
Institute; founder of Friends of the Earth (now in 66 countries,
two million members), League of Conservation Voters, Fate of
the Earth Conferences, Sierra Club Foundation, co-founder of
John Muir Institute for Environmental Studies, Executive Director,
Sierra Club 1952-69, Nobel Peace Prize nominee three times, Blue
Planet Prize, Japan, 1998, world-class mountaineer when it didn't
take much class, born in Berkeley 7-1-12, Married Anne Hus 1943,
four children, three grandchildren, author of three books, editor
of about 100, combat veteran, Tenth
Mountain Division, WW II, Sophomore dropout, UC Berkeley,
with 9 honorary degrees, favorite sport, Creative Sloth.