The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release



Kucinich: "We Have Disassociated Ourselves from Nature"

We Must come to an Accounting of the Kind of Energy We Use and the Damage it Causes


Speaking on the House
Floor in support of H.Res. 1330, Recognizing June 8, 2010, as World
Ocean Day, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) made the following

"I rise in support of the resolution to name June
8th as World Ocean Day, but for the last fifty days, and for the next
six months at least, every other day is going to be 'Ruin our Ocean's
"While we would like to think that this is all
about BP, I think that we have to go a little bit further. We have to
understand that we have been pursuing a way of life that is not
"It is not sustainable for we, as human beings,
and it is not sustainable for our planet. So we can be here today to
talk about the oceans, and we should, but we have to keep in mind, Mr.
Speaker, that our oceans receive billions of gallons of runoff flows:
pesticides, metals like mercury and lead and massive amounts of
fertilizer, volatile organic compounds and countless other chemicals.
Even before the Deepwater disaster, this runoff caused the single
biggest dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Our oceans are absorbing the malfeasance of oil
companies, who are not only responsible for at least three separate
major, separate oil gushers as we speak, but are responsible as being
one of two major contributors causing climate change -- and we are
subsidizing them with taxpayers' money.
"Our oceans are absorbing the malfeasance of coal
companies, the other major fossil fuel contributor to climate change.
For decades our oceans have been our repositories for the greenhouse
gasses that come mostly from the burning of fossil fuel. The result is
that oceans have grown more acidic. Coral is dying, underwater
temperature patterns are shifting, undermining entire ecosystems, and
there are signs that our oceans have reached the limit. Some studies
indicate oceans won't be able to absorb anymore greenhouse gasses out of
the atmosphere. That only increases the urgency with which we must act
to achieve a carbon-free and nuclear-free energy portfolio.
"The ultimate challenge that we have about
upholding the environmental integrity of our oceans comes because we
have disassociated ourselves from nature. We see nature as being out
there. We see nature as being not even a part of us. And because we are
avoiding our responsibility to protect God's creation, the price we are
going to pay in the future will keep getting higher: oceans that are
poisoned, a planet that is ruined and all of life threatened with
"So, we can keep temporizing about what is going
on in the Gulf, but the fact of the matter is that sooner or later we
must come to an accounting with the kind of energy we are using and what
damage it is doing to the environment, the human race and all other
life on this planet."
See the video here.

Dennis Kucinich is an American politician. A U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1997 to 2013, he was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2004 and 2008.