Even the rarefied New York Times finds and shares authentic voices from regular American places. Patty Whitney is a 58 year-old with the Bayou Interfaith Community Organizing whose true voice has gotten ink and confidence in the post-Deepwater debacle. Today's NYT National report profiles her testimony to a panel of "experts" in response to the spill and destruction across the Gulf.
Part of her testimony was a simple, clear rebuttal of conventional wisdom. "We are constantly told 'you have to adapt to coastal land loss, you have to adapt because of the oil leak, you have to adapt to the new situation,' she said. 'When is our government going to adapt to new energy sources that aren't harmful to our environment and the people who depend on the environment?"
Someone in church heard and signaled agreement when she was talking about the benefits of wind power. Her perspective is that "It's at the point were people would consider talking about it, where before it was blasphemy…Me personally I really and truly think the time is here, that even though it's radical for this area, the idea of developing an alternative energy policy has come." It stretches comprehension that the US Senate just days ago utterly abandoned taking up comprehensive energy and climate policy while the summer sun still shines brightly and disaster still fouls the Gulf.
Or look at personal choice, not so much about speaking out but choosing behavior that is seasonal.
"We stay as inert as possible" declares Stan Cox, author of "Losing Our Cool," a proponent of simply following the shade and foregoing air conditioning. Yes it is easily 90˚F in Salina, Kansas where Priti Gulati Cox and her husband Steve reside without air conditioning. His strategy seems to embrace a more convivial way of being: "It's all about your expectations. Ours are relaxed." Beyond that, he thinks "maybe…if people turned off their air conditioners, they would go outside and meet one another." In the electronic public realm, people seem not so interested in meeting in such a neighborly way. An OpEd he penned for the Washington Post has elected 67 pages of email rebuttal, including barks of "idiot" and a death threat. How does that help anyone adjust to the seasons?