This is a departure from my usual “M.O.” I never considered myself to be much of an activist, even though I have some pretty strong opinions on many of this world’s injustices. I generally get too twisted up by all the skullduggery, word trickery and outright mind-fuck that goes along with the politics of any given issue, and therefore find that I do much better behind the scenes, instead channeling those energies into things like reflection, power of thought and prayer. But there comes a time when a person has to stand up and say “HEY!”
So this is the deal: a friend of mine lives in a quiet little community just outside of the town of Napa, California called Circle Oaks, and the quality of life there, not to mention the life of many animal and plant species, may soon drastically change for the worse. In the tradition of ruthless, profit-seeking development, another big company wants to go in and build another huge winery directly above them, which would entail major desecration of the land and it’s many inhabitants.
We’re talking dynamite blasting, heavy machinery operations and run-off of pesticides right in their “backyard”. Also, the water resources will be as good as sucked dry for the wildlife and for the human community, depleting from a relatively new water reserve system that my friend was charged big money for and is still paying on! This, smack in the middle of what has been dubbed a “drought” situation. And, as though adding insult to injury, the company somehow finagled their way around the planning zones and will, if this all goes through, eventually build more homes on the “winery” land and rake in some astronomical profits.
Yes, Napa Valley is world famous for it’s beautiful wines, but let me tell you people, it’s not the love of the ancient art of wine-making that is prospering there these days, not even close. The days of “poetry in a bottle” are long gone and replaced by, or metamorphosed into, for the most part, big money, obscenely big money, profit and gain and that’s it in a nutshell. The people wanting to go in and destroy this land above Circle Oaks do not live there and do not care what this venture will do to the area.
Even many of the locals–of course wanting to defend the “local” industry–are defending the project, or at best misrepresenting it and the voice of the opponent, the people. A Napa city sign positioned at the beginning of the road to Circle Oaks and stating that the road is not fit for heavy trucks has mysteriously disappeared. The proposed “winery” and all the tearing up of the mountainside would be on the “back side” out of view from the downtown area and therefore not assaulting to the eyes of the purse-wielding tourist. The Napa newspaper published an article mistakenly insinuating that the citizens of the communities which will be drastically affected by the construction are completely against tourism, cut and dry. And, of course, buzz words and key phrases are being thrown around like dimes at a coin toss; all the standard ones like “creating jobs”, “personal freedom” and the “capitalist way”, etc. etc…capped off, in this case, by “wine-maker’s rights”…
So before I get carried too far away here on my soap box, maybe you could take a look at the website that these good citizens have put together in order to protect their homes, and the homes of many four-legged friends. They can explain their situation much better than I. Please take a look, maybe see how you can help, at least maybe by offering up a little prayer. Too much of our beloved planet is being shamefully desecrated in the name of powerful big money. The next brutal assault on Mother Earth may be in your backyard.