Tom Hayden-Green Politics...In Memory

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On the passing of Tom Hayden

Tom Hayden.jpg


SJS / GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: Our old friend, Tom Hayden, as he neared the end of his life wrote this in an email to Steve Wasserman.

Steven told of Tom's last days in an eulogy in Nation.

> I was shocked to receive an e-mail from Tom telling me he’d suffered a serious stroke.

“I am the victim of my own reckless character,” Tom wrote. “I was photographing a toxic pit of fracking wastewater out in the land of the devil, Kern County. It was hot, the air full of dust, the black ooze sinking into the aquifer below and evaporating into the air above. I threw myself into the cave of the devil and the devil blew back into my heaving lungs. It was something like Ginsberg staring into the eye of Moloch. And so in the course of an exhausting day and night my breathing worsened and I eventually fell into a stroke and was rushed twice to emergency rooms, doctors and nurses, and the MRI machine where I experienced life and loved ones passing before my eyes. The man at the MRI was named Jesus. When it was over and I asked him how his day was going, he said with an upbeat shout, ‘You survived, everybody’s gonna survive in this place today.’” Tom went on to say that while he would “need therapy to help recover my brain over the next little while,” he assured me that “if you call me, and I hope you will, it will seem that I am my old self, slicing and chopping words into sentences and arguments, living again in the immanent world that I nearly left behind.” Yes, he’d have “new medicines, a different diet, and will be banned from driving,” but, he declared, “The New York Times will be on my bed every morning, and I will read the latest on the Pope and the [California] Senate will pass a resolution I drafted just days ago mandating all state officials to read and consider the papal encyclical on the climate, and I guess I will be a miracle incarnate and a devoted student of the human brain.”

“I am wide awake in the unforgettable present moment.”

He closed his missive, which he’d written from his hospital bed at 5 in the morning, “I am wide awake in the unforgettable present moment, and now I must try to sleep.”


Politics of the Spirit: A Dream of California

Politics of the Spirit / Excerpts / 1995

"We spends billions annually simply for the fossil fuels wasted"

"We are adrift between the Petrochemical Age and the Ecological Age"

"The narrow band of hybrid seed stocks favored by traditional agribusiness relies on high inputs of petrochemical fertilizers, which have radically degraded the "ecological capital" of our soil and water"

"Distrust of the political order and of politicians is rising"

"...the common dependency candidates have on campaign contributions... candidates tend to think like the contributors..."

"The effort to achieve campaign reform and lobbying reform... is about awakening the power of citizens to have meaningful lives"

"Politics... (needs to be) about service, about aligning government with the needs of people and the planet"

"The average working person has only 16 hours of leisure time each week, down from 26 hours only 20 years ago. There is a positive alternative..."

"Thirty years ago, in the Port Huron Statement, we who began the 60s student movement wrote not only of political reform... but of the need to address 'lonliness, estrangement and isolation. We wrote that love and compassion should overcome the 'idolatry of worshiping things."

Lost Gospel of the Earth by Tom Hayden.jpg

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