Environment for all

The first settlers of Malibu were the native Americans called Chumash. They co-existed with wildlife — animals and fowl. They subsisted on seafood from an ocean which was a source of pure abundance. They, along with most native peoples, believed in temporary dwellings, living in a community, sharing and taking care of each other, young and old. Take care of Mother Earth, this is a temporary life in preparation for the spirit world. In other words heaven and Earth are combined.

In year 2000, so much of what was in the beginning is gone. Most of the wildlife are now endangered species, with dwindling habitat. The ocean is used as a toilet for millions of people, Malibu Creek used as a sewer pipe, emptying into the Malibu Lagoon, a cesspool.

We now have wealthy individuals and institutions that declare themselves “environmentalists,” but they are not thinking “ecosystem” but more like “me system.” I volunteered at an institute which was created to focus on our fragile environment but all I met were “marketing people,” intent on raising large sums of money for the purpose of maintaining offices in what was a complex of five beautiful homes of an extremely wealthy entertainer. Not much thought or care was shown to the families whose neighborhood was disrupted which seemed so insensitive.

Year 2000 in Malibu brings a climate of criminalization of the poor and moderate-income folks.

Where is Malibu’s state-mandated low-income housing? And I’m not talking about a bedroom renting for $1,000 a month or a guest house renting for $2,500 a month. I mean decent housing for long-term Malibu residents — families with children.

Is there any compassion in our community for families who are concerned with the basic necessities of life: food, clothing and shelter. Many are suffering.

To those who say they care about the environment I must say, “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s time we cared for all living things in our community.

Valerie Sklarevsky

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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