Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores
We are What we do July 6,2009
The "greening of America" is dependent not upon big words and fine phrases, or even great plans like solving the CO2 emissions trouble, or the melting of the glaciers, but upon reduce, recycle and reuse, these are actions in daily living. It is what we, the public need to recognize that it is not what we say, but what we do.
We live here in the dawning of a new era, the energy, climate era. The fact of global warming is not something we create, it is present and in our daily lives. We need to work at removing from our ways things that damage the environment, like use of fossil fuels and the destruction of wet lands. We need not develop new forms of energy, we must increase the use of clean energy sources already present and are increasing. The wind farms around us and the use in a number of places of solar energy all speak of efforts at work.
In reality, the greening of America has been going on slowly for a long time. Back in the "dirty" thirties, the farm I grew up on went to contour farming to reduce the amount of soil lost by wind and water, and shelter belts (ten rows of trees planted from east to west) were planted to break the wind that damaged the land. The same sort of "greening" is the story that Joseph Colgan of Wyoming tells about his ancestors who bought Valley land when it was largely swamp, dug ditches, put in tiles to drain the excess water and made it into farm land. The Valley land is now seen as some of the best farm land in Stark County.
There are ethical changes that went from taking the environment for granted understanding that the environment is a factor that needed to be appreciated as a loan, not a possession. There has been a lot of learning in relationships between persons of differing nationality. We treat all people as being equal. Such has been the greening America.
I tell you this to remind you that while the experts tell us how bad we are and how many ways we abuse our place of living, we have improved and improved over the years. True some places we have not done enough, but think how bad it would be if care taking was not in process. Do you remember when we first started recycling? We were told that aluminum of all sorts could be recycled to extend the availability of that valuable metal. We moved very quickly and recycled. Although I still pick up aluminum cans from the highway by our house, most of us put cans in to be recycled.
The second recycling project was newspaper, I remember in the early eighties borrowing a semi trailer from Nick Nobloch and easily filling it to take to Pilot House in Kewanee who sold it to paper manufacturing plants who recycled the paper. A load of newsprint was hauled off by Paul Jacquet who shredded the paper. He used it for bedding for his hogs one winter when straw was in short supply. He found that to be a profitable venture and began collecting paper for sale to paper companies. Since those days, Paul has incorporated Eagle Enterprise and recycles all sorts of recyclable materials. This is part of the greening of America.
There all sorts of changes in the way we use our environment that are improvements. True we have moved slowly and probably not fast enough, resisters and profit takers have made it difficult. By doing what we can to change the portions of our ways of living will not take us back to the way it used to be, but we, by doing what each of us can ethically and physically, with loud voices and visible actions prevent the loss of the earth that seems to threaten us.
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