Lee+Image-101.jpg

Hi.

Welcome! This is the place I write about Things I Notice in my daily walkabouts as well as what I might think about things in my world.

Postcard from the Edge - The Environment

This is a difficult area to discuss and is certainly a difficult area in which to find consensus. I think that's because the context of "the environment" is so very, very uniquely different to each of us...so unique. The issue could be about the very same thing and because of our different backgrounds we see things soooo differently and consequently immediately bristle when the other "side" speaks. Sierra Club vs Big Business, tree hugger vs lumberjack, et.al. But the issues run deeper than just our emotions and more is typically at stake than either the hopes  of environmental "do good-ers" vs the needs of economic progress. It's a value process that must include both long and short term impact.Take the wolves. For many years the wolf population decreased in the Yellowstone Park area and consequently the elk population boomed. A movement was initiated to bring wolves back to the park as natural elk predators. Now wolves are NOT particularly cuddly or hospitable and consequently, the fear of ranchers was that the wolves would prey on their cattle herds. I come from a small town in an agricultural state and I certainly understand the devastating effect a large predator kill would have on a family dependent on the herd for their livelihood. Through years of lawsuits, countersuits, environmental impact studies, organizational trumpeting, etc., wolves were finally re-introduced into the Yellowstone area. The impact has been amazing and really wasn't forecast to be so significant. Over the years, the elk had slowly destroyed critical areas of vegetation but as the elk population diminished, willow and aspen trees began to grow again which also diminished flooding runoff from areas made barren by elk populations. The beaver and fox populations also recovered as wolves began to keep the coyote population down. There is still anger among ranchers about the wolves since some (but not many) wolves and wolf packs become reliant on livestock for their food. Those wolves are allowed to be hunted and killed but most agree that of the total wolf population and the total "wolf diet" that this number is very small. Of course, if it were my herd that had been decimated, I wouldn't care about the odds even if I was reimbursed for my losses (which all are).But there was consensus. Not everyone agreed and the short term impact has not always been fair. IMHO, the long term results will be worth the short term pain. The groups that are "in the middle" are trying to deal with the anger from both sides of the spectrum. I posit that this middle group process should be grown to other issues about the environment.Take the water. We depend on our water in so, so many ways. It's what we drink, what we depend on for agriculture, it...well, it's central to our very health and well being. So who thinks it's okay to dump raw sewage into our drinking water sources? Or let toxic and carcinogenic chemicals leach into our rivers, lakes, aquifers and oceans? Lots of people think it's okay. And that's the issue, if some think it's okay, then they will dump and dumping just a little can be very, very bad. For instance, the Chesapeake Bay, is finally recovering from generations of dumping. Crabs, oysters, and watermen were all slowly leaving...the economy of the Bay was dying because of the toxic water environment. In the 1990s, several groups began restoration efforts that were aided by environmental regulation of the area. These efforts were finally paying off as both the oyster and crab populations were beginning to grow and more watermen were returning to their practices.Of course there's more. And there is the other side which says that the regulations have become so overreaching as to become impractical. Remember the "Snail Darter" controversy in 1978? Eventually consensus was reached but it was not without a Supreme Court case, significant legislative actions, and finally human intervention into the placement of this small fish which reduced the threat of extinction.  They have a point. But certainly we should work hard at constructive decision making. And that's why I will say again: Making a real change takes action and money. I am picking my issues, I will march, write letters, peacefully protest, whatever it takes to make a change. You should too…or just buy more ammunition.Manassas Train Station Phone 

Postcard from the Edge - Church

A Postcard About Trump