Saturday, December 11, 2010

Welcome to my world

<$BlogMetaData$>Welcome to my world

After being tagged as an environmental extremist by the governor elect Dennis Daugaard, I willingly accept the task to take this role more seriously, and sure enough environmental issues are major news items this last week in the Argus Leader. Contaminated drinking water? C’mon you can’t be serious. Well, it seems that e-coli bacteria is alive and well in the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls. Local citizens have started vocalizing against their elected leaders to have allowed this to happen and that they are not taking effective steps to stop this before it leaches into the aquifer. Well Duh! Welcome to my world. Those of us who have been branded as extremists have been screaming till we are horse that the water is in danger. But that is not the Daugaard way.

Why is it that it takes a pollution event to bring people to their senses that something needs to be done about this before we have serious problems. The Environmental Extremists in this area have been preaching, (well maybe not preaching) for over 4 years that Hyperion is a disaster waiting to happen. Well my question is why can’t people be pro-active about dangers rather than reactive? We aren’t rocket scientists (beating that phrase to death aren’t we) but it doesn’t take much intelligence to realize we are messing with mother nature, and we all know that it isn’t nice to mess with her. Rather than pampering ourselves with the comforts of modern society that is really screwing things up, why not try to do something contrary to our nature and take steps to improve life for those who follow in our footsteps. Why have the attitude of let them worry about it.

I can remember why my parents insisted that everyone in their family get an education, because they didn’t have the opportunity to do so. Why did they do this? They did it because they wanted their children to have things they didn’t. They wanted their children to be successful. They wanted their children not to have to suffer the hardships they experienced as part of their daily lives. So why are we being so careless about what we are doing to our environment? It is the responsibility of each of us to try to leave this world a better place than we found it, but this careless carefree attitude about our planet is going to leave things in a mess. Granted we might have a problem accepting global warming, but climate change is a fact and we should be taking steps to reverse this change. People can talk from now till hell freezes over that this is normal, but if it is, why are we rushing the process.

Are we such affluent people that we can have utter disregard for clean air, clean water and clean land. I can understand 3rd world countries having a problem with this because they are just struggling to survive, but if we don’t watch what we are doing, we could be in the same boat. I like the fact that I can flip a switch and the lights come on. I like the fact that I can go out to the garage and get in my truck and go to town. I would hate to think of the alternative, but if we aren’t careful, it could happen. I like my comforts. Is that wrong? Yes it is if I don’t take steps to protect our resources.

Look at the number of families that are starting to grow their own gardens during the summer. Farmer’s markets are sprouting up all over and people are becoming conscious of their surroundings, but it might be too late. Growing your own food may become more of a necessity than a hobby. Wouldn’t that be something?

Now that I’ve been spouting gloom and doom, is it too late to do anything about this? The answer is obviously a big NO, but we do have to increase our awareness of our surroundings. Waiting until a disaster happens is too late. We need to take steps now to ensure this doesn’t happen. This calls for a change in attitude. We are a people who inherently believe in the tooth fairy. It will never happen to us. We are all NIMBY’s when it comes to being deprived of something we take for granted.

The people in Sioux Falls are finding out the hard way that it doesn’t take but one day for something like this to happen and it could take years to correct the situation. People in Sioux Falls are only concerned about people in Sioux Falls, because that is where they live and that is where the problem for them lives. They make passing statements about folks downstream from them, but their main concern is themselves. Well, guess who is downstream from Sioux Falls. If they have e-coli problems do you think maybe we have that same problem? It is like the environmental extremists. We recognize that there will be a problem with Hyperion using 10-12 million gallons of water a day; or that they could be polluting the aquifer, but this is quite frankly, someone else’s problem because that is downstream from us. We are just passing the buck and as long as we stay NIMBY’s it is going to continue until it is too late. Then it becomes everyone’s problem and people will be pointing their fingers at us and being really mad that we didn’t do something to stop this from happening to them. It is called “passing the buck.”

I’m sorry, but I don’t accept the blame for this. I’m not ‘chicken little,’ but the responsibility for taking care of this impending disaster rests with those who choose to look at this as folly. It is an educating process, but those who disbelieve must be willing to accept change and accept responsibility.


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