As you may have deduced by now, when possible, I like to pick significant family dates within my bi-weekly blog discipline to post. It grounds me to what’s most important in my life. This date happens to by my wife Betty’s big number 70. Happy Birthday, my love!
Sorry to briefly rain on our celebration, but please forgive me while I rant.
The current and future threats to our environment are real. The Buffalo National River CAFO disaster is but a symptom.
Global warming is real. We’ve known about it since at least the late 1970s, and the publication of meteorologist Jule Charney’s report, “Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment,”commissioned by the Carter Administration. Our role in it as humanity is real, and clearly documented as well.
Attempts to roll back our national conscience and the environmental ethic it has unleashed the past half century are real.
The Environmental Protection Agency, created by President Nixon in 1972 is being disemboweled. The Paris Accord has been torn up and thrown in the trash, by America, if not the rest of the world. National Monuments are being re-purposed or redrawn.
It’s the gutting of Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase- Escalante national monuments to allow mining, logging, grazing, and energy exploration. I’ve been to both and they are natural, cultural, and geological treasures.
It’s offshore drilling in Alaska, it’s reducing federal protection for large marine sanctuaries from New England to Hawaii, to the south Pacific.
It’s wetlands destruction-all you hunters out there, it’s fisheries contamination and depletion-all you anglers.
It’s surface water, it’s water tables, it’s threats to water quality and water quantity, around the world, across the nation, and in my own native Ozarks.
The current hit list is extensive, and the attacks unprecedented in modern history. In our past, Republicans and Democrats alike, from Ulysses S. Grant to Teddy Roosevelt in the beginning, to Richard Nixon, and more recently both presidents Bush as well as Clinton and Obama, political leaders of all stripes have sought to expand protection of those many special places for the citizenry at large. No more. Self serving interests and tainted monies have altered the the balance of power and squashed bipartisan efforts to preserve our natural treasures.
Even our national parks are at risk. Everything from rescinding the sweeping National Parks Climate Order to overturning freezes on new coal leases, and reducing regulation of drilling and fracking on public lands.
Dangerous threats to our environment are looming. Threats to our air, to our water, to our national parks and national monuments and cultural heritage, to the shared legacy of disparate leaders who could at least agree on one thing: America the beautiful needed and needs to be protected for future generations. It’s an obligation, a responsibility, a sacred duty for those of us who have benefitted from our extraordinary natural waters and landscapes.
So what can we do? What can you do? What can I do? As a child of the ‘60s, I’ve surely got to do something?
Coming next, September 22 – TEASER