Dumps and Things
When I bought the farm where I live, there were several large piles of debris that had been dumped by previous owners. I grew up on a farm, and I knew that this was a not uncommon practice of rural America for generations. Before landfills became the norm, many farm families simply dumped broken or no longer need items in a pile on the edge of the woods or ravine. Indeed, as a kid growing up we would occasionally come upon an old house foundation in the surrounding neighborhood, and these places inevitably turned up with a bit of exploration of all kinds of interesting archaeological finds from previous inhabitants.
Within a year or two of moving to this land, with a group of helpers, we cleaned up the mess that had been left behind. For that first year, each time I walked by the dump pile a part of me cringed inside. Now I sometimes recall what it was when I am passing that spot and smile at what it has become.
It seems that the climate crisis awareness is slowly growing. Last week saw a thousand actions across the globe to bring attention to the looming crisis. There is a long way to go to tip the scales of public awareness, maybe more accurately public willingness to get involved.
It strikes me as odd that the deniers are so stuck on whether or not the crisis is real, or whether it is human caused. It cannot be denied that the islands of crap floating in the lakes, oceans and other bodies of water is human made. And whether the loss of massive ice around the world is human caused or natural, doesn’t it make sense that we would do everything in our power to preserve the polar bears, the whales, the tiny creatures that in many cases haven’t even been identified yet? Science tells us, and it is just intuitive, that all life on our planet is interdependent and that the loss of a habitat, the loss of one species creates a cascading effect that we have not yet begun to understand . One of my heroes is Aldo Leopold, the father of modern conservation. This quote of his has always struck me as simply common sense. “ The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all of the pieces.”
If we were to become motivated to shift resources (subsidies) from fossil fuels to renewable energies, if we were to mobilize our society and economy to consider a better way to grow or even replace the GDP while reducing the threat to the future, wouldn’t that be logical? Some say that it is simply too late to prevent the eventual loss of the human species because of our environmental follies. I don’t know if this is true. I choose to focus on the positive, to focus on what it is that I want rather than what I don’t want.
Clearly for me I want a world of abundant clean air and fresh water, of biodiversity that enriches life for all beings on this planet. I want a life for my grandchildren that is full of possibility, richness, and the kind of future that was handed down to me by my parents and their generation.
What do you want?
Steve Aman, The Wandering Bobcat