ssǝɹddns ɹou ɹɐǝɟ ɹǝɥʇıǝu plnoʍ ʎʇǝıɔos ǝǝɹɟ ʎlnɹʇ ɐ ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıʇnɔolɯnɔɹıɔ suıɐʇuoɔ ǝʇıs sıɥʇ

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day or: It ain't rocket science

Way back in 2001, some guy unknown to me asked via email what I thought about damming a polluted river.

I’m paraphrasing myself (weird?), but I said something along the lines of “Well, I ain’t no freakin’ tree-hugger, but it sounds kind of stupid to erect a rubber dam in the path of flowing raw sewage.” Something like that.

Contained within my response is my steadfast belief that the laundry list of the most vexing of our problems can be solved by applying a healthy dose of simplicity to them. In case you missed it, I like simplicity.

Should we dam raw sewage and then recreate on, in and around nauseating fecal blooms?

Why, that’s simple. That’s a resounding Not!!!

So, with the Battle for the Susquehanna neatly tucked into the rear view mirror, here we are again, all these years later debating yet another water quality issue. And again, simplicity works for me.

Should we be injecting millions upon millions of gallons of carcinogen-laced water into our soil?

Why, that’s simple. That’s a resounding Not!!!

Yet, amazing as it is to me, here we are doing such a thing on a 24/7 basis. While we are spending millions of dollars to right the environmental wrongs that were perpetrated upon our neighborhoods, our river and it’s tributaries during the century-long anthracite boom, here we are putting our natural resources and our future at risk all over again while in head-long pursuit of the almighty dollar. Obviously, we did not learn the readily-apparent lessons of our industrial past as we are now gleefully repeating it.

No, I haven’t flipped on you. I have not become a card-carrying tree-hugger ready to sacrifice myself to protect endangered snails sporting really cool stripes. The fauna and flora are wonderful and all, but people still need jobs. I get it. I’m not ready to join Greenpeace and invite a bullet from a Russian soldier.

But, with regards to all things hydro fracturing and the like, I remain doggedly stuck on simplicity. Does it make any sense at all to rush into the harvesting of buried energies while the questionable process is still clouded in regulatory secrecy?

Sorry, but it doesn’t require a degree from Harvard to come to the simplest of conclusions…that if it was entirely safe and environmentally-friendly, it’d be completely above board for all to see. It’s simple.

Back in 2004, I wanted my then 3-year-old grandson to join said email friend and myself for a day of paddling on the Susquehanna River. And the first thing his mother--my daughter---espoused were her fears that Gage Andrew might come in contact with the polluted waters of the Susquehanna. This was repeated later when my nephew and then yet another grandson were penciled in for kayaking trips.

And keeping with the simpleton bit, we need to ask ourselves why we are so comfortable with, so resigned to the fact that our local watery playground is too polluted to play in.

In my spinning inner place, I think it doesn’t have to be that way---polluted. And the only way it’ll ever be restored to it’s pristine state back when Chief Muckamucka was making weapons and jewelry and pottery of stone is by demanding better for it and by demanding better for ourselves.

A free-flowing river can and will regenerate itself provided that the folks who could and would draw subsistence and enjoyment from it demand that it be protected no matter what. No…matter…what!

It’s simple. And I like simplicity. It ain't rocket science. And this comes from the long lost son of a certified rocket scientist.

That’s all of it. That’s what I’ve gleaned from the crowded mind of the happenstance Energizer Kayaker. That’s my big Earth Day circumlocution. Now, being that the garbage bags are so ungodly expensive in this city, I'm off to pitch my garbage down the bank.

And if anybody is stupid enough to dare suggest that I’m all in with the limp-wristed, give-peace-a-chance tree-huggers, I’ll have to take an interest in making them plead for mercy.


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