Monday, April 21, 2014

1320 Earth Day

Anyone here remember Hugh Scott?  Scott was a congressman and then a senator then a high ranking senator from Pennsylvania.  He was a Republican in an era when there still was a Republican Party.

And on Earth Day in 1970 -- the first of them -- Senator Scott was a leader of the ceremonies.

Find someone like that now and you’ll be Diogenes with his lantern.

But despite the anti-environment climate change denying crowd today, Earth Day persists.  It’s tomorrow in case it’s not on your calendar.

We are to honor our planet or at least give lip service to honoring our planet.

Without getting into the details and petty disagreements, you can safely say that climate change exists even if you’re not sure how much of it people really cause.

You can recycle.  You can drive a hybrid.  You can question fracking.  You can install solar panels and windmills and you will do no harm.  But who knows if you will do any good.  Maybe you’ll make a little dent in the problem, maybe not.

Forty four years of Earth Day has helped shape awareness of our fragile existence.  But can we actually DO anything?

Acid rain is a thing of the past.  Rachel Carson’s book the Silent Spring may have been partly off the mark, but it made us aware. It made us think.  It made us act.  Or maybe overact.  Malaria is up since DDT has been down and out.  Is there no compromise?

Whether that action will ultimately do any good is an open question. Maybe we can live here without destroying the environment.  Maybe we have no control even over the small part we play in that game.

Maybe it pays to remember Hugh Scott.  Imperfect.  Sometimes wrong headed. But someone who took seriously our status as residents of Earth.

We have, of course, made progress.  Those bags made of recycled plastic are so easily broken they’ve become useless for suicide and murder.

And those reusable grocery bags are such an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, you have an excuse for continuing to use the almost equally dangerous antibacterial liquids.

But we’re still waiting for hybrid cars that run on double-a batteries.  GM is working on that.  Those cars will have no ignition switches.  And since it’ll have about 500 batteries, you’d better be careful about which face up and which face down.  Only one of them in the wrong direction will make the car useless.  And which one of the 500 did you insert wrong?

Shrapnel:

--Taxi driver Rodolfo Sanchez, 69 of Long Island City, Queens is the kind of crook we all like the cheer for.  Sanchez found a way to avoid paying tolls at New York City bridges and tunnels and did it 4,000 times and skipped paying 28-thousand dollars before getting caught  according to the district attorney.  We won’t tell you how he did it.

Grapeshot:
-Said with a straight face by an on-line retailer of compression hosiery used to reduce leg swelling: “(Merchandise) returned after 30 days will be subject to a 20% re-stocking fee.”

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2014



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