|Photo credit: Natasha Vermeulen http://www.nvermeulen.com/|
But, the truth is, I just can't keep my mouth shut anymore.
I just can't do it.
I'd like to be 100% clear about this: I don't like our political system. I think that if our country's forefathers and founders were to see the way things are done in the political system today, they would revolt against our own government the same way they revolted against jolly old England back in the late 1700s.
Relax. I am not going to host a Tea Party rally. Neither am I going to rant too long about politics because I think that most people are just too gutless to speak up for the things that actually matter. Our society acts like and therefore is treated like an uninformed flock of sheep.
Again...our forefathers would be ashamed.
Right now, there are happenings at the legislative level that will dismantle our long history of preserving the natural resources in the state of Wisconsin. On the short list of things to be "changed" in the name of business and profit, is our current policy on mining.
Talk about the ultimate weapon of mass destruction... Mining will do for this state what the housing bubble, or the dot com boom did for the national economy. It will give a quick boost that will look and feel like a true economic benefit. But...when the ore, copper, or whatever they are digging for runs out...these cats will start to look for cheaper, more destructive methods to continue making a profit. When that is done, they will pack up shop, leave most of their rusting equipment in place, and go to the next potential mineral deposit. And they will take their money with them. Guaranteed.
What will be left? I'll give you a hint: Look to southern Appalachia for your answer. It is a place that should be so beautiful that it is considered a national treasure. Instead, coal mines have absolutely decimated one of the oldest mountain ranges on earth. For coal. The mining companies are literally scalping the tops of mountains in the name of profit.
The economy of southern Appalachia is among the poorest in the nation. And it is getting worse. And now...they are left with a landscape that is so ecologically damaged, that there really isn't a way to repair and a local economy that is dangerously depressed.
The implications of trading our natural resources for profit goes WAY beyond just mining, but it just so happens that mining is presenting itself as the current "gateway drug" for money hungry corporate whores.
|One of hundreds of coal mines in West Virginia. Photo borrowed from: www.ohvec.org|
Here is a thought...What if...just what if...we decided to do something to stand up against mining or other industries that threaten our natural resources? (Don't even get me started on bottling companies that want to tap into our natural springs to fill a few million more plastic bottles full of water...)
If we decided to protect our forests, wetlands, prairies and waterways, we would also be making a valuable investment in our economic future. So here is a thought Mr. Walker and others who are chosing big business and profits over the environment...If the true goal in politics is to do what is right...then here is your out: Protect our resources. If your ego is in need of the ultimate long lasting legacy: Protect our resources.
You want to make money, save jobs, look like a goddamned hero? Save the land. With this land, promote tourism. Promote camping, skiing, cross country skiing, cycling, paddling, fishing, hunting, snow shoeing, photography, nature watching, bird watching, and so on and so on and so on. In other words: instead of destroying our resources-be stewards of them.
WE NEED TO INVEST IN WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE. To do otherwise is irresponsible.
If we take proper care of it, our land will sustain us and continue to bring people to this state for recreational opportunities. With those visitors...comes their money. With their money, comes jobs. With those jobs, comes a better way of life for our residents.
Need a model for this? Costa Rica. Eco tourism has completely turned that economy from one that was about as poor and corrupt as they come, to one of international prosperity and a model for the "new' world economy. Oh...and the jungles and rainforests? Yeah...they are preserving those too. Proof that this is possible. We can have our cake and eat it too.
So I ask you, good sportsman: what are you going to do?
Probably nothing, right? You might read this article and nod your head in agreement, say to yourself that you are a sportsman who supports the land that provides your favorite pastime...and then shut your computer off and pretend that it really isn't happening. Or worse...you will assume that someone else is going to take up arms in defense of our resources.
Well, today is the day you need to do something, so stand up!
Don't believe me? Think I'm acting like chicken little? Need to see it for yourself? Here you go:
DNR Reform Bill Artlcle Wisconsin State Journal 21oct11
Huffington Post Article 06oct11
Chicago Tribune Article 25oct11
Ashland Current Article
Economic impacts of coal mining
AP-Reasons behind the coal decline
If you still don't believe me and want more info...send me an email. I'll forward every bit of information I can.
** Blogger's note: To those who read the original version...sorry for the language. While writing, it is easy to get caught up in the emotion of a piece.