Friday, July 26, 2013

Prevention preceeds resilience

photo of Carlos Avery marshes
© harrington
Welcome! Thanks for visiting. Do you remember "Superstorm Sandy," the hurricane? How about the tornado that demolished Greenberg, KS. One of the reasons these events hurt so many families and businesses is that, we as a society, allowed people to build where we knew it wasn't safe to build. We didn't require stringent building codes because "it costs too much." We also wiped out many of salt marshes that served to buffer coastal storm surges. These were not accidental decisions. They were not made in ignorance. As far as I know, these were conscious decisions made in hopes that the rational minority would be proven incorrect. They were made with all the responsibility of a crapshooter playing with the families' monthly rent money. I lived ten of the better years of my life in and around east coast salt marshes. They often looked like the fresh water Carlos Avery marshes pictured above (make allowances for differences in specific plant species). The land and water and wildlife patterns were/are similar. Waterfowl, fish and shellfish use marshes as breeding and resting grounds and nurseries. Minnesota is known for it's waterfowling and fishing. It used to be known for its button mussel industry. Why are we continuing to permit (as in issuing permits to) industry to destroy and only partially restore our natural resource base. I don't think the solution is to monetize the value of ecoservices provided by nature. I suspect those who prefer to fight with dueling checkbooks would just love us to redefine the issues in their terms. If we weren't already guilty of monetizing that which shouldn't have a value placed on it because it is priceless [thank you Mastercard] maybe we could stand up for non-monetary values, you know, the kinds of things we used to call truth, justice and the American way. We'd best try to find those values again soon, and hope that enough of us still share them, because we aren't likely to be successful in the future using our short-shighted rants to protect our individuality and freedom. I think we'd best remember Bobbie McGee's assessment: "freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose." Thanks for listening. Have you made your suggestion on twenty-five books every Minnesotan should read? See if the comments are working and send a title and author. Minnesota is too important to loose because enough of us didn't show we cared. Something like that's already happened once. Check The Lorax by Dr Seuss. Come again when you can.