Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Can we, should we, connect these dots?

Another way to look at their assessments is to remember that the Clean Water Act set goals of fishable, swimmable waters in 1972, 43 years ago. Minnesota still has 40% of its waters that don't meet standards, as required by the fishable, swimmable goals of the 1972 law. In fact, way too many waters in Minnesota today carry a fish consumption advisory. Here's another dot to connect:

St Louis River in northern Minnesota
St Louis River in northern Minnesota
Photo by J. Harrington

So, we have water quality "impairments" in the southern half of the state due to urban development and agriculture and up north, to attain "fishable" and reduce mercury impairments if the federal government does its part, "Air sources of mercury will have a 93% emission reduction goal from 1990 levels. Air sources will be divided into three sectors: products, energy, and mining."

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Legislature is busy trying to prohibit MPCA from enforcing the sulfate standard and, I think, the phosphorous standard [see Marcotty story above] because it will cost too much to meet.

Time for another dot or two. Again from the Star Tribune this month:
One of the hallmarks of sustainability is transparency. The way I connect the dots above is MPCA could do better on that factor in future dashboard reports. I think, instead of large tax cuts to those who don't need them, the House could help the state and the metro area do better by agreeing we need to clean up our own messes and not leave them for millennials to pay for. Minnesota used to have a strong brand as the state that worked and was noted for the quality of life and environment here. Speaking from my own perspective, our brand has slipped a lot since the late 1970s when I moved here. Do you suppose there's a connection between attracting intelligent, well-educated millenials and cleaning up both our act and our environment?

National Poetry Month

Light-years

By Hester Knibbe
Translated By Jacquelyn Pope 
It’s a beautiful world, you said,
with these trees, marshes, deserts,
grasses, rivers and seas

and so on. And the moon is really something
in its circuits
of relative radiance. Include

the wingèd M, voluptuous
Venus, hotheaded Mars, that lucky devil
J and cranky Saturn, of course, plus

U and N and the wanderer P, in short
the whole solar family, complete with its
Milky Way, and count up all the other

systems with dots and spots and in
that endless emptiness what you’ve got
is a commotion of you-know-what. It’s a beautiful

universe, you said, just take a good look
through the desert’s dark glasses
for instance or on your back

in seas of grass, take a good look
at the deluge of that Rorschach—we’re standing out there
somewhere, together.


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