Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sulfide mining, Minnesota's DDT?

First, let me wish you a happy National Brownie Day! With luck, I'll never have to permanently choose between brownies and cookies.

Second, the Daughter Person reads these postings infrequently enough that I may get away with complementing her without it going to her head. She said something yesterday wise beyond her years, or she's done a better job nurturing her inner child than I have. She reminded me that Christmas, including the shopping, is supposed to be fun. That observation was shared as I grumbled about the general and particular state of the world, the state of Minnesota, and the state of my life, as I worked through Christmas lists and tried to figure out what I was getting for whom, when and how.

Earlier today, mindful of the Daughter Person's observation, and with lists in hand, I ventured forth with several objectives in mind. I succeeded at most, although not in the each of the specific venues I anticipated. Success was based in part on adaptability. I started working on that, especially since I read this quote often misattributed to Darwin:
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.
(I'd like to add "who also has the tallest stacks of unread books," but I'm not sure I can count on that.)

these eagles have landed
these eagles have landed
Photo by J. Harrington

Think about the transitions we humans and our home planet are facing. Each and all of us are going to need all the adaptability we can muster to survive. Fortunately, we can credit ourselves with assisting several examples of adaptation and survival, including bald eagles. Many years ago, we banned DDT thanks to Rachel Carson's wisdom. Because we had that fortitude and foresight, today I got to see several bald eagles. I even managed some photos of a pair perched in a tree on the Kelly Farms in Washington County.

what if we hadn't banned DDT?
what if we hadn't banned DDT?
Photo by J. Harrington

I don't know if you've noticed that clean water in Minnesota is becoming about as scarce as bald eagles once were. Let's make a Christmas wish that our governor and his commissioners have the fortitude and foresight to help protect much of our cleanest water and the investments we've already made to clean up past messes. If you haven't yet asked Governor Dayton to stop the Polymet Project, now would be a good time to do it. Here's how. There are other, better ways to provide northern Minnesota with good paying jobs, just as there were other ways to control mosquitoes without killing all the raptors.

Eagle Plain

By Robert Francis 
The American eagle is not aware he is
the American eagle. He is never tempted
to look modest.

When orators advertise the American eagle’s
virtues, the American eagle is not listening.
This is his virtue.

He is somewhere else, he is mountains away
but even if he were near he would never
make an audience.

The American eagle never says he will serve
if drafted, will dutifully serve etc. He is
not at our service.

If we have honored him we have honored one
who unequivocally honors himself by
overlooking us.

He does not know the meaning of magnificent.
Perhaps we do not altogether either
who cannot touch him.

Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.