Tuesday, March 22, 2016

#WorldWaterDay

Water is a key element for waterfowl, so please enjoy today's photo of some of the flocks stopping over at Carlos Avery this morning.

flocks of waterfowl over Carlos Avery water
flocks of waterfowl over Carlos Avery water
Photo by J. Harrington

In support of clean water, the good folks in Duluth, and thinking folks throughout Minnesota, have started #BuyDownstream, an effort to support businesses that oppose copper (sulfide) mining. Here's a link to the pledge you can sign to join that effort.

Two additional thoughts to share:
  • There should be a similar effort in southwestern Minnesota to support clean up of waters polluted by industrial agriculture, and

  • A statewide coalition of businesses committed to sustainable development, and those who support such businesses, makes a lot of sense to me. Maybe an organization like the Izaak Walton League or Trout Unlimited, together with the Land Stewardship Project and/or the Minnesota Environmental Partnership could help kick off something like that.
Finally, we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of those murdered or wounded today in Brussels. To paraphrase Terry Tempest Williams, we, together with our allies, have to recommit ourselves to keep "Never Again" from becoming "Never, Again." Failure to protect our common resources, such as water and air and land, so they can support life, will only exacerbate sources of human conflict.

Museum of Tolerance

By Michael Miller

The shirtless man by the ticket counter
  has already broken the gloom here, his crowd
    of two boys and the cashier with the Star of David
      gathered around and mouthing astonishment

as he tells the tale behind every scar.
  Yes, this one on the side was from the camp—
     he tells them not to be shy to ask—
       when he tripped into the ditch

on the run after stealing cigarettes,
  the one on the knuckle from punching the soldier
   in the bar, brave with whiskey, a decade after.
     Touch it, he snarls, jutting out his fist.

That split a real Nazi’s lip.
  In the rooms behind him, the voices lay low
    but touch is the rule, the extended families
      passing in fours and fives as tight

as at church or the carnival. Are they
  all survivors here, dazed and exhilarated
    by the fate that dropped them so far from blight?
      A father heads the line, shirt fat with muscles

and a single proud thumb pushing the stroller;
  the woman and girl hug sideways, then again,
     tight as dancers in a row. At each display,
       the time lines and the whispered assurances

reiterate that what is done is done.
  Pol Pot is dead, the children of Kampuchea
    reading again to go to college; Rwanda
       has forgiven itself and opened supermarkets;

the ghettos are demolished, the Cold War won.
  Sudan, they skip. For now, the beasts are gone.
    They face the new life, the one after the mending,
      after the last mistakes were made.


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