Thursday, February 2, 2017

Shedding light through "Hope in the Dark"

Phil saw his shadow this morning, so he and I agree on at least six more weeks of Winter. I would gleefully be willing to be proven wrong if Staten Island Chuck and Shubenacadie Sam are correct and we enjoy an early Spring. The 15℉ temperature when I walked the dogs felt closer to 0℉ as the breeze kicked in.

Winter whitetail
Winter whitetail
Photo by J. Harrington

Earlier this week, late in the afternoon for several days, a small herd of half-a-dozen or so whitetails, I think all does, drifted across the back boundary of the property. It was a treat to watch them for a few minutes. Signs of life in the Winter are rare and special. This morning a pileated woodpecker visited the suet feeder. Gray squirrels are chasing each other in what I think is the start of mating season. No matter who's president, much of life goes on as it has, except that my email inbox and snail mail box are now full of requests for funds to oppose or stop this or that that the minority-popular vote president is trying to do, or might do, or someone's afraid he'll do if he gets the chance. Few, if any, of them have proposals for what they want to accomplish that's positive, more than positively stopping something. That's not good enough.

The past couple of days I've been preparing comments on Minnesota Pollution Control Agency proposed changes to water quality beneficial use classes and the classification of a number of stream segments. I can't and don't support the proposal as drafted. It doesn't do enough to help implement Minnesota's Water Sustainability Framework nor the more holistic conservation work that's been done in Minnesota's Driftless Region.

2014: about 10 weeks after Groundhog Day
2014: about 10 weeks after Groundhog Day
Photo by J. Harrington

I've finally read enough to believe with both my head and my heart that Rebecca Solnit is correct about much in her Hope in the Dark. I have over time become more and more of a bioregionalist (use the search box above). Solnit notes that
"The embrace of local power doesn't have to mean parochialism, withdrawal, or intolerance, only a coherent foundation from which to navigate the larger world. From the wild coalitions of the global justice movement to the cowboys and environmentalists sitting down together, there is an ease with difference that doesn't need to be eliminated, a sense that if the essentials of the principal or goal are powerful enough you can work together and perhaps differences are a strength, not a weakness."
As I read the history of the founding of the United States, the preceding paragraph summarizes how it came to be, and our principals and goals are contained in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, which, if it were only intended to be read as originalists would have it, wouldn't have been amended more than two dozen times, but I digress. Enhanced local power, local systems, linked in coalitions or federations to a sustainable global economy, conversations with our neighbors to discover and support the principals and goals powerful enough that we can work together (because we must) are what I support. If that's your idea of where and how we need to create a better future for our descendants and fellow inhabitants of planet earth, let's talk. Maybe we can even fund-raise together and accomplish a better world that doesn't have to rely on governmental rules to get people to behave properly. We certainly won't get there with our continuing reliance on big government trying to control big corporations in an extractive economy that leaves the rest of us poor because we pay to clean up the mess made by those corporations with government assistance. See Standing Rock.

Dreams


Hold fast to dreams 
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow. 

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