Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Oh, yeah, it's earth day...

Oh! It's earth day. I didn't really remember until I read someone's post on things they're doing to `green` up (and I don't mean what comes after breakup!), and maybe get her girl a scout badge at the same time... ;)

You'd think a guy like me would be big into enviro-whatevers. I like sustainability, I'm interested in wind power, and I work for critter conservation. A lot of my co-wokers are all gungho about all this stuff, and they're somewhat aghast when I say I've never read Aldo Leopold. But just because I'm not nutty about it doesn't mean I don't care...

When we think about pollution, we think about New Jersy. Definitely not Alaska. The first indication I got that even remote areas aren't as protected as we like to think was when I was studying the Northern Shoveler in Utah. They're goofy looking ducks, with unmistakable bills. There's frequently concerns about mercury in waterfowl in Utah, due to the Great Salt Lake being about as polluted as my boots are muddy. I took feather clippings and studied them for mercury content. Unsurprisingly, I found quite a bit - more than I'd ever want to eat. Ready to scold the Utahns for sullying perfectly fine birds, a minor fact wafted to my forebrain: the feathers grew in while the birds were up in the Arctic.

The environment isn't just a few people in the lower 48's concern. Folks in China are doing things to poison our birds here. Global warming - sorry crazy guys in DNM's comment section - is real, and it's from folks in California and New York who are pushing it along. For as much as we complain about the lower 48 coming up here and telling folks what to do, it's about time we start doing the reverse.

So here's my modest earthday proposal: We should invade the lower 48, and get involved in the discussion about how they're going to live their lives. Because what they chose greatly influences our own choices.

2 comments:

Finnskimo, its more than just a name... said...

Amen. :) And we DID get a badge...seven to be exact! :) Although I'm feeling very crummy about wasting so much trash once I thought about it...ugh.

KC said...

I kinda-sorta like/don't like the fact that we all keep our trash close in. On one hand, it's an eyesore, depressing, etc. On the other? It's very easy to show kids the dump and say `hey, that trash isn't going anywhere, and we make it.`

It's a lot more effective than it is outside, where trash is out of sight, out of mind.

I wonder how Anchorage handles their garbage?