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Editorial: Longing for the way (some) things used to be
About politics and other thingsApril 30, 2014 | 2,998 views | 6 comments
As kids growing up in the country, we used to have a “trash hole” where we would dump everything that we could not burn. Our trash hole was apparently an abandoned well of some sort, and we dumped waste there for all the years we were growing up.
Our grandparents would use “pretty” colored glass bottles to line flowerbeds. These, I understand, were later broken up and discarded. Back then, unwanted trash was either buried or burned. That’s the way it was.
It’s not that people were wasteful or neglectful, because even before recycling came into vogue, they reused glass bottles. Kids would eagerly collect all the soda bottles they could find and turn them in for “refunds” on the deposits. Milk used the same method of deposit to get people to return bottles for reuse. This was instead of using disposable paper or plastic milk cartons.
Diapers were washed and reused. Water came from the faucet or drinking fountain instead of plastic bottles. Food was canned in home kitchens and the glass jars reused. Babies’ bottles were washed and reused. Flour and feed came in cloth sacks instead of paper bags. The feed sacks were then used for dishtowels or, for the more imaginative, for making clothing.
These were all common-sense ways of making good use of natural resources. Nothing was wasted, but that was before people invented “new and improved” methods. Sure, paper and some plastic can be recycled, but it makes a greater carbon footprint to reprocess or repurpose those products as opposed to just sterilizing glass for reuse.
In some areas, society has come a long way when it comes to protecting the environment. But in other ways, the so-called environmentalists have gone off the deep end. The trick is not to “protect” the environment to the detriment of human beings.
Such is the case in Southern California where environmental restrictions have limited water deliveries from Northern California in order to protect an endangered fish called the Delta smelt. As a result of these water restrictions to areas in dire need, thousands of acres of farmland will be lost, and even more thousands of people will lose their jobs as crops wither and die in the fields. Ultimately, this loss of productive farmland will contribute to an increase in the cost of food.
In another wacky case in San Antonio, the construction of a $15 million roadway project was stopped after an endangered little blind spider was unearthed at the construction site.
The fact that this little blind spider had not been seen in years -- at least not officially seen and documented by environmental authorities -- does not mean that it does not exist in other obscure places somewhere in the world.
After all, not everyone who digs a hole or excavates a construction site would be able to identify every little spider before they get crushed or smothered with dirt.
In much the same category is the Keystone Pipeline, which is needed to transport oil from Canada. Environmentalists decry a pipeline as unsafe, but in reality, trucks and rail transportation are much more prone to accidents. Americans are paying the price at the pump in order to satisfy these environmentalists.
The extent to which some politicians will go to cater to one segment of our society eludes common sense. It is enough to make one long for “the way things used to be.” Not everything, perhaps, but at least use some common sense; pick the things that make sense and disregard the rest.
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GRAND PRAIRIE TX
May 2, 2014 6:08pm
Grand Prarie, TX
May 1, 2014 12:07pm
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