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-- j ....................................................... Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010 11B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Saving the planet is about decisions, facing challenges WHERE I STAND DON DAILEY RETIRED SCIENCE TEACHER "It is our future, the future of this planet, that is at stake, and we accept the challenge that its fate rests with choices we all must make." Henry W. Kendall, Union of Con~rned Scientists Many of us in the United States long ago stopped con- suming to live and began liv- ing to consume. Earth's ecosystems are los- ing the ability to cope with the type of industrialization and overconsumption currently seen in North America, Eu- rope, and now China (popula- tion 1.2 billion). Ultimately, it will prove im- possible to maintain the viabil- ity of a planet with limited re- sources, even if marketeers continue to spend $450 billion a year trying to convince us that we'll find happiness in the newest and coolest stuff. We should be able to rally ourselves, as a society, to ad- dress the current concerns of climate change, peak oil, and a stalled economy, making the change to a sustainable soci- ety. But much of the media and government has been captured by powerful corporate inter- ests (and now a corporate- friendly supreme court) whose influence retards needed ac- tion. What can we do to counter these threats to our planet and our own continued existence? For a while we may be living in a dual world. In the one, business will continue as usu- al, which will encourage fur- ther turbulent and changing weather patterns, loss of habi- tat and life-forms, and exacer- bate greater societal up- heavals. In the other world, we re- build our communities through personal engagement and changes in life styles, and sta~ to create the foundations of a new world. There will be much denial (43 percent of Americans don't believe global warming is human-caused) and antipathy as the "I want it all now and I don't want to have to work for it" segment of our society voices its belliger- ence. The world is very different from what it was four decades ago. The cycles of nature are off kilter. We need to take a step backward and make life more simple. We need more humility recognizing that our cleverness is out-stripped by our arrogance and ignorance. If we become truly humble, we will abandon our attempts to dominate the living world, take responsibility for our massive polluting of the land, water, and atmosphere of our planet, and eventually find our true place in the living world. If we fail to make the change, Earth's ecological systems will fail and with them, the economies of most nations. It will make the current reces- sion seem trivial by compari- son. Here in Plumas County, we will be a bit safer as we are somewhat isolated, but we still must do our part as the devas- tat.ion will eventually hit us al- so, just maybe a bit later than, say, Los Angeles. For anyone still in denial that humans are responsible for global warming, let me ask a question: Can we remove from the Earth's crust (where it has been contained for hun- dreds-of-millions-of-years) the millions of barrels ofoil, the millions of tons of coal, and the millions of cubic feet of natural gas, then burn them and at the . same time destroy half of the planet's forests (the main re- movers of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photo- synthesis) and not expect to see a change from the resulting millions of tons of C02 pumped into the air? The Earth is like your car. Even on a cold day, your car's interior will heat up, endan- gering any pets left inside, as through a polluted atmosphere but, like your car, when it strikes the Earth it changes in- to heat waves. They then have trouble getting through the greenhouse gases such as C02 and methane polluting the at- mosphere. The result is warm- ing of the planet. The more gas- es the hotter things get! Okay, I'll admit it,s been great having a source of inex- pensive energy for the past two centuries. But all that cheap fuel has come at a price. In bringing these resources to the planet's surface and burning them, we haste upset the plan- et's heating system. And deter- mined to continue making a profit, the gas and energy in- dustries would have us believe that somehow global warming is a natural process and that humans and industry prod- ucts, are not responsible. So where are the masses of erupt- ing volcanoes and other "nat- ural" causes? To push their agenda, the fossil fuel industries, using front groups which they create and fund (with upbeat names like Americans for Prosperity, Greening Earth Society, Global Climate Coalition, Science and Environment -Policy Project, The Heritage Foundation, and The Cato institute) spread mis- information about the dangers and world-wide effects of a warming planet. A team of lawyers has been involved in calculating the damages of this misinforma- tion much like the strategy used to expose Big Tobacco's cover-up of the negative health effects of smoking. Even if the evidence report- ed by scientists and concerned organizations (who don't stand to make a profit from their studies) wasn't so overwhelm- ing, wouldn't it make sense to err on the side of global warm- ing assertions, just in case all the deniers are wrong? creatures. For those of us who deal with all the gloom and doom, I still don't believe it's too late to make a difference. Of course, it won't be easy to alter the way we've been living all these years, but history shows we can change. We have to be- lieve, though, that each one of us, each individual person, can make a difference. Sure, by ourselves we don't make much of an impact. But multiply each of our small contribu- tions by 300 million in the U.S. and 6.7 billion world-wide, and things begin to add up with a real potential to make a differ- ence. Here are some suggestions: In the community: 1) Bring in and develop pollu- tion-free sources of energy such as wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal, bio-fuels, and others. 2) Build green housing using straw bales, adobe, compressed earth, etc. 3) Construct smaller houses. They'll require less heat and furniture. 4) Patronize local businesses and suppliers to support and build relationships within the local economy. It will cut down long distance transportation and the ensuing production of C02. ' 5) Build more walking and bike paths. 6) Encourage the selling of or- ganic food and toxin-free prod- ucts. 7) Establish county-wide recy- cling systems. 8) Create community gardens. 9) Encourage organic farming and livestock raising. 10) Develop convenient mass transit systems. Bring back the trains. 11) Set up a car-sharing program. In the home: 1) Utilize some form ofpoilu- sunlight enters$ahrough the .~ .. ~. :-ffthis planet does seff-im:;: ; tion-free energy source, either transparent windows which then turns into heat waves when it strikes the upholstery. These waves are larger then light waves and are not able to penetrate the windows back in- to the outside air. Sunlight which warms our planet can make its way plods, it's not going to matter how much wealth or power you possess, you'll still be go- ing down, just like the rest of us, maybe not as quickly, but certainly eventually -- the re- sult of a planet that we've made unlivable for all but the simplest and hardiest on or offthe power grid. Using all forms of fossil fuels, the av- erage household produces 14 tons of C02 in one year. 2) Recycle cans, bottles, news- paper, cardboard, and plastic (each ton of recycled plastic bottles saves about 3.8 barrels of oil according to the American Chemical Council). Also recycling just half of the average household waste per year saves 1.4 tons of C02. 3) Buy energy-efficient vehi- cles (SUVs produce an average ofll tons of C02 in a year. A smaller sedan produces 6.5 tons in a year). 4) Electronics that are turned off at night still use electricity. Use a power strip for all your power needs and turn it off each night. Save yourself $100 per year. 5) Grow a garden and share it with family and friends. 6) Walk or bicycle for short trips. Saves gas, C02 and is very healthy. 7) Use your own reusable bag when grocery shopping. Ask for paper if you forget to bring it with you. 8) Fill a metal or glass water container withtap water. Quiney's water is some of the best water in California. Plas- tic bottled water is more ex- pensive (a huge amount) and leaches toxic substances (being made of petroleum) especially ff in contact with hot liquids. 9) Write or call companies to stop sending you u~wanted catalogs. 10) Avoid buying products with excessive packaging. 11) Use cloth napkins and tow- els. 12) Eat organic food. It's healthier for you and the plan- et. 13) Eat fresh, locally-grown produce, fruits, andmeat. It supports local farmers and ranchers and is better for you and the planet. 14) 'Rid your home (and don't use) pesticides and herbicides. Use of them has been linked to cancers and developmental problems in children. Call (800)-CLEANUP to learn how to safely dispose of these toxins. 15) Try to buy household and cosmetic products without harmfu~ chemicals. Read the label contents. If you can't pro. nounce the ingredient, it prob- ably isn't good for you. 16) Don't flush medicines or toxic substances down the toi- let. Learn when hazardous waste day comes up then take them to the proper facility. 17) Get your appliances, electronics and shoes repaired instead of buying new ones. It'll create jobs and reduce the amount 0fyour trash. 18) Don't use antibacterial soaps. They're creating "super- bugs" (bacteria that are re- sistent to antibiotics) in our streams and water sources. 19) Avoid letting your vehicle idle. It wastes gas and pumps three to four times the C02 into the atmosphere than driving on the road does. Ten seconds of idling is the amount of gas needed to start the engine again. Multiplied by millions of idling vehicles in the U.S., tons of excessive C02 enter the atmosphere needlessly each year. Slowly, many corporations are going green and more and more Americans are recycling their trash and watching what they buy. But we can't afford to wait for others or the government to save us. Each individual must do what is right, no mat- ter how small the contribution. From roughly 5 million hu- mans on the planet 10,000 years ago to nearly 7 billion today, we have over-populated the planet with large creatures who think they need a lot to live. Many people remain en- thralled by myths of abun- dance (many CEOs, for in- stance) or by the belief that the planet belongs to the human race. They doubt environmental- ists' good faith and believe theirs is the right to obscene wealth no matter the impact upon other living things. As citizens of this beautiful planet, we must take control. That means making some (probably uncomfortable) changes in the way we live our lives. No matter what the deniers say, scientific evidence indi- cates the way we run our economies is seriously reduc- ing our planet's ability to sus- tain life. Think for yourself. Take ac- tion and get involved. The Earth is depending on you. It's not too late. Together we can heal our planet and ensure a livable and productive home for generations to come. LETTERS tl: .e EDITOR Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an address and a phone number. We publish nly one letter per week, per person and only one letter per person, per month regarding the same subject. We do not publishi third-party, anonymous, or open letters. Letters must be limited to a maximum of 300 words. The ed- itor will cut any letter in excess of 300 words.The deadline is Friday at 3 p.m. (Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters may be taken to any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952, or e-mailed at mail@plumasnews.com Mail processing There has been a lot of talk lately about the recent change in mail processing in many local communities. For decades, local mail was dealt with at each post office. Now all local mail goes to Reno to be processed, so that the let- ter I mail at Graeagle, ad- dressed to a Graeagle resi- dent now takes a day or two longer to deliver, due to its round trip excursion to Reno and back. Customer service? And, that procedure con- tributes at least in some small part to global warming. I am informed that brilliant decision was made at the Reno post office by a man named Jerry Wilson. His di- rect line is (775) 813-2498. Sim Sheppard Graeagle Chain gang What happened to the chain gang? Some of you inconsid- erate people need to be in on it. On Friday, the eighth of last month, I spent the morn- ing picking up trash in the vacant parcel across from Mountain View Manor on Jackson Street. names and jersey numbers of Evidently the people travel- the female athletes gracing ingto East Quincy are filthier storefront windows along than the ones traveling into. old town. We live in a beautiful set- ting. If you live here and you're trashing our environ- ment, maybe you and the oth- er People who do not know what a trash can is, should be chained together to pick up other people's garbage. If you can't or won't pick up your dog doe, maybe you should walk your dog on your own property. Just a thought. Andrew Elsken Quincy Spread the love I am pleased to see the many businesses in Greenville showing their sup- port and Greenville High School spirit around town by painting the names and jer- sey numbers of the football players on their storefront windows. I just want to remind every- one, there are two other teams at GHS made up of hardworking athletes: the cheer squad and the volley- ball team. The cheer squad has been practicing and cheering all summer and fall, supporting student-athletes at GHS and creating the spirit that makes high school sports so great. The volleyball team is cur- rently first in league competi- tion and is made up of hard- working, competitive female athletes. Their games are ex- citing and dynamic, and I en- courage every community member to come out and support these girls in their quest to win the Pioneer League championship and move on to section finals. I would love to see the with the football players. Lauren Allen Director, Coppercreek Camp Greenville Ugly head Re: PUSD October board meeting. Ms. Satchwell re- ports that the meeting sport- ed "the usual fireworks." I at- tended that meeting, and was among a number of people who spoke out publicly on the same subject during thepub- lic input portion of the meet- ing. That subject was the termi- nation of J.C. Eaglesmith as varsity basketball coach for Quincy High School. Unless allegations of discrimination and prejudice by PUSD staff and board members are "the usual fireworks," I am very troubled by Feather Publish- ing's decision to not accurate- ly report what is taking place. Lesley Beth Curtis, a Califor- nia Teachers Association at- torney who is representing J.C. Eaglesmith, also attend- ed the meeting, laying out the discrimination claim that J.C. Eaglesmith, a Native American, has against PUSD. She characterized the cur- rent situation as an "opportu- nity" for the board to do the right thing, before this action elevates to the next level. Prejudice towards anyone is a very ugly thing. Yes, our country has made great strides in the last 20 or 30 years. But we all know that it still exists. When it rears its ugly head so close to home it is especially troubling. For the local newspaper to treat it like a non-event is even more troubling. Fireworks? I have a feeling that the main fire- work display will be much larger, and will come with a hefty price tag: Harry Rogers Indian Valley In the sand The PUSD board meeting Oct. 12 was a real education. There's been a lot of commu- nity talk about Quincy High administrators' lack of sup- port and mistreatment of bas- ketball coach and teacher J.C. Eagiesmith. Even against his family members. Before the meeting even started, assistant superinten- dent said, "Nothing to do with Eaglesmith would be dis- cussed at the board meeting tonight." I thought here we go, under the o1' carpet again. Later I saw why the assistant superintendent was discour- aging us from attending. Me and several people got little three-minute time cards to speak in support of Eagle- smith, including the two teachers:union officials and a local rancher parent. Then several folks gave their three- minute time cards to an attor- ney from the state teachers association in Sacramento. The attorney t01d the board that she represented Eagle- smith and she handed them a five or six page letter. She no- tiffed them the refusal to put the issues on the agenda was wrongful. She informed them of a bunch of mistreatments to Eaglesmith at Quincy High and how serious what he and even his family have been going through. The assistant superintendent's part in all this made sense of his trying to discourage us earlier. She went through stuff that vio- lates their policies for sure, but was shameful. I'm an American Indian citizen and parent. I was pret- ty dog-gone disgusted with the issues and that it had to come all the way to the board to get something done. We were glad to see Eaglesmith stand up against the good o1' boys club around here. I remember reading in the paper the school board and superintendent were asleep at the wheel. That's just the haft of it. It looks like they have got their heads in the sand or somewhere else? Terri Taylor Quincy Frustrating In a small town like Greenville, where everyone knows everyone, I never ex- pected that we have "shoplifter(s)" here. I felt bad and hurt when this incident happened last month at the Methodist Church Thrift Store. There were only two shop- pers in the early morning of Sept. 27. I never confronted her, but gave her a chance to pay for what she got the next See LETTERS, page 12B Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Mail: pcbs@countyofplumas.com Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, countyofplumas.com PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: whitehouse.gov / contact / U.S. SENATOR ~- Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TrY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA94104; i Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 E-mail: go to website "feinstein.senate.gov." U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 1 St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 22843454. U.S. REPREsENTATIVI~, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcclintock.house.gov. District office 4230 Douglas Blvd., Suite #200, Granite Bay, CA 95746. (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364 STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Dave Cox (R), District office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, RoseviBe, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783-5487; OR: State Capital, Room 2068, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680; assemblymember.cox@assemby.ca.gov; Quincy office: 2094 E. Main St., Quincy, 530-283-3437. FAX 283-3439. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. - Dan Logue, State Capital Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2003; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 1550 Humboldt Rd., Ste. #4, Chico, CA 95928; (530) 895-4217, FAX (5,30) 895-4219. GOVERNOR - Arnold Schw~rzenegger, office of the Governor, State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. gov.ca.gov/interact#contact 2 III I ] I| II 111 ,i--~ l~l; |I 'I .... i --,I ' :-~ ". ,I il " ' .......