Lance Scranton: Taking stock
Pike are destroying native species of fish; so taxpayers spend, spend, spend to find ways to control the non-native species. Coal is destroying the climate; so taxpayers fund studies to find out how to transition communities whose economy depends on this environmental predator. People are struggling with opioid abuse; so communities open up drug rehabilitation centers to combat the epidemic. Marijuana has a bad reputation; so elected officials will let the “voter” decide how it should be viewed.
If you really pay attention, it is as if anyone living in a rural community who depends on any kind of natural resource economy is on the wrong side of culture. Craig doesn’t have the right kind of fish in our rivers, or the correct kind of power-producing plants in our communities, or the right kind of mining to support our local economy, or the correct view of cannabis or how much it would benefit our tax base.
From hundreds of miles away in a polluted, smokey, crime-ridden city; we’re being told that we simply don’t understand how our way of life is destroying the delicate balance of nature and the planet that we should all take responsibility for protecting. Our rivers aren’t right, our coal is dirty, our power plant pollutes, our people need help with drug abuse, and we need to make sure that people have access to other drugs whenever they wish.
It must be excruciatingly difficult to look out over the vast western slope from the urban centers — where a heightened awareness of what makes the world a better place — and wonder just what exactly is wrong with these rural communities and their fondness for doing little to care for our planet as much as those who obviously know so much more about it are trying to help us country bumpkins realize.
I would love to live my life and stake my fortunes on the backsides of people who are constitutionally powerless to self determine their own course of action and are told constantly that we just don’t understand the bigger picture (because it’s complicated!). Where else does understanding come from except in the centers of intellectual brilliance where reside our governmental leaders.
I’m just taking stock but as far as I can figure (and I am just a small towner); the people who know better live in a city where pot is legal (and “magic” mushrooms too?), pollution is a daily concern, power is consumed without concern as to its source, homelessness is rampant, and responsibility for drug addiction is a community responsibility.
Like the pike in our local river; small towners like me aren’t an endangered species, maybe more like a dangerous species that needs to be shocked and placed somewhere where I can’t do so much harm to myself or mother earth!
About a week ago I was rolling a bale of hay down past the loading dock of the corral so that I could throw hay over the fence. Right there in the path was some rhubarb. It isn’t that the rhubarb hadn’t been there before, but I thought it had died out during the drought. It isn’t easy to get water to that location. The rhubarb is nice and tender, and I’m determined to use it up before the stalks get tough. So I hunted up my rhubarb recipes.