Archive for the ‘conservation’ Category

Rowan gathered walnuts for the squirrels!

Earth Hour






OK, it would be a better Earth Hour if I weren’t blogging about it, but…

We visited a rescue facility in northwest Arkansas in April.

In just a few days, barring a last-minute deal, we in the States will be plunged into the horrors of sequestration. Er..uh..what exactly is sequestration? Is it worse than a blizzard? Well, I don’t know, but I reckon it’s something along the lines of what they call “austerity” on the other side of the Atlantic. “Austerity”, roughly translated into the language of US politics, means “spending cuts”. There may be some tightening of interest rates and whatnot thrown in, but basically austerity means spending cuts.

Hollande, France’s new “leftist” leader, complains that austerity measures inhibit economic growth and calls on the European Union to loosen its grip on Greece’s economy.

Standard & Poor’s just downgraded the UK’s credit rating because the British economy isn’t growing (actually, it’s contracting) and austerity measures are still being implemented. The Labour Party blames the austerity measures for stifling economic growth.

On this side of the pond, the US economy also contracted in the last quarter. The Republicans complain that rampant spending is stifling growth. How can that be? Well, it’s actually tax increases that they’re worried about. But a larger budget increases the pressure to raise taxes, so the Republicans want spending cuts.

Once again we’re working under the assumption that perpetual growth is possible, desirable, and necessary. Instead, we should be planning for ecological sustainability and economic stability. We need to live within our means–reduce our footprint and balance the budget.

We are currently under water rationing in Shawnee. For instance, our household is only allowed to use water outside on Tuesdays and Fridays, and only before 10 am or after 6 pm. We are told that the lake levels are fine, and the limitation is rather the capacity of the water treatment plant.

There are two questions one might ask about this situation. One would be “Why did the City of Shawnee contemplate building a sports facility on the other side of the highway if the water treatment plant needs to be upgraded?” On the other hand, “Why do the citizens of Shawnee need treated water to spray on their lawns?”

We should all have rainwater collection systems on our houses. I had one at the last house I inhabited, but haven’t put one in here. I have no interest in watering my lawn (then I’d have to mow it!), but I would like to water my vegetable garden. It rained tonight; I should have had my buckets out!