Monday, March 13, 2017


Saturday morning, I attended a funeral in a small town in Minnesota.

I had a chance to visit the family farm. It supported its own family, and it provided sustenance to others. Listening to the siblings talk about growing up there was a revelation. This is family land and the family will decide what to do next. There are choices.

Thousands of farms just like this one once made up the backbone of this country. You didn't have to be a mega-farm to survive, you had to be part of the food chain. FIL's family never homesteaded, they rented, but he always talked about the importance of being part of the food chain. He believed, like so many of people at the farm, that good stewardship of the land begins with the family farm. 

The idea of stewardship kept rolling around in my head the rest of the weekend. Driving there and back, we passed through black-dirt country. The soil is black even in the dead of winter. It's the most fertile farmland in the world. It's the Valley of the Jolly Green Giant. Wonderful things grow here, and there is still a taste of Minnesota when you buy locally grown produce. Even whizzing past endless fields, you know why they came here from Scandinavia and Germany, England and Ireland, Vietnam and even Mexico and Somalia. They came in wave after wave, immigrants looking for land, looking for something better. Looking for a place that would accept their roots.

But the harsh reality is that this land was not unencumbered. There were people scattered across this prairie who lived and died according to the rules of nature. The past cannot be undone. We cannot restore the lands as they were to the indigenous peoples. Nor can we restore the prairies and the grasslands, the forests and the rivers to their original conditions. But we can do better than we are doing now. 

No, let me revise that: we MUST do better than we are doing now.

There is no comparison that can be made between this kind of real estate and the kind our sitting president and his family buy and sell. What was homesteaded was REAL estate, not play money or speculative gamesmanship.  REAL estate was, is, and will be about preserving and protecting the land, not raping it for profit.

The current administration is preparing the lands for rape and pillage. The White House has presenting a budget that guts the E.P.A. It slashes environmental reclamation and preservation programs.... including the following:
  • Puget Sound:  cut from $28 million to $2 million.
  • The Great Lakes: cut from $300 million to $10 million.
  • The Chesapeake Bay: $73 million to $5 million.
  • Research on endocrine disruptors: from $7.5 million to $445,000.
  • Diesel emissions: eliminated
  • Beach water quality testing: eliminated.
  • The U.S.-Mexico border: Sewage and garbage management from $3 million to $275,000.
  • Environmental education: from $8.7 million  to $555,000.
NYC 1963 - Before the Clean Air Act
Global warming is not a liberal hoax, nor is smog or acid rain, or holes in the ozone. These are not opinions, these are scientific facts. Our ability to breathe is dependent upon these facts. 

We inhabit this planet and we are the ones in charge of its well-being. We can choose to turn away from the administration's plans. We can pretend nothing will change. But we know better than that. 

If you have to choose one stand to take, one aspect of activism, one postcard to send, do it on behalf of the earth. If the planet is damaged any more than it already is, the rest of the debate is nothing more than empty, meaningless commentary. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Stand up and be counted as a building block for a good cause.
Be an advocate for Planet Earth. 


  1. "If the planet is damaged any more than it already is, the rest of the debate is nothing more than empty, meaningless commentary."

    As a retired atmospheric scientist, as well as a former geologist, I have spoken your exact same words above an endless number of times. It sickens and saddens me what we are doing to our planet. If you can only make one call, one donation, or write one letter today, please do it on behalf of our planet. Without a healthy environment, the rest of our problems will be greatly impacted, and life will eventually become moot.