We better wake up

03 Jan

Fast. I watched Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvienient Truth this past weekend. Holy crap. Everyone–EVERYONE–needs to see it. I’ve been force feeding it to my coworkers this week. Simply put, we’re kicking the shit out of Mother Earth and she’s starting to kick back.

We’ve all heard about global warming–a little here and a little there. There are a lot of people and organizations, even including some governments and businesses, who are gettign serious about going green. But we’re all to blame and we’re all responsible for turning this ship around before it’s too late.

I’ve always been a quiet environment protector. I’m big into planting and caring for trees, and would love to restore some prairie around McCook County. I was always concious about keeping things clean (I’ve absolutely despised litter since I was really young) and love nothing more than nature hikes with my girls. But this is something way beyond enjoying nature. In my work on the Meadowlark Team (a change lab project for the northern great plains), I’ve dug into the impacts of farming and development on our region. It sucks. We’re killing the Earth every day.

I don’t throw terms like that around lightly, btw. As most of our readers know, I’m a farm boy myself, and my Dad, my Brother-in-law, four uncles and tons of neighbors and friends make thier living by farming. It’s a way of life that runs deep in my family and my community. In many ways, the agriculture industry holds a key to our future–they can make a significant difference in turning things around in Mother Earth’s favor, and they are charge, more than most of us, with being stewards of the land. Ag producers can change the way they run their businesses and still be profitable–but they need to align and collaborate. God knows the corporate behemouths in the industry aren’t going to swing the pendulum–it would cost them too much money.

I think a big part of the reason we (as in human kind) haven’t made the changes we need to make fall into two categories: ignorance and greed. Most of us have no idea the gravity of this situation the last few generations of humans have created (including most farmers–and me). We’re talking world-wide climate change, turnign a big portion of the great plains into desert and flooding most of the US coast in the next 50 years. We, as  people of this country and many others, have been brainwashed into thinking it isn’t as big a deal. The truth isn’t mainstream. Thinking green has become kind of a hip idea, but mainly because it seems liek the right thing to do–not because we need to change now or risk destroying the Earth as we know it within a generation or two.

Some people have had the info that tells them we’re headed for catastrophe and have chosen to ignore it or downplay it’s severity. I’d like to punch them in the mouth. In most cases, it’s about greed or taking the easier path instead of the right one. Uptain Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.” For politicians, it’s about ignoring some big important stuff to focus on less important issues that will get them reelected.

Let’s wake up. Fast.

(learn what you can do at


Posted by on January 3, 2007 in going green, rants, trees


4 responses to “We better wake up

  1. rani

    January 4, 2007 at 7:19 am

    I watched it too, recently. Both Ryan and I sat glued to the screen in horror at the graphs and charts. Hearing that polar bears are drowning trying to swim to the next glacier really scared me. I know this isn’t futile, but didn’t we know about this before. I never learned any of that in my high school text book and I know I get older every year, but it wasn’t that long ago. I brought this up at the steak feed the other night, right in front of farmers and ranchers and they had no compassion for my plea. They were miffed about something Gore said about cow’s feces adding to global warning. I’ll have to watchi it again. I must have missed that part because it didn’t directly affect me. I am very ignorant unless it’s big and bad and staring me in the face. I need to be better and I am glad he spent the time and money to make the documentary. Hope it’s not too late.

  2. rani

    January 4, 2007 at 7:20 am

    I wish this thing had spell checker, sigh…

  3. joe bart

    January 4, 2007 at 8:58 am

    The reference to cow poop is actually on the website, but I don’t remember hearing it in the movie (and I watched the extra interviews and parts and even “Making An Inconvenient Truth” too). Here’s what it says:

    “Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.” –from

    It’s burried about five clicks deep under the “what you can do” section (or something like that). My guess is the guys you were talking to haven’t seen the movie or looked at the website–someone (probably someone who’s salary depends on ignoring the warning signs of global warming) just told them gore is bashing cows and it’s bad for business…more on this particular issue coming to bartblog in the near future…

    Don’t stop talking about it!

  4. rani

    January 5, 2007 at 10:10 am

    consider it done

    but there is a lot more for me to do about it…


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