The knights are restless and for good reason.

Archive for the category “Environment”

The Restless Knight Re-Awakens – Really

It’s been far too long since the Restless Knight has been heard from. The late-night comedians and speakers at the White House Correspondents Dinner have been commenting aplenty.

Those messages have not diminished support for the tweeter-in-chief by his staunch followers. To the contrary, his fan club continues to grow, and this includes his religious base.

And knowing what I do about those righteous souls, and how important it is to teach “Christian values” to their children, no amount of wanton sexual behavior on the part of this human-resembling monster seems to be able to halt that support.

Are they delivering a message to their children that it is perfectly okay to have sex outside of marriage, even when their mothers are delivering one of their siblings? Or it’s fine to grab a woman by her privates, as long as one is rich or famous enough?

Now we can accuse Trump of many things (and many of us already have), but stupid is not one of them. Selfish, vain, self-aggrandizing, narcissistic, tax-avoider, promoter of toxic fossil fuels, remover of water safety (I could go on) – yes, but stupid, hardly.

Hitler could also be accused of having a “few” faults, but like the modern-day version, he saw the plight of citizens who suffered from poverty, and looked for a convenient scapegoat to blame for that condition. Of course there were very different reasons for German poverty after the “war to end all wars” – but the Jews were not one of those (just like the Mexicans are not responsible for our woes). It was the impossible sanctions imposed by the Versailles Treaty, that couldn’t fail to give the likes of the Fuhrer a reason for being.  But in modern-day America (and other nations, too), automation has been the primary cause.  And Hillary was as effective in spreading her message to the disenchanted as Von Hindenburg was in his 1930s attempts to prevent Hitler’s ascension to the chancellorship.

Populism is happening in many countries throughout the world. It is engendered by a fear of “the other.” Leaders who recognize this have capitalized on it. Examples include the last German election, where Merkel lost an important majority in the Bundestag, Brexit, the Philippines and the monster Rodrigo Duterte’ who controls it, Turkey’s Erdogan and others.

Forced migration is the major cause of populism as people are forced to flee their native countries for places that might increase the chances of their survival and that of their children.  People in countries on the receiving end of this migration fear the loss of their customs, religion and traditions. This is happening in many of the world’s places, including a large part of Latin America, where gang violence does not create an atmosphere where the living is easy.

I don’t have too many answers. So why am I writing this? Maybe it’s because I don’t want to suffer alone.

One thing we can do is to stop putting Trump down. It hasn’t worked despite his evil ways, and won’t moving forward. But we can and we must address the very things that drive these disenchanted people into the Trump camp. This, by the way, does not include calling them a “basket of deplorables (ya think?).”

They need to see ways for them to thrive in this new automated world which could include, among other things, a guaranteed income. A Marshall Plan to bring these people out of poverty would help immensely.  I don’t know how many of you know the difference between the John Maynard Keynes approach vs. that of Friedrich August Von Hayek. Both of these economists were born in the later part of the 19th century, but the disagreements they had fit today’s issues to a T. The former believed that you sweeten the economy by spending money to create infrastructure and the jobs that follow. Hayek, took the opposite approach.

You can see examples of this following the Depression of the 1930’s. After the Wall Street collapse, FDR in his new role as leader of the American people, spent money America didn’t have. By late 1935, we had mostly recovered from the Depression, so Roosevelt pulled back and basically adopted the Hayek approach. Guess what? The days of the Depression were beginning to return. It was only the build up to WWII that brought us out.

Is this what we want? A war to help us re-establish our economy and address the legitimate fears of the disenchanted (many of whom are armed, by the way)?

As the wealth gap continues to grow in the U.S., so, too will the disenchantment.  The rich need to pay their fair share in taxes for what they derive from our economy. Allowing unfettered access to politicians to promote their special-interest agenda only adds to the problem.

The Knights Are Already Restless, – and Trump’s only been on the job 12 days!

If you get depressed easily, maybe you should’t read this. If you’re not, perhaps a trip to your psychotherapist might be in order.

It’s been only thirteen days since the President Elect became the President Erect. I use that term because it describes the biggest schmeckel  to ever be ushered to power by the very un-democratic Electoral College. Obviously, the Humanities is not a subject taught there.

Sorry, GW Bush, but you’ve been out-putzed, and it didn’t take that long. Just when I, and most of my associates, thought that the Bush-Cheney team couldn’t be out-schmucked, along comes a new leader whose public appearances will be greeted by Heil to the Chief (yes, I spelled that correctly).

Only Trump’s most loyal supporters — and those who have not learned that it is highly unlikely that robotics-caused job losses will return to the U.S. (or anywhere else, for that matter) — will become disenchanted. Notice I didn’t say ‘impossible.’ I already made that mistake when I and most every other political ‘expert’ assured us of a Trump loss, or even a shellacking.

Eisenhower alerted us to the Military Industrial Complex. but Obama should have warned us about the Superiority Complex, something his sucessor demonstrates daily (make that hourly).

A few of my less-evolved buddies say, “Give him a chance. Isn’t it too early to judge?” But I think his nominees for the Cabinet and other vital security positions are giving us a few clues. It’s like saying, “Don’t judge that nuclear blast until you see the results. It could be just another one of those harmless mushroom clouds.”

He’s nominated Neil M. Gorsuch to be the next member of the Supreme Court. Trump tried everything he could do raise Scalia from the dead, but when Antonin learned who the new President actually was, he said, “No thanks, I’d rather stay where I am.” The late justice didn’t indicate just where that was, and the sound of raging fires did obscure much of what he said.

The Democrats in the Senate could fail to join 52 Republicans when the vote for approval takes place. But why should they? After all, did the GOP even consider Obama’s nomination of moderate, Merrick Garland, almost a year ago? You bet they didn’t! This is a little fact that John Dickerson, host of Disgrace the Nation, failed to point out to conservative guest, Hugh Hewitt, author of The Fourth Way: A Conservative Playbook for a Lasting GOP Majority,” when Hewitt appeared on his show on January 29th.

Hewitt (whose mother loved him so much, she nearly named him twice) stated that the Democrats have no reason to attempt to block a SCOTUS nominee. The turtle look-alike, who leads the Republicans in the Senate, also seemed to suffer from amnesia when he insisted that Senate Democrats treat Trump’s nominee with the same respect his troops showed to the former President’s.

Trump’s record low approval ratings for any President’s first thirteen days in office was not statlibcantlooklimited to the millions of illegally-voting Hillary supporters, or any non-members of the American Nazi party. In a rare glimpse of the statue that represents American liberty, the Lady was echoing the sentiments of most people on the Trump-threatened planet.

The President is following the lead of many elected officials from the GOP, in insisting that Climate Change is a hoax. And he’s made the appointments to support that position, untenable as it is.

Now I’m not suggesting that Republican members of congress have been influenced by campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry, but OpenSecrets is. If you think Lady Liberty is shielding her eyes now, wait till she learns that Exxon Mobil Mogul, Rex Tillerson is the new Secretary of State. Let’s hope that this Rex is not a dinosaur when it comes to protecting the environment, as hopeless as that hope seems at the moment.

But to make up for that poor choice, Trump is leveling the playing field by appointing Texas former Governor and oopser, Rick Perry, to run the very department whose name he couldn’t remember during the 2012 presidential campaign. The Energy department is responsible for our nuclear arsenal. Comforting to know that a pro is in charge. But just to be clear, when reminded by fellow challengers for the presidency which agency that was, the EPA was mentioned, not the DOE.

But don’t you worry. Trump’s got that department covered as well. His pick to lead he Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruiit, is a staunch defender of the industry that is speeding the destruction of that very same environment. A rumor is going around that the agency will be renamed the EDA (the word ‘Destruction’ replaces ‘Protection,’) but who really cares? Certainly not the parents and grandparents of the children that will inherit this planet.

Trump promised to drain the swamp, clearly having no understanding of the word ‘drain.’ Most of that swamp, by the way, was polluted by his fellow Republicans, who have ruled both houses since 2010, making appointments extremely challenging for Barack Obama.

Now Roe vs Wade is under attack. Planned Parenthood will be defunded. This will ultimately lead to a return of back-alley abortions, or women having no alternative but to bare a child she cannot afford to clothe, feed, or educate. Seems fair. How else will we recruit troops to fight the next oil war?

Trump has surrounded himself with very talented truth avoiders. Reince Preibus (who I often mispronounce as ‘Raunch Pubis’) is the new Chief of Staff. His Press Secretary, Sean Spicer calls his boss’s support among the people as “tremendous,” quickly taking on the vocabulary of the firer-in-chief (as his dismissal of the former acting Attorney General, Sally Yates would attest). All she said was she could not enforce a ruling that was unconstitutional. The nerve! And the most ingenious truth avoider, Kellyanne Conway, will be sure to set us all straight.

In a nation that is 38th in pre-college education, having Betsy Devos assume the position (a favorite Trump line) as Education Secretary, is sure to put us even lower in that ranking. But it doesn’t matter, because we are making America great again, and that’s what really counts.

He has also ostracized the press, almost in its entirely, as the most dishonest people in the world. Breitbart and Fox News were excluded from that ranking.

But I want to wish the new Commander and Chief well, almost hoping that he won’t follow in the footsteps of William Henry Harrison. The ninth President, differed in his speech making from #45, having stood on an icy inaugural platform for several hours, only to be rewarded with incurable pneumonia that killed him several months later. Trump took no such chances, by delivering one of the shortest inaugural speeches in American history. He had thought about Tweeting it, but then he would have been around fifty characters too short.

This is a Presidential Election?

I think I speak for a great number of people who’ve had restless nights over this endless election cycle. The night of Tuesday, November 8th, may be the most restless.

Having survived the ills of this planet for over seventy-five years (which lately seems like 175), never have I seen a presidential campaign where none of the candidates did anything right.

Our 2016 election compares unfavorably to even Hitler’s rise to the chancellorship back in 1933. Please note that der Fuhrer and der Tangerine Clown used similar tactics. FDR’s “all we have to fear is fear itself,” does not seem to resonate in the minds of a fairly large portion of the voting public. We can (almost) excuse the Germans, because Roosevelt’s words would not be uttered until almost nine years later, after Pearl Harbor was attacked, while the Versailles Treaty opened the door to Adolf’s twelve-year reign.

Both appealed to their constituents’ fear of an alien force, and played upon their people’s disenchantment with the status quo. While Trump boasts that he will build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, Hitler tore down the Maginot line, and the French REALLY paid for it. Trump hasn’t let on just how the bill for the wall will be paid, but he doestrumpclowndailynews accept the Trump Express Card, one of the many of his failed enterprises.

But I digress. Let me return to my original premise. Between the major and minor parties, we had about thirty candidates (that people actually heard of) seeking the nomination. The Republicans could not field a single one that made a better case than the Clown from New York Town. The New York Daily News said it best.

Fellow candidates for the GOP nomination exchanged slurs here-to-for unheard of in any previous presidential race. The subject of hand-size dominated the airwaves, web sites and social media, which made Trump assure his prospective voters that he had no problem in “that” department. This is information we all require before knowing which candidate to entrust with the nuclear codes. Ted Cruz, who campaigned wearing his freshly pressed crusader’s uniform, bravely told his party, “people should vote their conscience on election day.”


I originally misunderstood the meaning of Crusader. I thought it referred to a Passover dinner with Ted presiding (oops, wrong religion).

But Cruz, in a bid to be re-elected Senator of Texas — yes, the same state that showed the wisdom to have Rick Perry as its Governor, ultimately endorsed Trump. I guess Trump’s accusing someone’s daddy of complicity in the murder of a U.S. President is hardly a reason not to endorse him.

And speaking of candidates with a Cuban heritage, there was Marco Rubio, who originally brought up the “hands” issue in a presidential debate, was dubbed “Little Marco” by Trump, forcing Rubio to return to Florida for re-election, to continue playing hooky as the state’s junior senator.

We’re not going to fault Bernie, who finally had the sense to quit the race, after coming to the conclusion that a seventy-five-year-old Jewish socialist would not stand a chance. But he did help perpetuate a Hillary-gap from which younger voters may not recover.

Going Libertarian? They’ve got Gary Johnson, who thought Aleppo was slang for someone suffering from leprosy.

And then there’s Hillary – you remember her. Her first mistake was remaining with Lecher Bill, after multiple dalliances. She’s faced a new dilemma when her hubby decided to visit with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, while her plane sat on the tarmac. The Republicans made political hay out of outlandish notion that they were not talking about their grandchildren. Well, what else would they have discussed? Even the Democrats groaned according to an article by Politico.

While serving her stint as Secretary of State, she unwisely used a private e-mail server (because we all know how safe public servers are —as Yahoo will attest). Despite the imminency of her presidential campaign, she and Bill continued to take advantage of her State Department status to raise funds for the Clinton Foundation from some questionable sources in exchange for favors unknown, Then she made the unfortunate choice of Huma Abadin as the vice chair of her campaign. The vice part particularly fit, given the notoriety of her estranged husband, Anthony, look at my dick pick, Weiner. The mistake here was bringing Huma on, without first burning her computer that she had shared with Weiner (would you touch those keys?). FBI chief, James Comey, picked the worst possible moment to deliver the October Surprise, conveniently refusing to talk about the investigation over the Trump University scam.

But the Donald candidate makes no mistakes. He can choose a man who was fired from of all places, Fox News, for simply following Trump’s own female-contact advice he shared with Billy Bush on that bus. Trump, who respects women more than anyone, believe me, didn’t realize or didn’t care that an open mic recorded their entire erudite conversation. He can shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and not lose a single vote. He can go bankrupt four times and still enjoy the reputation as a clever businessman. He can claim that Climate Change is a hoax, despite the probability that that ‘hoax’ may submerge his Mira Lago golf course in Palm Beach. He can falsify documents enabling his future wife to work in the United States without the proper visas, while warning his supporters of illegal aliens invading our country. He can label an American-born judge as unqualified because his parents were born in Mexico. He can disparage the Kahns, parents of a slain American military man, and then accuse the husband of silencing his wife. And he pays no price.

The people that support (or tolerate) Madam Secretary have one strike against them: They think. That may not be true for many of Trump’s troops. That’s why he can make a statement, then reverse himself during the same appearance, and still not lose trust with his constituents.




Pig Out

About 12 years ago, I decided to eliminate pork (as well as all other mammals) from my diet. The decision was done for several reasons, not the least of which was the inhumane keeping of factory farm animals.

We now know (or should) that the cost to maintain animals to feed humans is unsustainable. As populations rise and attain affluence, people, unsurprisingly, want what the wealthiest societies have enjoyed for years. The problem is that the world is becoming a very different place than it was only a few years back.

When it became common for people to purchase meat from butchers and grocery stores, the Earth’s population was under two billion people, staying relatively consistent for about a century. As this graph shows, population took a meteoric rise, and now is estimated to have reached seven billion. world-population-1820-to-2010

As increases in population continue, people begin to replace arable land, further restricting food growing possibilities.  It takes acre upon acre of land, not to mention scarce water, to produce the feed for the animals humans consume. Based on the inevitable outcome of continuing this practice, wouldn’t to make so much more sense to focus on vegetables (and others – see below)?

What prompted me to write this post was the restless night I had after listening to an interview on Terry Gross’ Fresh Air. I was already aware of most of the things that were discussed on the subject of cruelty to factory-farmed pigs. What I did not realize is that pigs are highly sensitive and intelligent animals (which is more than we can say for many Americans). The next time you call someone a pig, it could be considered a compliment.

I’m supplying a link to this podcast, which might be painful for some to listen to. But it might just cure you of your desire to consume pork, and even make you think about giving up, or at least reducing, your consumption of animals.

There are still places where animals are farmed humanely, and certainly organics eliminate the fear of additives like hormones and antibiotics that are routinely fed to factory farmed animals.  But when meat is ordered in a restaurant, in most cases the public has no idea of the conditions the animal they’re about to consume has had to endure, or what’s  been put into their feed. This makes a further case for reduction of those sources of protein in your diet.

I alluded to other forms of protein which are already showing up in restaurants, on grocery shelves and mail order. If I had made the suggestion that we should become insectivores a few years back, you would have laughed me out of the room. But entomophagy is emerging. The consumption of tarantulas and centipedes has existed in other places in the world for centuries. according to the website shown in the above link, there are almost 1,500 species of edible insects in the world. Their consumption has many advantages over traditional meat-eating, without most of the drawbacks:
A. It takes a minuscule amount of water to raise a pound of crickets, vs the hundreds of liters for all mammals
B. Insects have a huge protein to fat ratio, which cannot be said of mammals
C. It doesn’t seem quite as cruel to kill those creatures as it does the pig or others (listen to that podcast!)
D. No additives that could actually harm you and your children are needed to add insects to our food supply
E. A decent cook could easily add the flavorings needed to make this a gourmet meal.

Another industry of the near future is protein made in a laboratory, cloned from mammals. No pig, cow or goat is forced to live in a cell barely large enough to hold it. Once the texture and flavor of your favorite hamburger can transferred to you lab-burger, you will become a fan. As the cost of this process becomes competitive with traditional meat-rearing, you may never want some corporate farmer to torture another animal again.

My dad was raised as a vegetarian from birth, something that was quite rare in the early part of the twentieth century. When I was growing up, I never realized what wonderful thing he was doing for his own health, and the animal population. Dad, I know you can’t hear me now, but I think you would be proud of this stand that I take.

Well, Shut Me Down

Maybe my nights shouldn’t be restless, just because our do-zilch Congress has decided to shut down the government.

Some of the esteemed members of that august body are asking their constituents if they have felt the effects of the closure. At least my Congressman, Vernon Buchanan wanted to know in his latest “InstaPoll.” impact

I usually respond to his polls, only so that my lonely voice can be heard amidst the din of his “learned” electorate.

I decided not to answer the question, because he might get the impression that closing the U.S. Government is a perfectly splendid idea, as long as most of his constituency has not yet felt any impact. There is no impact on me, personally, for the maltreatment of women, minorities and gays, but it doesn’t mean that those are also splendid ideas.

The Koch Bros are spending some of the money they “earn” from honest folks and use it to help kill the Affordable Healthcare Act. Because Congress’ 42 failed attempts to kill the bill, approved by an earlier legislative session (whose members had not gone completely berserk), and confirmed in a Supreme Court ruling, the Kochs are doing their patriotic duty.

So, many government agencies, such as non-essential ones like the EPA (We don’t need no stinkin’ environmental protection), certain Veterans Services (What? They need services?), and National Parks are closed, among many *others.

Here are some images taken directly from those closed venues:Rushmore10-2013


liberty10-2013 copy

*The NIH has stopped taking on new patients, while the Centers for Disease and Prevention will halt its seasonal anti-flu program. Non-essential, indeed.

While this situation exists, Homeland Security will not provide employers verification as to the legal status of potential employees.

The Justice Department will have to curtail their policy of arresting bankers and others who were responsible for the financial collapse of 2007-08. Oh, wait. They weren’t doing that, anyway. The DEA will have to stop invading legal cannabis clinics. What will they do for fun?

Labor law violators can have a field day. There will be no agency to crack down on labor abuses. At last: We can now catch up with Bangladesh. OSHA will have no O to SHA.

If you’re looking to apply for a passport, or renew your current one, you may have a problem, such as the building housing the passport office can’t pay their rent.

Say argghh, for the Ag Department, who have cut off support for the Women, Infants and Children Program, whose purpose is to provide healthy food guidelines for pregnant women. And we all know how those pro-life Republicans care about children (at least during the fetal stage).

And Washington DC – not to worry. You will be able to keep police and firefighters working, but don’t expect your trash to be picked up. Maybe we can have some Tea-Party congressmen volunteer as garbage collectors. At least then they would finally be accomplishing something.

Literally thousands of federal employees will be furloughed if the shutdown continues.

Restless nights, anyone?

We Shale Overcome

As a Restless Knight, lying awake, thinking about our food and water safety, I wish I could be sitting around the fire with a bunch of old hippies, singing that song. But evidence gives me no confidence that that will soon happen. We are not overcoming shale; it is overcoming us.

In a recent story in the The Nation Magazine entitled, Fracking Our Food Supply, Elizabeth Royte painfully points out just what’s wrong with the energy industry’s methodology for extracting natural gas from shale deposits.

Don’t get me wrong. Despite my preference for renewable energy (Gas is far from being a clean green energy source. As the World Wildlife Fund energy team points out: “The idea that gas is the solution to climate change is a myth put out by vested interests.”), I am not dismissing natural gas as a temporary alternative to the dreaded coal — it is the way it’s being done that makes me restless. And if you happen to be a farmer near land that has been leased to hydraulic fracturing interests, you’ve got real reasons to be restless, and even scared manureless. I’m also restless over the distinct possibility that Americans will believe that shale gas is the answer to all of our problems, and the need to develop sane, clean, renewable energy sources will no longer be an imperative.

Some time in the not-too-distant-past, our nation lost the political will to guaranty the delivery of safe food to its population. By defunding judiciary agencies like the FDA and EPA, congress has made it inevitable that the vested interests will win out over food safety. In the case of corn, we shut our eyes to an agra industry becoming an energy industry, whose desire for profit dictates that we fill gas tanks, not hungry stomachs. Well, thanks, but no tanks. Can we please find another fuel for our cars and trucks other than what was once the product of the “Great American Bread Basket?”

But it’s all politics. It was suggested (I’m sure by a disinterested party) that corn-based ethanol could replace gasoline or at least become part of the mix that is now mandated to go into your fuel tank (Can we still call it a gas tank?). Which of out 50 states always begins the Presidential selection process? Hint: It is neither the political nor the financial capital. And don’t get me wrong. Some of my best friends are Iowans. In ten years, corn price per bushel rose from $1.97 to over $7.00, a jump of over 75%. I couldn’t find another food commodity having that rate of inflation.

But I digress. I switched to a related subject of food degeneration from my original topic, Shale and its impact on the food supply.


Healthy cattle – before hydraulic fracturing

Tails of Woe

What caught my attention to this story was the reporting of farm animals, located near a fracking site, having their tails fall off. I guess we humans have nothing to fear from that alarm bell, as our ancestors lost theirs eons ago.

But perhaps we men should be concerned about what other of our body parts could meet the same fate.

Elsie, as shown in this undoctored photo, has become one of the casualties from a hydraulic fracking blow out, on a parcel of land a half mile upwind from where she and her sisters graze.


Here is Elsie, after a good fracking.

In addition to the non-standard rear appendage, she and some of her fellow bovines began limping, with swollen legs and infections. Some lost over sixty pounds in a single week, preventing them from lactating. Calves take umbrage when their moms fail to deliver milk. Bulls did not escape the wrath of fracking. One $5,000 breeding bull had to be put to death after veterinarians were unable to treat him.

After testing the water, it was learned that it contained sulfate levels of up to 4,000 parts per million (ppm). The Illinois Department of Health (and they should know) states that 30 to 40 ppm of this additive is safe for drinking. High levels of sulfate can cause polio in cattle. But if you feel you’re not ingesting enough sulfides from your water, come to Schilke’s Farm in North Dakota (Elsie’s home), and enjoy a long soothing sip. Don’t let it bother you that other animals around the farm, such as cats and dogs had elevated levels of selenium. They drink from the same water supply as the rest of the farm population (including the humans). Incidentally, toxicity from this chemical is cumulative in the body.


Cheney tells the U.S. to go frack itself

And speaking of water, a commodity in short supply in many places in the world, including the U.S., fracking a single well can require up to 7 million gallons of potable water. If that’s not enough, thanks to former VP Cheney, fracking interests are not required to report every nasty chemical they intend to use to accomplish their task. Ah, good old Dick Cheney. He was the first to receive a heart transplant when there was no evidence that he ever had one in the first place. I don’t suppose his connection to Halliburton (a major player in the hydraulic fracturing business) had anything to do with this industry secret, do you? By the way, that same great American got fracking excluded from violations of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air and Safe Drinking Water Acts, the Toxics Release Inventory, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. So shooting a lawyer as quails are released from their cages is not the only act he can take credit for.

But that is only the beginning. The World Wildlife Fund has documented the many organs, including the kidney and liver that have been affected by the 632 chemicals used in natural gas production.

The Catskill Mountainkeeper lists on its website some of the chemicals found in water after hydraulic fracturing. Have you enjoyed some fine barium lately? How about cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury? This resource is on the alert, possibly because NY State Gov. Cuomo is under pressure and is yet to make his decision on permitting fracking on the state’s vast Marcellus shale deposits.

I stated in the beginning of this piece that I am troubled by the possibility, and even the probability that our citizens will become complacent about fracking and all of its evils. Yes, shale gas will bring us a certain amount of energy independence – but at what price? Is it worth having cheap fossil fuel in exchange for endangering the safety of our food supply?

Are the earthquakes that have been reported throughout areas in which hydraulic fracturing is taking place acceptable? As of this writing, fracking-suspected quakes have occurred many areas, including the following:
Dallas, Texas
Basel Switzerland
Youngstown, Ohio

I don’t know about you, but the possibility of an earthquake can make me pretty restless.

Keeping It Bottled Up

You know that nothing makes a knight more restless than keeping things bottled up inside. When that happens, they get sloppy with their lances; there is a reduction in the number of saved damsels in distress, and new leases on life to the endangered dragon population are granted.

But what should stress out even the non-knight population is the amount of detritus in the form of empty plastic bottles seen on the side of roads. Since there seems to be no moral compunction against littering, the road is a convenient place to toss that empty beverage bottle, after it has done its damage to your liver with the world’s fastest sugar delivery system. In fact, soda delivers sugar even faster than Mitt Romney fired people at Bain.

If bottle debris is not a problem for you, think about the waste associated with plastic bottles and all of its negatives on society.  Incidentally, they are estimated to be about half the waste stream.

First, plastic bottles are a petroleum product. Last time I checked, petroleum is the commodity for which we sacrificed four thousand lives, a trillion in un-budgeted military expenses and the wrecking of an entire country that did nothing to us to provoke such an invasion. And, despite the fact that there is a surplus of oil supply compared to demand, prices for this viscous goo are always threatening to rise meteorically. This is especially true when tensions are heightened in the Middle East (like that ever happens).

Making more bottles out of this scarce resource seems a waste unto itself, especially since most of those plastic containers could be reclaimed.  This would obviate the need to use even more of that sludge for which we send young people to die. Did you know that in 2006, Americans purchased over 31 billion liters of bottled water that took 17 million barrels of oil to produce, with a carbon footprint of 2.5 million tons of CO2? That was five years ago, and I doubt if those numbers have diminished since then.

In my adopted state of Florida, a bill is being considered that would place a deposit on each plastic bottle purchased. The legislature and governor has not always acted in our best interest, so they need to hear from you.  Would you mind that much, paying another nickel or dime for your bottle of sugary poison, or the more fashionable Evian, so that there would be an incentive to return those bottles for re-use? You could personally reclaim that deposit, or let the many unemployed folks in our state gather them from the streets and otherwise pristine beaches to earn a few bucks. Would you like to join the forty other U.S. states (and Guam) that treat plastic bottles sustainably?

If you agree, please join me in signing this petition now!

We could all be doing our part to reduce plastic bottle use by doing a few simple things:

  • Carry a refillable water bottle. There is a vast selection available at most retailers, from $10 and up. These can replace the many plastic bottles for which you paid up to $1.25 per pint of water (gasoline is only 72 cents a pint by comparison).
  • Store water in much larger containers. If your tap water doesn’t taste quite right (and it probably doesn’t), think about a service that delivers quality water at regular intervals, and carts away the original for re-use.
  • Talk to the event handler at your business or organization. Suggest pitchers of water instead of those tiny throw-aways sitting in front of each guest.
  • Think twice before consuming that next bottle of soda. The teeth you save may be your own, not to mention the empty calories, or worse, the artificial sweetener to which you are exposing your organs.

Okay, I’m through ranting (for the moment). Now that I know my message has gotten through, loud and clear, my night might not be quite as restless going forward.

For more on the environment, check out my non-profit website,

Post Navigation