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There are days when I get so defeated and feel so frustrated with my fellow occupants of poor, suffocating planet Earth. I spend my days (and many semi-sleepless nights) searching for small ways to make a contribution towards fixing our environmental problems such as air quality and energy conservation only to see a lack of concern in others other financial issues. We are all feeling the pinch, but why don’t people see the big picture?

Oil prices are dropping and gas prices are slowly following suit. I can practically hear the engine’s of the neighbor’s Ford truck engine revving. It’s only Wednesday, but regardless of any oil crisis or inflationary environment you can bet he’s getting ready to make his end of the week cruise around town in an endless circle to view the same scenery over and over. To be fair, along with the repetitive views he does get to wave and yell obnoxiously at the other spoiled brats in their gas sucking machines.

Passing the hours on the road is so much easier than taking the time to learn how to entertain himself in a more productive manner. His parents both have government jobs and plenty of discretionary spending money so why not throw the kid the keys to the gas guzzler, kick him the credit card in case he runs out of gas and turn him loose on society rather than have him lying around the house? Their attitude seems to be, “There’s a little more pinch when the bill comes at the end of the month but nobody’s going hungry and if we all sit at home on our hands, that just contributes to the economic slowdown and we don’t want that”. How much more brilliant and environmentally responsible could they possibly be?

Somehow people just don't get that an inflationary environment and price increases at the pump are not the most pressing environmental issues at hand. I can remember a friend of my grandmother’s making the statement that if you want to see huge changes or make a lasting impression you should save your words and find a way to hit the offending person or any problematic situation on the hip pocket. I took this to mean that emotions and common sense rarely had the effect that a decrease in financial power might.

Are we so stupid that we rank bank balances, the ability to travel and spend without caution above the basic necessities like breathing and heating and lighting our homes?
What about eating? The citizens of the United States are very fond of that particular activity as is readily evidenced in our ever-increasing waist size. When farmers can no longer afford the fuel to feel their equipment tanks to cultivate the crops because hotshots with big pockets can afford wasteful SUVs and trucks with hauling and storage capabilities, what then?

Will the general population finally take notice when their dinner plates are as empty as their heads and their gas tanks? What WILL it take for people to realize that over consumption is going to have a devastating effect that could reach far past the poor into areas previously untouched by the environmental problems? The wealthy may be the last to go hungry, but when the planet hits crisis stage, wealth is not going to provide the privileged few with comfort and protection from this particular issue.

Or has production already started on special self-contained bubbles (with a price tag that’s out of this world, of course) that is capable of providing desalinated water and filtered air for an acre or two of property that the majority of us could never dream of affording? That would certainly explain a lot regarding this "don't care" attitude that I see.

Maybe the major offenders are betting on being able to move to Mars and leaving the people who can’t afford to make the trip behind to deal with their mess? Talk about the ultimate in NIMBY mentality.

Sorry for the bitterness with no positive contributions or energy conserving tips today, but sometimes that’s just the way it is.


Whether it's the high cost of oil and gas, the lack of money overall or the blistering hot heat; we are beginning to reap the benefits of fewer people on the highways. Each and every weekend, there are fewer automobile fatalities reported on our local news. I just hope that families are using this financially motivated time at home in a positive way.

Putting my money where my mouth is; we caught rain water in the wading pool and rather than drive to the beach the girls played in the back yard while daddy cooked on the grill. After they got tired of splashing around, I filled containers with what water was left in the pool and watered some plants with it.

The girls didn't miss the trip out of town a bit and learned a thing or two about water conservation in the bargain! Dad and I realized that spending the day in the back yard eliminated a long car trip with tired, fussy babies. When they got tired, their beds were just a short walk away. Everybody was a winner.

While I hope for the good of the economy that high oil and gas prices are a temporary irritation, I can see some benefits and bonuses



Amazingly, tbe price of oil has dropped considerably the post few days and yet I am hearing more and more about decreasing the time it takes to get a nuclear power plant up and running.

People! Wake up and remember 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl. Do we really want to be stampeded into making rash decisions and rushing into pushing forward with a power source that leaves us with the problems of dealing with nuclear waste that nobody wants in their back yard that can poison everything within a large area if things don't go perfectly?

On the upside, I hear that Texas is jumping on wind power. I find this very encouraging to hear that a traditional oil state is moving forward with alternative energy sources. Cheers to Texas! I wonder if turbines could be mounted on the roofs of buildings in the same way that they have installed microwave towers? Anybody know?



Fourth of July weekend is drawing to a close and the only good thing that I can say about it is that the children slept late this morning and that it rained. This is a good thing because when the children want to set off the few firecrackers they have left over from Friday night, they might not set the woods on fire. Don't think for a minute that those horrible images of wildfires in other parts of the country didn't make an impression on me when we had not had any rain for several weeks.

As far as the holiday weekend went there was the usual round of picnics, backyard softball games splashing in knee deep kiddie swimming pools in a vain effort to beat the heat. I suppose we did our part to represent a picture of the traditional American patriotic family at play.

Speaking of tradition, I couldn't stop the thought from running through my mind that while there are so many things that are truly right about our country, one of the things that I see wrong (my apologies to President Bill Clinton) without country is that young people seem to have no appreciation for tradition or what came before them.

When I was a child I loved for my parents and grandparents to tell me about their childhoods and the way things used to be. I adored my grandmother and grandfather and enjoyed spending time at their home where I knew there was lots of time for hugs, kisses and stories about little girls and boys that were long gone but would have loved me to pieces if they had only known me.

After dinner they would open the family photo album and not only tell us that those people in the pictures were the details about the background of the photograph and details of the day when the picture was taken. I am relatively certain that my oldest daughter even at a young age would find this to be somewhat less than exciting and probably downright boring. How could my children that I had raised not find the same things entertaining as their own mother?

I loved the one on one time that this older couple was willing to give to me and was so proud when they came to my school functions or ballgames. I recently went to see a neighbor girl play ball and was sitting with her parents. In the second or third inning her grandparents joined us. Her grandfather went to the dugout to wish the little girl luck and she seemed utterly embarrassed and seemed unwilling to speak to him, much less thank him for coming. Who has put the idea that older people are not “cool” and should be ignored into these young people’s heads?

My goal for the week is to try and teach my children respect for tradition and to appreciate the history of her family. I’m open to suggestions if anyone else has found a way to do this and work against the growing tide of the anti-tradition movement.

I would like to say that I doing this out of respect for my parents and grandparents, which is true, but I'm smart enough to know that I'm going to be older one day and I don't want my grandchildren to feel that they shouldn't speak to me in public.