October 24, 2013

A Lesson in Perspective from the Boy Scouts. ~ Kevin Hebert

My apologies to my regular readers: this has nothing to do with rain gardens. This is a post from the heart that against my better judgement I felt I needed to release.

Like many of us, I’ve been paying a bit of attention to the coverage of the Boy Scout Leaders out in Utah who pushed over a million-year-old rock formation.

These guys made a huge mistake and are deserving of their ejection from the Boy Scouts organization. But as I sat there eating my dinner tonight, something began to rise up inside me. Before I knew it, I was writhing with indignation over the persecution of these unscrupulous leaders.

As someone who devotes both his personal and professional life to the bettering of the environment, I understand that these guys need to be punished.

But, do you know what Goblin Valley State Park looks like? 

This one act will do little to diminish its environmental value. If anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if attendance to this park increases.

As a society, we desperately need some perspective on the damage this act had on our natural world—and take a look at what grossly disproportionate damage we are allowing everyday that goes more-or-less completely unnoticed.

In Michigan just a couple of years ago, around one million gallons of oil spilled out of a broken oil pipeline and eventually ended up in the Kalamazoo River.

This was the largest on-land oil spill in U.S. History. The owner of the pipeline, Enbridge, is still dredging out the sunken bitumen.

Silica sand is in heavy demand for hydraulic fracking. The new mining boom in the Upper Midwest—Wisconsin and Minnesota—has turned our forests into Moon-like craters.

The oil pipeline below the Great Lakes has broken supports and spans of pipe with no support underneath it.

The Great Lakes contains 20 percent of the Earth’s fresh water.

This pipeline is also owned by Enbridge.

This map illustrates a three, six and 12-hour spill from the tar sands oil pipeline based on Enbridge’s spill response plans, average current speeds and “worse case” discharge estimates.

Just to be clear, this is not a defense of the Utah Boy Scout Leaders’ actions. Far from it. This is a call for perspective on the situation.

The truth is that the attention we give this story turns our attention away from the trespasses against nature that we all are a party to every day, myself included.


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Assist Ed: Michelle Margaret/Ed: Sara Crolick

{images: via Wild Nature Images, the daily green & eco news}

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