Consider the Consequences of Disregarding the Environment

Where are we headed?

By Scott Redmond

I just read the “Fate of our Lakes” article in the Flathead Beacon. It was interesting and shows that we are starting to enter the realm of man’s degradation of our climate and environment.

Where are we headed? New uncharted territory sits behind doors that are finally being fully opened. We are finally facing the consequences of decades/centuries of disregard for the environment, which allows us to inhabit this planet. Our disdain for the fragility of the systems that allow our survival and by extension the survival of thousands of other symbiotic systems upon which we depend is appalling. And we are all part of the destruction!

It does not matter the state of health care, education, diversity, infrastructure, equality, economics or other societal needs if we continue to degrade the environment that allows our very existence.

“It is the economy, stupid” is the lowest common denominator for so many arguments. The economy eclipses and trumps so many important and necessary considerations. But in the economy’s defense, money, under our present system, is necessary to turning the juggernaut.

Consider the consequences of every toilet flush, every laundry load, every degree of heating/cooling (117 lbs CO2 for every million BTU’s of natural gas burned), every gallon of gas/diesel burned (roughly 20 lbs of CO2), every ton of coal burned (5700 lbs of CO2 ) and the myriad other daily extravagances we take for granted which require energy produced at some environmental/climate cost.

Our lives have been greatly enhanced in the last two centuries by fossil fuels and extraction, but at what cost? Can we, or more importantly, will we reign it in? Personally I do not see it happening! Mostly because of simple human nature. We are not wired to be proactive. Our entire history has been to be reactive and me thinks we will treat the future no different than the past.

Scott Redmond