In the spirit of yesterday’s post about the future, I am going to point out a few situations that need to be fixed. I find myself hashing and rehashing these same issues over and over again. Probably because I care about them and I see little change to the positive around me.
- We need to listen to multiple viewpoints, and we need to learn to work together. Of course, the current cadre of political candidates might tell you the opposite. We need to stop preaching and just listen. The reality is that we all must exist together and we have finite resources to sustain our species, at least for the moment. (Now is not a time to discuss space travel and related topics, as science and technology funding is ever decreasing and pushed to the back burner.) How can we make this country work? We all must work together, find common ground, and take care of each other. It’s that simple.
- Every single U.S. citizen ought to learn – and care about – from whence their drinking water comes. I am convinced that our domestic water supply (or lack thereof) is one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – domestic issue facing our nation going forward. Name for me, if you will, one watershed (or one city, for that matter) that isn’t facing some sort of water crisis. Pollution, drought, water rights based on historic numbers (either in supply OR demand) that no longer hold true, water rights disputes, allowing of non-essential uses (i.e. watering things like golf courses and lawns in drought years), etc. etc. etc. I can’t tell you how many people have told me something like, “As long as the water comes out when I turn the faucet on, I don’t care where it comes from.” Ignorance is NOT bliss and people who hold attitudes like this are just ignorant and selfish.
- People need to openly admit that we, as a species, CAN and DO affect the climate and ecology of our planet. Here in North America, we have done a lot to change our section of the world, just to name a few: suppression of natural forest fire regimes, water diversion projects (dams, reservoirs, etc.), and even the forced removal of free-ranging bison on the great plains have all had impacts on water regimes, air quality, plant communities (and how plant communities function), and wildfire behavior, just to name a few. Each of these processes then affects our neighborhoods and the resources we need to sustain our lives. (Think we don’t need clean water? Ask the people of Flint, MI, what they think of that statement.) It is our own arrogance and dislike of responsibility that causes us to deny our innate ability to change our environment and climate.
- We need to take an honest, fresh look at what we consider “hard work” and “skills” and make ourselves willing to do just a bit more. This country’s infrastructure was built by hard work, and while some people still must work very hard, technology has made our lives a lot easier and more simple. But here’s the kicker: some things have not changed. For example, we still use toilets. They often require plumbers. Do you do your own plumbing? If so, great! But many people wouldn’t know where to begin, and that is the problem. Many skills have gone by the wayside for various reasons. We need to see a resurgence of skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen in the U.S. citizenry, and a respect for such trades, if we are going to close our borders and ‘make America great again’ (as one current candidate keeps blathering). There is a lot of work out there, if we had the skills – work that needs to be done and done WELL. We need to learn these skills and work hard enough that we feel pride in stamping our name to a job completed. Frankly, I’d love to see projects brought back like the Civilian Conservation Corps. Get young people out of their homes, away from technology, teach them some skills and trades, and send them home with a bit of money upon which to start the rest of their lives. (Maybe fewer people would raise an eyebrow at me when I say I knit my own socks, gloves, hats, and scarves. I have skills.)
Now, you might have thought I was going to talk about which political candidates I thought needed fixing. (Too late; they’ve already reproduced.) But I think our nation’s problems are deep and the Reactionaries trying to get into the White House are just the outward manifestation of these problems.