May 312012

Most of us have heard the phrase “sustainable development” and perhaps a little about United Nations and other initiatives related to sustainable development such as Agenda 21 and the Earth Charter.  Some of our communities are exploring these principals in the hopes of heading off, or at least moderating, future catastrophes.

The concept of organized sustainable development is described by critics as a massive international conspiracy to deprive you of individual and commercial rights. Yep, that’s pretty much how it is. This threat is so outrageous that I thought I would take this opportunity to speak out [with tongue firmly in cheek] in defense of UN-organized and UN-sustainable development.

[Our] people are guaranteed freedom and liberty.  These should not be trampled on, limited, or regulated regardless of consequences to others. We should be allowed to do whatever we want.

All natural resources are given by God to man to own, subdue, and have dominion over (Genesis 1:28).  Further man was given the physical and mental powers to accomplish this. This same scripture instructed him to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth – with no mention of limits.

Automobiles, the open road, and cheap gasoline are as quintessentially American as baseball and apple pie. A gas guzzling vehicle is not only larger and safer for its occupants but a public symbol of status and achievement. Free public roads are the right of every citizen. We should all have unlimited choice to live, work, play, shop, commute, and just drive around at will.

Trees are for lumber; just ask the long-missing inhabitants of Easter Island. They left behind mysterious rock statues, but no growing wood. Trees are also for burning; and when trees become scarce, one can always make more children to go out and forage for sticks.

Insecticides and pesticides are good for crops and lawns – to say nothing of bees, frogs, birds, fish, and shallow wells. But, who needs all that buzzing and chirping anyway? And do we really need water? I never drink water anyway ‘cause there’s plenty of beer.

We have lots of coal and it’s cheap, so we should be allowed to use as much of it as we want to generate as much electricity as we want. Never mind acid rain, millions of children with respiratory problems, or atmospheric heat retention from rising carbon dioxide levels.

Besides, I’m okay now and I don’t give a rip about my grandchildren or anybody else either. Speaking of which, I also don’t care about neutering pets, soil erosion, toxic waste, or even famine. Other people have those problems, not me… so far.

©2012, David Satterlee

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Sep 262010

An Object of Urgency

by David Satterlee

Nigel emerged from the back door of the house with a sense of urgency. He could have walked through the rusted and rotted screening that no longer covered the outer door but he was known for his attention to detail and duty and, having pushed the wood frame open ahead of himself, he now allowed it to bang closed, draw by its spring as he felt drawn to his purpose.

Hurrying to the edge of the porch, old boards yielding and protesting under the tread of his massive bulk, he stood rigidly still, surveying his surroundings. The early sun was burning off the low-lying mist like smoke rising from a wet and lazy leaf fire. Heavy dew still clung to the vegetation. It would wet his feet because he had not put on shoes, but that was of no consequence. Lifting his head at last, assured of no immediate threat, his mind returned to his purpose here, and the agitated old man inside, peering after him expectantly with rheumy eyes.

Nigel had lived here most of his life. He had been born here and knew the area intimately. Everything was in its place and little changed. The predictability of his routine was a constant comfort. He slept when he wanted to, ate when he felt like it, and watched – always alert to any disturbance. His sole duty of consequence was to assure the security of the other occupant of this remote cabin in this secluded corner of this godforsaken wood. Still, he had suddenly become aware that he was in possession of an object that must be removed from the cabin immediately and deposited outside in a place that would not be disturbed.

He could wait no longer. Descending the three steps that separated the residence from the unmown thickets beyond, he advanced down a well-worn path that lead into the woods. The path branched like the limbs of the trees that towered above him. Although almost any of the forking, ever-narrowing tracks would supply a suitable destination and an acceptable repository, he was determined to choose carefully. Despite his anxiety to complete his task, Nigel gave this puzzle his full attention.

He wanted to put this thing as far away from the old man as circumstance made practical, yet still be able to return promptly if summoned. Deer used this branch of the track regularly and it led straight away with no obstruction, allowing Nigel to move briskly at first. He suddenly slowed, somehow sensing the presence of others. Crouching slightly while standing rigidly in place, he quieted his breath, opened all his senses, and let them penetrate his surroundings. A small scrape to his left was out of place. Turning his head slowly to bring the area into view, a brace of six pheasants exploded into flight. Nigel relaxed and moved on without surrendering his accustomed vigilance.

Remembering a small clearing ahead and to his right, Nigel quickened his pace; he had to get rid of this thing soon. Squeezing carefully past a thorny branch, the clearing revealed itself; it would be adequate for his purpose. Deer liked to congregate here and their droppings littered the trampled grass. The thing that he had brought would certainly disturb them and their sense of security here, but Nigel was indifferent to their imminent distress. Squatting close to the fragrant loam, the big dog took a massive dump.

Copyright 2010, David Satterlee

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