Denial doesn’t change the facts
On Monday, we learned that the EPA instructed two of its scientists and a contractor not to speak at a conference in Providence, Rhode Island. For the last three years, they, along with others, had been studying the ocean and watershed of Narragansett Bay, New England’s largest estuary. Fishing, sailing and tourism depend on the health of the water in the ocean. Sheldon Whitehouse, senator from Rhode Island, says “Narragansett Bay is one of Rhode Island’s most important economic assets. The EPA won’t let its scientists talk with local leaders to plan for its future. Collaboration should be a no-brainer. Muzzling our leading scientists benefits no one.”
So we taxpayers spend money for research and salaries for three years, the scientists plan to go to a meeting to discuss with locals and other scientists what they found out, and the EPA won’t let them talk? How do the locals figure out what to do to protect the bay? How do the scientists find out what other scientists think of their work. Is it helpful? Is it wrong? Does it need to be combined with someone else’s ideas? This is usual with science; ideas have to be tried out, modified and added to. Our first TV’s, phones, computers, for instance, are a lot less fancy than what we can get now; the scientists figured out more as they went along. But we start with what we can see, and test.
Also last Monday, the New Mexico Board of Education met to discuss eliminating the word “evolution” and “climate change” from its science textbooks. So the ideas don’t even get brought up.
Never miss a local story.
We have seen this kind of fear of ideas before. Years ago the Catholic Church taught, and everyone believed, the Earth was the center of the universe, with the sun going around the Earth and man the top of creation. Then a man named Copernicus (1473-1543) built a telescope and figured out the Earth went around the sun. This upset everyone’s idea of how things work, and, rather than look at the science, both the Catholic Church and Martin Luther, banned the book. Then Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) used math to prove that Copernicus was right and added to what the other man had figured out. Again, rather than accept the science, the church rejected his ideas, and Galileo was tried by the Inquisition. His books were banned and he himself was kept in house arrest for the rest of his life.
There is a story, apparently true, that when Galileo was sentenced by the Inquisition, he said “And yet it moves.” He meant that even rejection of his ideas did not change the fact that the Earth moves around the Sun. One of the researchers at the Rhode Island meeting said something similar: “The choice by our government to ignore the abundant and overwhelming data regarding climate change does not stop it from being true or prevent the negative consequences that are already occurring or those that are on the horizon.”
By the way, the church accepted the heliocentric theory, that the Earth goes around the sun, in 1835.
I see in The Telegraph that the Government Accountability Office estimates “Trump’s inaction on climate costing us billions.” Whether you accept the idea of climate change or not, we certainly are having plenty of wild weather and changes on the blue spaceship we call our home on Earth. We need to take care of it. Inaction is costing us money and lives.
Dignified send off
Since 9/11, the global fight to defeat Islamic terrorists continues with no end in sight. Sgt. Dustin Wright, a fellow Georgian, was killed Oct. 4. on a distant battlefield. He was protecting America by training soldiers in Niger to fight terrorist groups associated with al Qaeda and ISIS. Sgt. Wright’s patrol was ambushed. He was killed along with three other Special Forces soldiers. Last week, Sgt. Wright’s body was flown to Atlanta.
He was escorted home by flag-bearing Patriot Riders. My wife and I had the privilege to honor Sgt. Wright as his motorcade travelled down Interstate 75 to his hometown of Lyon. I am proud to say that Monroe County gave him a dignified farewell by positioning first responders, with vehicles and flag wavers on every I-75 bridge in the county to show our respect for our fallen hero. RIP Sgt. Wright.
As one travels down Zebulon Road it is hard to understand how Planning and Zonning rationalized destroying this residential area. The financial and emotional impact had to be enormous. Would you consider buying any of these homes for what they were worth before this debacle? Stone Edge is reeling due to the high rise apartments that will be the base of this massive project.
Who does this taxpayer funded group work for when considering their actions. Are there any possible financial ties to the board and the builders? Apparently none of the board lives in this area.
What made this even worse were the judges who refused to hear the taxpayers’ case and sent it to Columbus, where it was hastily found to have no merit.
It seems the taxpayers need to unite and say hell no to all of these political missteps and constant requests for more taxes and live with what is rationally needed. All of those cars riding around to shop and do whatever they want costs lots of money.
Privatize the rest of garbage pick up. Save carrying folks into retirement on the taxpayers. Privatize the bus system or shut it down. They are losing a fortune and have a ridiculously over lapping staff. Privatization is a solution and makes sense.
A county manager system based on accountability is far superior to the mayor and commissioners. There is to much backroom politics. All too many segments of Macon-Bibb County have commissioners. Pointless oversight. Get a strong county manager and instruct him or her to look into every department and combine or liquidate as seen necessary. First step is to bring the water and sewer under their management and all of the funds go directly into county coffers. There should be a better system than monthly reading of meters. That too is costly and poorly done.
Macon-Bibb County has a county manager system overseen by mayor and commission. The commission does not have the power to eliminate the Macon Water Authority.