Monday, January 7, 2008

Some Random Thoughts that have been floating around ..

They don't seem to be enough (at least at the moment) to write a complete blog about but they're still there, rattling around in my head (there's a great deal of room there and it gets kind of noisey with all this rattling!).

1. I noticed that the UMC is concerned over the rising cost of holding General Conference. It was reported in Christian Century and you can read the UMC news story here, that estimates of this year's conference in Ft. Worth is going to run about 6.6 Million dollars. I know there are important issues that need to be discussed, but that seems like a lot of money. What really disappointed me was the lack of any mention of the environmental effects this meeting will create. If it is anything like MN Annual Conference - it will be substantial.

2. The proposed state park on Lake Vermillion. This one has been bugging for some time now. Governor Pawlenty want's to purchase a large tract of forest on Lake Vermillion to be developed as a state park. At first I thought it was a pretty good idea, but on further reflection I think its, well, just dumb. Our state parks have suffered from neglect for about 25 years - adding another one isn't going to change that. Developing the shoreline for 250000 to 300000 annual visitors isn't my idea of protecting the land for future generations. This is an excellent opportunity for private development to work with an NGO, like the Nature Conservancy, to protect the land and lake from overdevelopment. Spend the $30 million on upgrading the parks and trails we have.

3. Corn. I've gone beyond a general disdain for corn. I've about had it. I won't buy ethanol, any type of soda, and the only beef (we eat about 10lbs a year) will be from a local butcher ...... we are more addicted to corn than to foreign oil. We're on a slippery slope with this addiction. The economic effects are disasterous for small, rural communities and the environmental effects are becoming immeasureable. You can refer to my previous blog for more information - or pick up Micheal Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilema: A Natural History of Four Meals. As the snow melted away this weekend, revealing the plowed earth, I was again struck how poor we are treating the land.

That's about it for now. A little less rattling going on upstairs.

1 comment:

roryswen said...

Thanks Jeff. I knew there were some problems with corn especially with the ethanol; and corn syrups everywhere... but but sounds like I need to learn more. You provoked me into some thinking and I referenced you in my blog note for today.