Other Voices: Suggestions to make our Earth a better place
Positive grace. It sounds so smooth and easy, like a lazy August at the river. Positive grace is what I wish to become. I think that positive grace is all there is for babies and we were all babies once. I see a time of transformation on the rim of existence that we all share, and I would like to offer some suggestions in the most positive and graceful way I can.
It has come to my attention that we crush about 10,000 cars a day in California and I think we should recycle that metal into a magnetic rail system that runs from Nevada City to San Francisco. Many of you know and breathe the bad air we get up in Nevada City and the surrounding areas. Why should we wait for a big company to do this and charge us millions when every day we throw away thousands of cars for nothing?
I will personally donate two cars and a bus to the forges of the local foundry to create track and rail, as well as some brain and muscle to get the job done. Eventually, we will all want something like this; can we commit to it without having to pay the millions, and make it free for all?
Alternatives that are positive are relative. You dig? I have run generators and cars on ethanol and bio-diesel and even a little hydrogen hybrid. There are such things as fuel cells that run on alcohol and solar collectors that use heat to generate mechanical power. There are many, many different positive alternatives; therefore, the only thing that is really stopping us is our limited ability to get together and put together just one more positive alternative. But the good thing is, when you help put one together you become that much more empowered.
The food and the water. The food and the water, you know. It’s all about the food and the water. Grow your gardens, save your seeds, learn how to clone plants and share with your friends and neighbors. Don’t experiment on yourself and loved ones, grow organic.
Water is a reflection of us. We can be very pure or very polluted. I believe it is our nature to find the highest ground while water cuts away all the ground around it. If we stop using flush toilets and made hydrology and water technologies required learning, as well as eco-forestry, we might have rivers worth swimming in when our grandchildren grow up. Industries and farms and even you and I have to stop using and buying chemicals and clear-cut wood that contribute to polluting the water. It would be worth it, to someday pull a fresh salmon from the Yuba River and share it with others and not feel like you might be poisoning them, or to know that the water that flows from our town to the next goes there untainted. It would be worth it. Ultimately we will feel that water is a gift. So how then shall we receive and give this gift?
Voting has become a slight bit shady these days. I’ve been in the trenches and seen just how sloppy our local voting system can get and I would suggest that we rent out the Grass Valley Vets Hall and have the ballots tabulated in that one big open room in front of everyone. I suggest that the poll workers be respected people of the community that wear pocketless white suits. The current numbers could be posted on an overhead screen and checked against independent exit polls. This would be affordable and a good deal closer to securing a just reality for our community. The electronic voting machines are, in my opinion, worthless. The guy at Radio Shack told me that on the Internet there is a hacker for every field imaginable, and when I think of voting rights they have nothing to do with imagination and everything to do with truth. It’s simply not even slightly worth the risk to leave the truth open for attack from mercenary hackers so why not stay with the scantron paper ballots?
Some things that keep coming back to me are how we should build a stone monument on top of Sugarloaf Hill and keep it and Nevada City (if possible) from becoming landmarks for materialism. Why not have a youth hostel and trails and even free yellow bikes that just stay around town? We could have fruit trees, local market days and music and a lot less cars. Think big, little town. What do you want to be known for? The gold days are over and I think we should be very thankful that we still have some good water and some good land for they were rough and wasteful days for this place. Cancer and pollution from mining still affect many north of town and most of the fish are risky takes. I think we should let the past go and move into a brighter and more intelligent age. Nevada City could do it but I believe the missing link is a cohesive movement between the young and the old.
First, I will address the elders. To them I say, your actions and words are so important because the youth are looking at you and asking themselves, “Are they (the older generation) going to be part of the solution or part of the problem?” Most young people, including myself, find that some of our greatest hindering comes from the older generation. They seem to be sitting on most of the capital, most of the land and, typically, are easily convinced that young people are worthless, thieving bums that suck off the system. Of course, not all of you think that way or act that way but the youth are sensitive and pick up on such things and do not forget them. Then we (the youth) tend to form strong judgments and a separate reality from the elders. To the youth I say, learn forgiveness and positive grace, be gentle with yourselves and others. Be clever but don’t let yourselves slip into the shadows.
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Parents are becoming aware of the use of critical race theory in their children’s instruction, particularly as distance learning has given them a window into their classrooms.