Alana has long been a community activist, and she has earned my respect. Though I may not agree 100% with everything she has to say, by and large we are in accord on the following topics. I think her comments are interesting and relevant, so wanted to share them with you here. So, without further ado, here's what Alana has to say:
First, I would like to thank you for honoring Helen Nast and Lance Arbor in your post – two personal friends and active community members who will be missed.
After reading through the rest of your comments, I found myself thinking over and over about all the clichés we have all heard: Everything is connected. History repeats itself. The more things change, the more they remain the same. It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature.
And my conclusion from all evidence is that we are now well into the Sixth Great Extinction. Like it or not, humans are part of it because respect for wisdom has been lost in the media blitz from the power of corporate profiteers. Keep in mind: oil, motor vehicles, corporations, greed and destruction. Let me explain, addressing each of your comments:
Helen and Lance were characters grown from struggle, challenges, perseverance and accomplishment. They were not funneled into mainstream ideology due to bombardment from the media. They remained independent thinkers and doers, true to themselves and what they each believed in. They were survivors from an agrarian era, when people learned real survival skills that were tied to individuals, not corporate profit.
The Beverly Hillbillies was a popular show on TV. Everybody thought they would get rich and bought into the farce back then, too. I still wonder how much influence the oil industry had over the timing and airing of that show and its "black gold, Texas Tea," in that state that has already been destroyed. Most did not realize then, as now, that the whole scheme is set-up to profit a few corporate heads and has little to nothing to do with benefiting those whose communities it will destroy, including our water source. Keep that point in mind for later.
Reading back over your previous post of September 27, 2007 – "Remember who took care of us before it was easy" – a few more thoughts came to mind regarding the clichés and your comment that
One thing that became immediately apparent was the lack of convenience stores and nearby gas stations. But I figured that was part of the price we paid for being able to live in a rural area. We might not have all the conveniences, but then neither did we have all the traffic, noise and pollution. But then, I poked around locally, and found that not only did we have quite a few little family-owned general stores, but we also had a plethora of wonderful little sandwich shops that would make any city jealous. We HAD the convenience stores -- they just didn't look like what I was used to seeing, so it took me a while to realize they were here.I can remember what life was like here in our little villages before corporate America took over, based on the motor vehicle, oil, and maximum profit. There were "convenience stores" all over the place, called general stores. As you discovered, they didn't look like them because they were run by individual community members with their own character, not corporations that suck the life out of everything with an imprinted logo, and maximum profit as the end goal.
You might not know there were gas pumps in front of the Revere store, even more convenient for you than Turkey Hill, regarding miles traveled to get there from your house! The general store had everything, including exotic spices from far off lands, all the staples, penny candy and toys for children. I know, because I purchased them all, right there. At Christmas time, Santa Claus was upstairs sitting by a fully decorated tree to hand out candy canes to all the children. And the children of the proprietor, with other neighborhood children, came by in the early evening to sing Christmas carols around the neighborhood.
Should I be prepared to serve hot cocoa to the children of the owners of the Turkey Hill Corporation this Christmas? Does anyone know who they are? I suppose some corporate research could reveal who owns the chain. I know their children will not appear in my yard to serenade me at Christmas. "It takes a village to raise a child…" There's another cliché to think about.
My mother and I did all of my grandmother's grocery shopping at the Revere general store by pulling a two-wheeled, tall wire basket shopping cart like you see people use in the city. We pulled it along Beaver Run Rd. and down Rt. 611, with no worry of being run over. If you did see a car, more than likely, you knew the person and they slowed down to keep you safe and even waved hello.
Have we really gained convenience at Turkey Hill, or are the greedy corporate profiteers just making people think that by using the misnomer of "convenience store," so they can suck every dime out of what was once a real community with their poor quality, crappy Chinese products and food that would double as "clean-fill" if you checked the nutritional value. Talk about cancer!
May Lance rest in peace, having watched what was left of his heritage stolen right from under him. I'm sure Helen would have a few things to say about it, too. "Suck" is your appropriate choice word, Mary. [Statement about a local developer removed here to protect me from being hit with a libel suit - Mary]
You can choose to label me as paranoid, a nut case, an alarmist, a doomsayer... or you could do your own research and see what you find. Here's a place to start. As humans demand more and more energy and keep burning fossil fuels, the planet's oceans keep heating up from processes I won't go into here. Bottom line is that heat has to get released somehow, just like a pot on a stove. Eventually, it boils and lets off steam. In very simple terms, the unusual and violent weather is the planet releasing built-up energy that has increased substantially by humans burning fossil fuels – namely oil – in one form or another, including coal.
trolley tracks ran, all the way north to Easton and south to Bristol. I don't remember those tracks, but my father and grandmother did, and they rode those trolleys, too. Before that, there was a stagecoach. The horses didn't use oil, either. That was before everybody had at least 3 vehicles in their driveway that burn gas, which comes from oil, which feeds the pockets of the greedy profiteers.
Talk about convenience! Imagine the money you'd save on car insurance, repairs, inspections, emissions testing – and gas and oil – if all you had to do was get on the trolley to get to a bigger town, or city. And let's not forget bicycles, and walking like my parents and I did...when you still could, without the constant worry of being run over. Now, we need more gas to get to the gym to work out.
How about that tomato and potato blight? Expect a lot more of that as the weather changes. Plants can't migrate to accommodate their conditional needs as the weather changes. There will be more and more problems growing food. In nature, there is always change and always will be. [But when it happens naturally] it is very gradual, allowing all living things to adjust most of the time. The exceptions are the 5 previous major extinctions, during which nearly all living things disappeared from the planet in the form they were in.
Welcome to 2009 and the 6th Great Extinction! The difference is, we have historical and scientific record to understand this one. It's about oil and greed, speeding us to our own demise.
If every person does absolutely everything he or she can to demand less energy, burn less fuel, and change the way we all live, perhaps there is a chance we can buy some time. I guess we'll find out.
In the meantime, keep a path cleared to your cellar, just in case one of those tornado warnings turns out to be the real deal.