I Is it spring or not?

Rappahannock News - - EDITORIAL & OPINION - RICHARD BRADY morelchase­[email protected] 675-3754

am be­gin­ning to wish this weather would make up its mind whether it is spring or not. If you re­mem­ber that nice warm week we had the first part of March, then you will know when I put my early gar­den in. Just about ev­ery­thing has done well, so far. The peas are as pretty as any I’ve seen, stand­ing there in their lit­tle straight rows, they are about 2 inches tall. I love the look of an early vegetable gar­den. Even the pota­toes are start­ing to stick their thick, curly green heads through the soil. They re­mind me of an old ground­hog stick­ing his head out of his bur­row and won­der­ing if it’s time to get up.

My onions were a lit­tle spotty, at first, but they have picked up, and I am sure to have enough radishes to keep my sis­ter happy. She loves them. For some rea­son the leaf let­tuce just did not come up like it should. Linda bought a sec­ond pack­age and planted it, but even that didn’t half come up. I fi­nally broke down and bought a lit­tle square of leaf let­tuce plants that they had at the co-op. I planted them Satur­day and the wind that came through here Satur­day night just about wrung their lit­tle necks. I have never used those plants, so I don’t know quite what to ex­pect.

I don’t want to give the cli­mate change peo­ple too much grief, but I won­der if they are go­ing to say that all the wind we have had lately is a part of cli­mate change. I couldn’t tell you. It might be. All I know is if it gets ter­ri­bly hot in the sum­mer­time, all I hear about is global warm­ing. And then we get three feet of snow in the win­ter, and that, too, is be­cause of cli­mate change. They got it com­ing and go­ing, as my dad used to say.

Let’s get se­ri­ous for a minute. Since man first dis­cov­ered fire, and how to make it and how to use it, the hu­man race has con­trib­uted to the over­all warm­ing of the at­mos­phere. That’s just fact. The ques­tion soon be­comes to what ex­tent do man’s ac­tiv­i­ties con­trib­ute to the over­all warm­ing of the at­mos­phere? If our coun­try had had the fore­sight of some of the Euro­pean na­tions, we would have quit build­ing and op­er­at­ing coal-fired and oil-fired power plants years ago, and re­placed them with nu­clear units. Get out your Funk and Wag­nalls and com­pare the per­cent­age of power pro­duc­tion com­ing from nu­clear units in the U.S. to, say, France, and you will see where we lag be­hind.

I am not, as you can see, a cli­mate change de­nier. But it kind of frosts me that many of the same peo­ple who cried out against the ex­pan­sion of nu­clear power for the gen­er­a­tion of elec­tric­ity are the same ones rub­bing their hands to­gether and cry­ing about global warm­ing and cli­mate change. One has to un­der­stand, of course, that elec­tri­cal power gen­er­a­tion is just one area of dis­cus­sion on this topic. Au­to­mo­biles, fac­to­ries, con­struc­tion and all sorts of things from min­ing to for­est fires to vol­ca­noes put

par­tic­u­lates and gases in the air and have some im­pact on our cli­mate. Even such a seem­ingly be­nign thing as rais­ing cat­tle has an im­pact, when you con­sider the meth­ane gas equa­tion.

The other part of this ar­gu­ment that gets my dan­der go­ing is, as a coun­try, we at­tend all these cli­mate change con­fer­ences and come away with great fan­fare and photo ops and an agree­ment that straps our cit­i­zens and en­trepreneur­s with more and more re­stric­tions while China and In­dia also sign on the dot­ted line, but they don’t have to do any­thing for 20 or 30 years. That’s in­san­ity at its finest.

VOL­UN­TEER FIRE AND RES­CUE SQUADS

One last rant and I’ll let you get back to do­ing some­thing pro­duc­tive: Our county is in the throes of think­ing and con­sid­er­ing what to do about our vol­un­teer fire and res­cue squads. My per­sonal vote is that, within lim­its, ma­jor changes to what we have today, should be pushed as far into the fu­ture as pos­si­ble. Folks, when you live in the coun­try or when you de­cide to move to one of the most ru­ral coun­ties in the Com­mon­wealth, you make some sac­ri­fices. It sounds a bit harsh, but one of those sac­ri­fices is the timely avail­abil­ity of fire and res­cue ser­vices.

I know, first­hand, the dif­fi­culty of re­cruit­ing, train­ing and keep­ing good vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers and emer­gency med­i­cal tech­ni­cians. If our county is go­ing to do an over­haul of what we have now, it should not be and can­not be a slap­dash de­ci­sion, made within the con­fines of a cou­ple of Board of Su­per­vi­sors meet­ings. It must be ap­proached slowly and care­fully, with in­put from all the im­pacted

My per­sonal vote is that, within lim­its, ma­jor changes to what we have today, should be pushed as far into the fu­ture as pos­si­ble.

par­ties. There must be care­ful and thor­ough stud­ies of the im­pacts and costs. Most im­por­tantly, one of the pos­si­bil­i­ties to be con­sid­ered must be to main­tain the sys­tem we have at present.

I fear our county is mov­ing in a di­rec­tion that, dare I say it, is li­able to end up with two sets of cit­i­zens, much the same as the com­plaint now prom­i­nent on the fed­eral elec­tion scene, that we have two classes of peo­ple, the haves and the have nots. I hope and pray that the peo­ple in po­si­tions of power and au­thor­ity in Rap­pa­han­nock County will re­mem­ber those who put them there and that they have the wis­dom and com­pas­sion to do what is best for all the cit­i­zens of Rap­pa­han­nock.

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