It’s Not Easy Being Green

Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2007 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Ever heard of “global dimming?”
Neither had I until I watched  “NOVA” on PBS last night.
I thought it might be about the sun running out of gas or something but the science program was actually pointing out that  tiny airborne pieces of  soot, sulphur and ash along with thin clouds from airplane contrails are reflecting back the heat of the sun. But by allowing less sunlight to reach the Earth, global dimming is cushioning us from the full impact of global warming.Some climatologists are afraid if we try to stop global dimming by cleaning up the atmosphere, the full effects of global "warming" will be unleashed and we could see temperatures rising by up to 10 degrees by the end of the century – twice more than previously thought. Talk about your "catch 22."
Jet contrails. Contributing to global dimming?It’s pretty interesting stuff and you can find out more by checking out NOVA’s website.
I don’t think we’ll see bumper stickers that say “Save our Planet..Pollute More” anytime soon but it does give all those people who won’t be happy until we’re all back on foot or driving some form of hybrid vehicle something to think about.
Besides, I think most of us are a whole lot kinder to our planet now than we used to be anyway.
When is the last time you threw a bag of garbage out of the car?
We never used to give littering a second thought.
Now I won’t even toss a gum wrapper on the street and will probably bend over to pick up yours.
I think that public service TV ad in the 70’s showing the Indian with a tear in his eye and trash at his feet was pretty effective deterrent. At least it was for me.
 Iron Eyes Cody cries over spilt garbage
I used to take old oil, anti-freeze or most any other mystery liquid from the garage and pour it along the fence line or some part of the yard to keep the weeds down.
Not any more since discovering I could be arrested and charged with poisoning the underground water supply.
I no longer buy anything in aerosol cans..even if the propellant is supposedly safe for the ozone.
In fact, I’m thinking about resuming a money-making venture from my youth which will not only give me something to do in my retirement but help planet Earth at the same time.
On a Sunday afternoon in the fifties when my Dad would announce to the family that we were going had nothing to do with guns or rabbits or pheasants.
We’d all pile into the car, head for the nearest country road, and go hunting for pop bottles.
My older brother would usually sit outside on the front fender while the rest of us hung out the windows staring into the grass scanning back and forth as Dad slowly drove along the ditch as close as he dared.
Eventually, somebody would yell, “there’s one.” The old man would hit the brakes, the tires would slide to a stop on the gravel and we’d dart down  to retrieve a Coke, 7-UP, Nesbitts or Pepsi bottle that someone had just foolishly thrown away without collecting the deposit.
I don’t remember my mother every worrying too much about Denny falling off the fender or any of us getting cut by broken beer bottles or rusty cans.
We were not intentionally trying to do our part for the environment. It was just a whole lot of family fun.
On a good day, we’d wind up with a couple gunny sacks full of empty pop bottles which Teddy at Dahl’s Texaco would redeem for two cents each.
Our next stop was in Brookings where we’d spend our windfall on ice cream malts and sundaes.
Now that I think about it, on the way home, I seem to remember tossing the Dairy Queen sack out the car window.

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