Letter to the Editor
A variety of commentaries in recent issues of the Moorefield Examiner have given us readers plenty to ponder: cows in streams, septic systems, fossil fuels and renewable energy sources, health care, privacy, and eating habits. What has caught my attention in these articles and editorials was the opinion that most people do not consider many of these issue as important, and an a lack of trust toward authorities proposing some action regardless of the content of that proposal.
The first issue, I would attribute to either people being busy living pay-check-to-paycheck, or preoccupied with keeping up with the ever-growing piles of social media data. For the second issue, just mention EPA, County Commission, President Obama, the Pope, Friends of Coal, et al, and expect a knee-jerk reaction to kick you across the Potomac River.
What I do not hear people discussing is whether any of the suggestions, which authorities might make, are reasonable.
Is it reasonable for people to pump their septic systems on a regular schedule, rather than allowing them to fail at greater cost to repair, as well as potentially polluting rivers and ground water?
Is it reasonable for farms to include buffer zones and fencing to reduce run-off and sediments in the streams?
Is it reasonable to use fossil fuels for a consistent supply of power generation, while supplementing with energy from renewable sources to conserve the fossil fuels?
Is it reasonable for people to learn about healthy living and follow nutritious eating habits and fitness practices?
Is it reasonable for people to pool their financial resources, via health care insurance, too assist each other to pay for those who have health issues?
Is it reasonable for people to have the liberty to affiliated with other people with whom they share common interests and experiences?
If we take the authority issue out of most of these questions, we might debate how to enact them, rather than how we loath whoever brought up the topic. The obstacle that we now face is how to finance what we might judge to be reasonable.
Septic systems, fences, wildlife habitat, power plants, solar hot water heaters and wind-turbines, health education, nutritious food, exercise equipment, health insurance, and relationships all cost money. If we view these from the perspective of the individual, the cost may strain one’s budget. Furthermore, for the individual to bear the cost it may seem unfair.
However, if we view the expenses from a community perspective, what each of us pays benefits not only us but others. Similarly, what someone else pays for benefits him or her, as well as us. My neighbors and I all benefit with clean water by pumping our septic systems and keeping farm nutrients in the soil not the rivers. My neighbors and I all benefit from using our energy resources carefully. My neighbors and I all benefit from living healthy lifestyles. My neighbors and I all benefit from being connected.
Published August 19, 2015 in the Moorefield Examiner