Building . . .
. . . literally or figuratively, building nourishes the human spirit. To "build back better," as our president Joe Biden coined the expression, has a curative healing power for the soul of our society and culture. I have engaged in a broad spectrum of building projects such as grain elevators, houses, landscapes, aquariums, beach walls and towers, as well as programs for academia, industrial kitchen hygiene, marketing & sales, and community safety protocols. Looking back, I have discovered a common thread that relates divergent human activities. We are trained as consumers to focus on short term sticker-shock costs rather than seeing these expenditures as longterm investments for our future and the benefit of succeeding generations. For example, in recent months, the news media consistently described the infrastructure bill as a $3.5 trillion proposal often omitting the fact that this is spread out over 10 years. Let's be clear then, so the average annual expenditure proposed was $350 billion per year, not three and half trillion all in one year!
The U.S. has budgeted $740 billion, or twice that, on the military budget. At the rate of military budget increases in recent years the U.S. is on track to spend $8 trillion between 2022 and 2032. But is anyone speaking of the military budget in the same terms as the infrastructure bill? Why is that?
The U.S could cut the military budget in half and still be outspending China and Russia combined. What to do with the remaining $370 billion not spent on the military? Hmm, I'm sure there are plenty of ideas out there.
Caring for the environment is integral to this relationship of building for our future. Recent environmental trends have collided with resistance to behavioral change over recent decades, so now we have entered the hour of judgment. While the correct course of action might be challenging and even frustrating, the wrong course will be disastrous. I am hopeful that we will listen to those who offer the best solutions so that we implement them in time to mitigate the forces that promise to hurt us physically and economically. We must invest in the protection of the environment for our future.
Climate change might go unnoticed by folks in the Natural State, we might claim to be insulated from the effects of climate change as we hear of the devastating fires, floods, carbon air emissions, water pollution, animal and plant extinction, and sea level rise elsewhere. But we know our behavior and that of others everywhere is interactive and interconnected.
The misinformation battle we must wage against the promulgation of wrong theories subvert our attempts to abate climate change. Look! The climate change issues alone are an existential challenge, we don't have any time left to debate the problems. Nor do we have time to waste on the non-essential until we solve the real problems of the day.
If horses got the vote they would go to the polls to vote for Democrats.