Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: April 21, 2009 Archive

One Man's Opinion

Posted at 5:30 AM on April 21, 2009 by Dale Connelly (22 Comments)

Today's blog entry is an editorial from Radio Heartland's chief correspondent Bud Buck, who, you might recall, was last heard desperately trying to develop the kind of alarmist, incendiary style that might get him a better job as a full time crank with the New York Times or Fox News.


This is Earth Day Eve, and a lot of lip service is being paid to the important job of protecting Mother Earth from our wasteful ways. Everybody from the president on down to the fifth grade bully who lives next door are putting pressure on me to cut back on things I enjoy doing, like raising and tending a beautiful green lawn even though it requires some checmicals and little water and a bit of smoggy mowing.

Sure, that's bad. But what about these verbal emissions? The atmosphere is choked with pompous scolding. I can hardly breathe for all the hot air being released by defenders of the planet.

Don't get me wrong. I know our neighborhoods are full of incandescent light bulb-using, excess-hot-water-running, Earth murdering energy wasters. I see one in the bathroom mirror every morning, just before the glass steams up.

But why take aim at the easy targets when there are so many hypocrites who only talk the walk and don't walk the talk or even walk the walk very much themselves? Politicians? Of course. There's no bravery required to call a politician a two faced smug smarty pants. But who has the courage to assail the unassailable? I do.

That's why I'm taking on holier-than-thou Eco Kids.

You can always expect some 10 year old to get a bunch of press on Earth Day because she is setting a great example for adults. If we could only do as they do, the future would be a lot brighter for everyone, or so the story goes. There's always an adoring quote from one of the parents, saying something like:

"Until Ashley called me on it, I was using the toaster to make ONE piece of toast every morning. When she told me how wasteful that was, I started making TWO pieces of toast, even though I only wanted to eat one. I began saving the second one, eating it cold the next day. It tastes horrible, especially with butter lumps, but Ashley shamed me into making this sacrifice for the Earth. I'm so proud of her!"

I'm glad Ashley is able to goad her mother into eating revolting food in the name of conservation, but she better not come over here and try that stuff on me.

I happen to know her father drives her to soccer practice at a local park twice a week even though the trip is less than a mile. Wouldn't she be a better player if she developed the endurance to run over there rather than burn all that gas? She could carry the equipment bag back and forth, too - balancing it on her shoulders to develop both the upper body and lower body strength necessary to compete with all those hard working kids from less fortunate countries. But no! She rides in the back of that van like a tiny princess going to the ball!

At this rate, there'll be no Olympic gold medals for USA soccer in 2020!

At least she could walk or ride her bike to the mall, where you're likely to see her hanging out most weekends with a gaggle of her little fifth grade friends, generating bucketloads of waste at the food court and pushing the handicapped access button to make the door swing open, even though she's perfectly able to pull that door with her own muscles! Some ecologist!

Lest you think I'm using this forum for a vendetta against an actual 10 year old neighbor of mine, let me quickly add that the "Ashley" I mention in this commentary is an artificial construct, created to represent a type of young environmental blowhard. "Ashley" bears no resemblance to any person living or dead, and certainly there is no resemblance to my real neighbor, who is ten and a half, and whose name is actually Ashleigh.

But on this Earth Day Eve, let's beware the easy temptation to criticize each other for our wasteful habits, and instead find a way to work together, productively, to solve this crisis, before there's not enough clean air left to grow and enjoy a lush, beautifully green front lawn.

Bud Buck

Apparently Bud's quest to gain firebreathing commentator status is a work-in-progress. Take him to task or try to top him ... every response gets him closer to his Pulitzer Prize!

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Welcome to the Living Green Expo

Posted at 9:00 AM on April 21, 2009 by Dale Connelly (8 Comments)

Radio Heartland has a new underwriter. Thanks to the Living Green Expo for supporting us! The Living Green Expo is an annual event that is educational, inspirational and FREE.

Added benfit - It gives you the chance to visit the State Fairgrounds early in the warm weather months to whet your appetite for the days of late August.
And one fun game to play as you walk around the fairgrounds during the Living Green Expo - count the Priuses!

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