Another Nice Mess

A frustrated Oliver Hardy often lamented to Stan Laurel, "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into."

As a result of a giant misstep by the EPA last week, contaminated water from an abandoned Colorado gold mine gushed into the Cement Creek, in Silverton, Colorado, feeding into the Animas River, and then flowing into tributaries in multiple states. The rivers have turned to a rusty orange color from the arsenic, lead, and other toxins. It is an environmental nightmare to all living things. Those who originally created the conditions requiring the cleanup are biologically indifferent-- they are long gone. It is futile to admonish the dead.

In fact, it is sometimes futile to admonish the living. "They would not listen, they're not listening still. Perhaps they never will..."

Man-made global warming is a scientific fact to everyone except to those who have an economic stake in its denial. The risks to life on this planet are as frightening as any doomsday scenario, both as a global environmental and as a security issue.

Bees are disappearing from earth in record numbers due to pesticides known as neonicotinoids, that attack the central nervous system of insects resulting in paralysis and death. Bees are necessary to pollinate an estimated one-third of our crops, and their colonies are collapsing in alarming numbers -- going, going, bee gone.

Every day there is another story about a serial animal killer happily posing next to dead elephants, lions, rhinos, and the ever-vicious vegetarian giraffes. And they don't say they kill animals; they say they "take" them. In fact, they take and take until there is nothing left to take. Click HERE to read about some of the animals that have disappeared over the past 100 years, many hunted to extinction.

My friend, the late Whit Bissell, a well-known character actor, once told me that he believed it was our responsibility to leave the world a better place because we passed through-- to move the gauge a bit, no matter how small the contribution. He did in the terms of his body of work as an actor.

I wonder what our legacy will be. What will we leave for future generations --"another nice mess?" Will the last one out please turn off the lights?