Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Pure Of Heart

They’re superior to you and me in every way. They’re smarter, more tolerant, and they care more than we do about everything. Luckily, they’re also patient with us. They’re thoroughly nice. They ride bikes while you and I pollute the atmosphere with our vehicles. They want to bring us around to their way of thinking and feeling gradually and they want to spend our money to fix everything for everybody. They know many of us will object because we’re stubborn, but they won’t give up easily and they will prevail.

People at National Public Radio (NPR) also know how to pronounce things better than you and I do and it shows how smart they are. They’ve gotten together with the National Geographic Society and published a map of the earth to show us how we’re ruining the whole earth by driving our cars, our trucks and by mowing our lawns. We’re loading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and killing polar bears, but they’re not mad at us because they know we just don’t know any better. So they’re trying to educate us, bring us along. Only after they’ve convinced us about the wisdom of their world view will they restrict usage of our lawn mowers and snow machines.

They care a whole lot more about frogs than you or I do too. If you hear the peepers soon where you live, then you can rest assured that the Green/Caring/Audubon/NPR people will do everything they can to preserve every last one of those frogs and the mud puddles they swim in. They know greedy landowners don’t care a whit about toads and salamanders and only care about exercising their property rights regardless of how many worms or beetle larvae may be dismembered as they scar Mother Earth with their development projects. These are the kind of people who make Gaia cry. People who care, however, been patrolling the woods looking for vernal pools to map out and preserve. They’re passing ordinances in towns all over New England to prevent landowners from building anything within hundreds of feet of precious vernal pools.

The state of Maine has also passed legislation to prevent development near any vernal pools. Greedy property owners who thought they had a few building lots on the land they inherited or invested in for retirement will find out that they may not become developers at all. When they go to apply for a permit, they will instead be informed that they have become stewards of frog and salamander habitat and it’s their responsibility to make sure nothing ever happens to those precious amphibian eggs they inherited along with the land.

Of course it’s hard to go into the woods during spring anywhere in the state of Maine without having to walk around or hop over a vernal pool. Most disappear in summer and fall, but if they’ve been documented by some of the caring people who have been trying for years to inventory them, their very existence will keep Maine from being changed. We may be one of the poorest and highest-taxed states in the country, and we may have had an stagnant economy for the past several years while other states have been growing significantly, but we can be proud of the fact that frogs and salamanders are safer here than nearly everywhere else. Taxpaying humans may be disappearing in Maine, but amphibians will be just fine.

Some of those greedy landowners are not proud to be stewards of amphibians. They’re angry that caring people have passed this vernal pool legislation while they weren’t paying attention. They think their Fifth Amendment rights have been violated where it says: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” and they’re talking about filing law suits.

Hopefully, the Green/Caring/Audubon/NPR people will convince the courts that amphibians are much more important than taxpaying citizens and the peepers will be saved, but we’ll just have to how this plays out. President Bush has appointed many judges who only see what’s written in the Constitution and don’t want to help. There may still be enough judges on the courts appointed by the previous administration, however, who understand that our founding fathers weren’t as smart as they are. These judges are Green/Caring/Audubon/NPR people too and they see our Constitution as a living document that can be added to if necessary for very important reasons like saving frogs. They won’t be swayed by the arguments of greedy, uncaring landowners with their out-date ideas about property rights. They’ll listen to other Green/Caring/Audubon/NPR people who care way more than greedy property owners because their hearts are pure.


Anonymous said...

I Love it, and agree whole heatedly with you on this subject. One small observation.
According to DEP (Maine Department of Environmental Protection the Vernal Pool must be "Significant" It must contain three different specific species of marine life in certain numbers to be classified a Vernal Pool. A DEP Representative must make that determination. With that in mind, Mainers would do well to develop an appetite for frogs legs!

Bob Sharkey

Anonymous said...

There is a price for civilization. Breast cancer is a price. Prostate cancer is a price. Protecting the envorinment is a price. What makes you so special you impure at heart asshole, as to be excempt? Like others have said, I'm anonymous because I don't trust you. You will never be an owner of one of the camps you take care of.

Anonymous said...

Only a coward would leave a comment like ananymous of 4-10-08 did.
Han not the guts to face criticism and uneducated to the point that he or she must use foul language.
Tom, you should monitor before allowing trash like this on your website.

Bob Sharkey, Lamoine

Tom McLaughlin said...

I like to leave that stuff up Bob. It's more evidence of what we have to deal with from the other side. He can delete it if he wants to, but I won't. Obviously the column got to him and that's what it was meant to do.

peterh said...

It's the publicly stated position of NRCM that "compensation is not warranted."

P. Hilton

Tom McLaughlin said...

Who or what is the NRCM? I'm on acronym overload.