Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Environmental Impact

Recently the television news has been all a-flurry over snowstorms in our region, and how various municipalities have prepared.  Last night the mayor of a city effected by the impending storm showed us how prepared he was by enumerating all the trucks ready to go, all the salt ready to spread.  I'm sure most folks felt better after the report.  I, being the eco-geek that I am, was thinking about the salt.  I mean, in the bible when you want to destroy a people utterly you burn their buildings and salt their fields.  Let's take Judges 9:45 for example "And Abimelech fought against the city all that day. He captured the city and killed the people who were in it, and he razed the city and sowed it with salt."

It makes me wonder- have we really thought about the effects of salt on our cities and fields?  It seems to me like the attitude "if some salt is safe, more salt is safer" has become quite prevalent. But can we really use salt on our streets year after year with impunity?  And why is nobody talking about this on the news- couldn't we use a lively debate on the topic? What would happen if we asked our reporters to include an environmental impact statement in each news story: "Use of salt on roadways tends to increase salt in local drinking wells and has an often deleterious impact on roadside plants.  The carbon footprint of the snow plows will be roughly..."  I know, I know - it will never happen.  A girl can dream though.

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