1/27/16

Selfish . . .

So there was a piece on yesterday's "Morning Edition" that is still stuck in my brain. Or maybe my brain is stuck in/on it. It will take you about 4:00 to listen to it but here is the gist:

There is a TON of wind in Western Kansas and there is (largely) wide-open spaces between there and everywhere else and there are very few people (relatively) between "here" and "there" so there are innovators trying to capture the wind there and pass it through wires to 1.5MM homes back east but, well, people.

So there is a farmer on 500 acres on Northwest Missouri who loves the earth too much to let the wires that might carry said power run through her land that would power millions of homes and, well, preserve the world and its beauty (or help slow the destruction of) except, well, eminent domain flaws (protections?) and people.

So this got me thinking . . . how do we really define "selfish" in the year 2016? Can I be annoyed or angry with this woman (and others standing in the way of what seems totally logical)? At first blush . . . yeah. There is no reason to say your 500 acres is worth more than the millions of other acres that might, in time, be turned up (for what?) for power. There is no reason your love of your little sliver of the earth is worth more than the other love for the earth. There is no reason to believe you should be able to stand in the way of this sort of progress or development. No way. Except, well, ways.

Because she and her family have honored their 500 acres. They love it there. They are at home and at peace. They didn't ask to be in the path between rural and urban. They didn't force everyone that lives in those big cities "back" East to live there. They are not the reason we have an energy crisis in this country. They are not the reason for the spiraling costs and so on. They are not any less important than the wants and needs of others.

Then I really stared thinking . . . who else is being selfish here? The companies that benefit to profit (in time - it will be a while before wind gets fully "in the black") who are going to make money long after this woman's piece of earth/peace of mind has been violated and long after those 1.5MM households get lazy about their new, cheaper energy and just use more and more (selfishly) to up the problem more, etc. are just as selfish.

So here's what I'm suggesting - love the earth, turn off a light every now and again and try to think about your own wants and needs in the context of others in both the short AND long term and, if the pros outweigh the cons . . . maybe be selfish.