THANK YOU … Town of Telluride for filling in the blanks in the macadam on the Spur in To-Hell-U-ride … I don’t mind bumping along to moundy slops of stop-gap Play-do repairs in commuting into paradise; it’s the ravenous Tyrannosaurus potholes swallowing my tires that gets under my skin.
THE SIDEWALK PHILOSOPHER … Oh, I got scolded the other sunny day, walking down Colorado Ave., for everything Obama and the invidiousness of politicians who promise change, like they have to do to get elected, and then get changed – usually by a lot more information and diverse opinion, although sometimes payola (our species is particularly adept at scamming a system) … The problem is, once elected, you have to govern, and governance means listening to everyone (public & staff) and finding the people’s balance in each contentious decision, regardless of one’s personal bias. Holding inflexibly to every promise is a terrible strategy for governance. One can hold inflexibly to values and goals, while compromising on particulars if one can’t get a majority of support or move one of the many complex power points in a democracy (tyrannies are much simpler)… I wish more people cared enough to scold me like that. Still, I wish we all had to scold each other a lot less.
PRICE-ANDERSON … That’s the secret back-end subsidy for nuclear power that began in the Atomic Fifties. It caps liability for private nuclear energy corporations at $12.2 billion in case of an unforeseen accident of some unexpected source. Any costs in excess of that amount are the responsibility of taxpayers … Sounds almost reasonable, eh? That’s a lot of cash … Guess again … Here’s Jeffrey St. Clair from Counterpunch last month about the costs of an American nuclear catastrophe: “An controlled pool fire and meltdown at Shearon Harris [nuclear reactor] would put more than two million residents of this rapidly growing section of North Carolina in extreme peril. A recent study by the Brookhaven Labs, not known to overstate nuclear risks, estimates that a pool fire could cause 140,000 cancers, contaminate thousands of square miles of land, and cause over $500 billion in off-site property damage.”
GREENWASH … It’s wonderful that Telluride has always been blessed by Socratic gadflies who won’t let us rest on our laurels. We’ve done a lot of things right (the Valley Floor) and a lot of things wrong (the airport) – although some would reverse those two – and maybe our much-vaunted carbon footprint reductions are mostly hot air and rhetoric; and maybe our building code is clumsily regulatory and costly and doesn’t really address the problem; and maybe paper bags are worse than plastic (what about putting a charge on bags like they do in DC, and forcing people to use their own bags?) … Still, I don’t think we have to beat ourselves over the heads because we aren’t pure green. I can’t think of any place that is. But we ought to constantly be improving the green we’re trying to become, and start taking my esteemed fellow citizen Harold Wondsel’s criticisms to heart.
THE TALKING GOURD Iraq War Demonstration
San Francisco, 2003
Carried by five blondes
the banner spans the street.
Across the top:
BLONDES FOR PEACE.
Marching the middle:
big, bright daisies.
The bottom line:
IT’S A NO BRAINER!
- Doc Dachter