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February 10, 2016: More Money for Horseshows

It’s a blustery and increasingly colder day here. Pete’s in Juneau, doing important hob knobbing. He’s attending AFL-CIO meetings and meeting with state legislators. The central concern is the lack of revenue in the state budget. Declining oil prices may take their toll here in Alaska, a state in which the budget is oil revenue dependent.

Confucius once said something about being cursed to be living in interesting times. I don’t know about the cursed part. These are interesting times, and I don’t feel cursed. Then again, I am beginning to feel some angst about the above-mentioned situation.

The state we live in is now on the verge of economic collapse. Take away

the oil revenue, and we’ll all feel the effects. This is going to include those in other states in part because an outflow of workers here is going to mean an influx of workers elsewhere.

What bothers me is that the further away people are from a given situation (in this case a drop in oil prices), the less inclined that are to see this or anything else as problematic. They aren’t keeping up with information about global affairs, nor are they considering the consequences of their actions, which in this case relate to over consumption of what in time will be limited resources. A case in point – our former veterinarian, Dr. Sandi Farris, recently said in a Facebook post “declining gas prices means that there will be more gas money for horse shows.”

I was appalled by this comment. It was right up there with a sun bather’s remark about climate change, which was “bring it on!” I was appalled because this sort of remark is self-serving. (No gas pun intended). Dr. Farris lived here – her husband worked on the slope. She’s a reasonably intelligent woman. So if she, who has some inking about what’s going on is clueless, what about other, who have less of an inkling? Hmm. Maybe we are cursed to live in interesting times.

I would like to think that the way Pete and I live, which is off the grid, might serve as an example to others of how things can and ought to be done. Heck, we hand water our horses. We have mesh wire fencing instead of electric fencing. And we use headlights instead of yard lights when cleaning up poop. Thus, we use less electricity than most.

As for gas costs -- we car pool whenever possible and are very frugal when it comes to trailer use. We only use it in the summer months, and most of the time we ride locally. Yes, we are heading down south to pick up a horse this spring. However, rather than haul our trailer down, we’ll haul another one back up with us. I seriously doubt that we’ll be doing much trailering when we get back.

My examples are a mere drop in the bucket. But the mere drops in the buckets add up. We all should be doing our part and focusing on conserving resources, no matter what the prices are.

I’m not at all a pro oil worker person; in fact, I look askance at those who work in this industry. My thinking has, and remains that we need to come up with alternative forms of work, that is jobs that are less harmful to the environment and don’t deplete resources. Do others think similarly? Some do, but the majority do not. The deal is that those who don’t think similarly, along with those who do, are going to suffer the consequences, which is life’s greatest unfairness.

The big picture – and this thought that I have is really unpopular. The problem is that having children seems to be a biological imperative. In Alaska, each October, oil revenue checks are issued to every man, woman, and child. Some would say that because the amount is so low that this is inconsequential. Think again. A family consists of 10 children and two parents. That’s 12 individuals, who if the checks are each for $1,000 equals $12,000.00. That’s nuts.

I have not been very optimistic about the future of this planet for some time. Dr. Farris’s remark made me feel even less so. As I am now thinking, we are all going down the tubes fast. Sad to say, those frequenting the horse show circuit won’t be inclined to do anything about this.

Next: 41. 2/11/16: Willy Nilly

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