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October 11, 2013


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Dan's Writings ›  



Basing Decisions On The Unknown

I am imagining a call to the United States Park Service where the phone simply rings and rings: nobody home at one of our countries premier land-managing agencies! How can this be? What could bring us to such a state of affairs?

Some of our Congress would have us believe that, with great foresight, our legislature is headed into a dangerous crisis, that they saw a painful reality ahead of this nation and dug in their heels. They made an unpopular decision for the betterment of the country and the world. It was worth shutting down the National Parks. Never mind that the US Park Service is charged with watching over our wild environment. Never mind that they “preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations”. It might appear that our Congress looked into the future and saw such a devastating disaster looming that they had to act decisively. It is amazing that Congress was able to make such a courageous decision on what they thought might happen. But I’m not thinking about the government shutdown over Obama Care. That is not the telephone call that I am imagining.

Our buffalo ranches boarder the Badlands National Park for many miles. Our buffalo roam along the fences that divide your public land from our private land. I have business with the Park Service and I am imagining the call that I may try to make someday after Congress has missed their chance to do something truly important and courageous. I’m thinking about a call to the Park headquarters if congress continues to insist that there is no “proof” that climate change is real. There is no “proof” that Obama Care won’t work either. It seems that the same members that are sure they know the devastating effects of Obama Care, and who are willing to sacrifice a great deal to stop it, see no apocalypse with regard to climate change.

“’Experts’ can be found to say anything,” they say. “Nobody knows what will happen.”

Yet a few congressmen believe they know what will happen if more people get health care. They believe that such a goal is not worth the great risks. It is hard to imagine how they figure the risk/benefit analysis of Obama Care versus climate change, but I think it has a lot more to do with politics and campaign contributions than real courage and leadership.

I don’t need to get in touch with the Park service this week so the fact that there is nobody there to answer my call is not important. But, I think I’ll just call and listen to it ring. That’s what it will sound like if the selective clairvoyants in Congress continue their gutless little games and we finally end up with no environment to protect.

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