Out of Step?
June 18 was my 76th birthday. I graduated from high school in 1953. I graduated from college in 1961. I have been married to the same woman (luckily) for 51 years. My physical age shows, more or less like everyone else my age. Mentally I function, but am I out of step?
I remember World War II and all the nastiness since then. My parents, for part of my early childhood, were card carrying members of the Communist Party, hippies before the ersatz hippies of the Vietnam era invented themselves. I stood in the rain and saw President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, just months before he died, I marched in John F. Kennedys inaugural parade.
I believe in capitalism and I believe that is the only economic system that fits the warped personality of mankind. If the charted information says so I believe in global warming as well as global cooling. I do not believe that mankind can consciously effect or alter either global warming or cooling by changing its behavior.
I do believe that man will survive for a very long time, barring a cataclysm, because of our unique brains. Over time we will figure things out, not without pain, but we will figure it out, but only by going forward. There is no future if we strive to go back to the good old days, which weren’t.
I believe that passionate and voluble environmentalists are neurotic as is most of society. We all need things to worry about. Older people, like me have both more and less to worry about. I do not worry about myself as it is a lost battle. No one will beat the battle of time so it is not a fight worth picking. I do worry about my grandchildren’s future, but I'm also convinced that hybrid autos and organic food will do nothing for them while natural gas from Marcellus shale beds and Alberta tar sands oil will.
Which brings me to Searsport and the fight for and against “the tank.”
Over my interesting life I have been many places and met many different peoples. Without going into details I have been a bit of a Forrest Gump, someone who ended up on scene during noted events without effecting the event. I have not trekked the Mongolian desert, dined in Katmandu or paddled the Amazon. But what I have seen, at least in the four continents and off shore islands that I have tread on is the commonality of need for food, shelter, air and energy. Further, in all the places I have been the general population well understood the need to breath, keep warm and eat.
They also understood that accommodations had to be made to allow for the production, transportation and distribution of all of the components of the non-negotiable requirements for sustaining life.
Waldo County, Maine, a place of harsher living conditions than say Dade County, Florida once had a population that well understood they had to hustle and accommodate to survive. But things do change. Where as Montville, Maine is credited with supplying spars and mainmast (297 feet tall) for the USS Constitution in the late 1700’s and for many of the sixty acres of trees that were needed for the whole vessel, think of such a cut being contemplated today!
Searsport, was a fine industrial seaport with natural deep water route to the sea, where beautiful and swift clipper ships, not to mention hoards of lesser craft, were built and provisioned with tar, turpentine and other flammable carcinogens, before being raced off to China and back, is in a quandary.
Now, as a lesser Maine humps along happy to prostitute itself for the tourism trade the organic food crew and their ilk are vehement that a good size propane tank would kill Searsports future, chase the tourists, clog our roads with trucks and eventually explode and poison all who had not died in the resulting fire. Even Iselboro, who has given seasonal shelter to John Travolta is afraid the tank will cause a Saturday Night Fever that will Grease its way to their shores.
So folks am I old and out of step? I don’t think so. I will agree that Maine is a very pretty place, but like anywhere we have to help in carrying the load, the load of civilization. We use lots of energy in Maine, even allowing for the global warming issue. In the incredibly beautiful harbor of Auckland, New Zealand, bridges, tanks and tall buildings tower over the thriving seaport as sailboats zip and dart around tankers and container ships. Compared to New Zealand, Maine can almost be considered barren but New Zealanders accommodate.
What some of our new locals and many tourists want is not a thriving community they want a Hollywood set, like Camden when they filmed Peyton Place.
Now that’s an idea!