Thursday, December 08, 2005

Rainy Vacations and Other Minutiae

My wife and I were down at Hilton Head, SC, visiting with my wife's parents who were down from Wisconsin for a week's vacation. Unfortunately, since it is the wintertime even in sunny South Carolina, the rain was a more or less constant companion. We did have a nice time-share condo with a canal running behind it, and resident alligators. (There is a sign warning us neither to feed nor agitate these large lizards...)

We drove back into the north Georgia mountains yesterday - and it was SO nice to sleep in our own bed once more. Our dog Buddy was staying with my younger daughter, and had been pining/whining for us, so I have been led to believe, so it was good to relieve his canine anxiety as well.

I don't believe I have yet mentioned that I am the editor of an ezine, Crime and Suspense. The link will take you to the home page for the ezine, where you can sign up for the monthly issues that are sent out (FREE) via email. We have some great writers who contribute to the ezine, both new and established authors, experienced and green-as-grass. We also have reviews of published novels and anthologies, writers' helps and a lot of other cool stuff. The December issue has stories by yours truly, Diane Dahlstrom, Gay Kinman, Deanne Boast, Sunny Frazier and Rashid Raza. I'd love to have you come by and visit, and even subscribe. (As I said, it's free.)

I read today where they had arrested some ecoterrorists who had (among many other things)destroyed a plywood and veneer plant back in 2001. The story said there were about 1,200 ecoterror attacks attributed to these two groups: the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

OK, I have to admit it: I drive an SUV. But where and how I live, it's basically a necessity. Other than that, I like to think I am relatively eco-conscious. I recycle cans, bottle, paper and plastic. I limit my trips to town. I buy recycled where possible. So, I feel like a pretty good citizen of the Earth.

But eco-terrorism really gets my back up. As good as the intentions may be, terrorism is not the answer. Education, yes... public protests, yes... even annoying and bothersome things like dumping sludge onto a conference table can be of value. But burning down a plywood and veneer plant, or destroying a power transmission tower - come on, these are acts of TRUE terror, that could destroy lives, and accomplish little else except to mark as extremists all those who would work for peaceful resolution of these issues.

The hypocrisy of such people really gets to me. It's not like there is a large group of people in the United States, or even in the world, who live totally without leaving a footprint on the ecology. Whether you are a suburbanite who commutes to work, or an aborigine who hunts for food, you change the ecology around you. Here's a kicker, too: these two groups, the ELF and the ALF, have websites where they communicate about their causes. Well, gee, folks! The electricity for running all the various parts of the Internet comes from a variety of sources, many of them NON-eco-friendly. Many of the parts for computers are plastic - and NOT recycled plastic - made from petroleum products. And so on. Anyone who is using computers and the Internet to communicate is also having a negative impact on the environment. It's all a matter of degrees, and how much one is willing to compromise.

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