I have presented the documentary Lake Ontario Quest For Hope several times in various lakeshore town and village settings ranging from college classrooms to a library basement over the last few months. Every time the video ends and discussion begins someone asks “What Can We DO!?”
We all want quick fixes and super heroes to enact them but there aren't any in this case. It's going to be a long tough grind and it seems overwhelming. Especially if we act alone like this writer in her garret generally does. Can we collaborate our way to sustainability and a cleaner healthier lake? I quote from the end of my book “Quest For Hope” .
The humming bird comes to mind. In a traditional African fable the animals watch the land burning up in a great fire and do nothing. But a tiny humming bird hurries back and forth between the fire and a water supply scooping up one drop at a time that he carries back to release on the fire. The watching animals tell him it's useless, and he snaps back, “Hey I'm doing the best I can!”
So here are a start on a few ideas for Great Lakes “humming birds” and some drops of collective policy change to release on The Fire. As a wise old friend of mine observed- we'll never get it if we don't ask for it.
Demand the Feds clean up the rest of their FUSRAP sites in the Great Lakes Watershed and also finish the job at West Valley -Digitup! FUSRAP stands for Formerly Used Sites Remedial Action Program and the clean ups of these areas use money appropriated by your and my Congressmen and Senators. So write em. Complain. We don't need radium 226 in our drinking water. Wikipedia lists at least a half dozen in the Niagara River area. If you feel so inclined e mail me a copy of your letter if you want to share it. Tell your Facebook 'friends' or otherwise pass the word on too. Like Joanne H says in the video DON'T FORGET WEST VALLEY. Sadly judging from the reactions of viewers of the video we already have! And it hasn't even been half a century.
Then if you're still in the mood for more cackling and squawking on behalf of the future, letters or phone calls to your reps urge support for Federal legislative action on a comprehensive energy policy act to promote efficiency through uniform building codes and other regulations as well as truly sustainable renewable energy technology. Efficiency is one of the quickest ways tor educe energy use. We also must begin to seriously transition away from fossil fuel usage in transport and energy sectors. While we're at it, many believe a carbon tax would be the simplest cleanest way to fight climate change.
Climate Change aggravates almost every other problem the Great Lakes are facing. Everything from increased erosion rates at the West Valley rad waste site to more pressure for potential water withdrawals from the lakes is related to the issue. We need to get 'grown ups' in Congress who understand that science is fact based. And boy, the latest set of graphs from NASA are damn scary.