Restore nature to help pollinators do their job
Why do we mow unoccupied property when it is covered with wildflowers? I live in a duplex community that bears the term meadow in its name. The meadow is unoccupied and unused by the tenants. Before the mowers came, it was a beautiful demonstration of spring in Texas, covered with black-eyed Susans, meadow pinks and other wildflowers that serve the pollinators that provide us humans with one third of the food we eat.
It is no wonder that pollinator numbers are declining. We destroy their habitat at every turn of development and make no effort to replenish their food supplies that we remove. It is Creation that sustains us, not the manipulation of it by humans who think they know better how it should be. Sandra Hall, environmental editor of The Lone Star Gardener, said in the Spring 2019 edition: "We must become ever mindful of nature…In the end, conquering nature is an illusion. The consequences are not what we thought they would be."
There is still time to restore the healthy pollinator populations that make almonds, strawberries, peaches, apples, watermelons, grapes, plums, lemons, limes, apricots, blackberries, squash, coffee, cucumbers, tomatoes -- and more -- possible. The Pollinator Partnership states that "If everyone -- home owners, local governments, national governments and private industry -- made the effort we could change the future for pollinators and secure our own."
Put native plants in your landscapes, and let those beautiful flowers fulfill their mission of making seeds before you cut them down. Learn more from The Pollinator Partnership at pollinator.org.
As Hall said, "Work with nature, and it will reward you."
Flores can help the market find its way on clean energy
Misinformation campaigns from corporations and others intent on creating doubt around scientific evidence that runs counter to their business and personal interests have been stock in trade for many decades. False constructs are poor investments over the long term, however, and we can thank Rep. Bill Flores for standing with science by recognizing the reality of climate change and its human contributions through fossil fuel emissions.
His position has the backing of 97% of practicing climate scientists worldwide and 100% of atmospheric scientists at Texas A&M. Further, Rep. Flores plainly has voiced the need to act against the rising costs in property and lives that are underway as severe weather events accelerate, taking the form of record-breaking floods, droughts, storms and wildfires.
Paying for all this is no longer thought sustainable, whether by insurance companies, the taxpayer or from private pockets. Increasing numbers of veteran lawmakers and economists, following traditional conservative principles, are advocating that the power of the market be called upon to move us incrementally from fossil fuel dependency by accurately pricing carbon at the point of extraction and returning fees collected as quarterly dividend checks to all U.S. citizens to offset any rise in fuel costs.
A bill now before the House of Representatives (H.R. 763) articulates such a plan. Conservative calculations have shown that the average citizen will realize a net gain from this proposal, with a mechanism for distributing the dividend check that is no more complex than is carried out daily by public and private agencies throughout the U.S.
Rep. Flores, as the only Texas representative on the climate subcommittee in the House, is in the fortunate position to secure his legacy on this issue by releasing the market to find the best path forward to a clean energy economy.