I like to drink pure sparkling water. I like to breathe clear fresh air. I detest littering and love to recycle. I leave no trace when I hike. Guess you could call me an Environmentalist. Trouble is… my brain just doesn’t work like an environmentalist.
For example, if there’s a choice between a new road and a snail or turtle, I’ll choose the road. I’ve seen those fences that stretch for miles along both sides of the highways that keep turtles, or more accurately tortoises (tomato - tamato) from getting smooshed as they cross the desert sand. Okay, tortoises are people too—or not, but don’t they have a right to move safely to a better neighborhood? We human taxpayers have an obligation to subsidize that since very few of them can hold a job. I don’t have a problem with that, but here’s the thing. I have never seen a tortoise on either side of those long spans of
road and from what I’ve heard nobody else has either. That’s not to say they aren’t there somewhere, or maybe they’re smooshed already. But it gets my dander up that I have to pay for something that is so obviously out of balance. It’s way down the scale of my tax dollar priorities.
Once we went to California on a vacation to see a National Forrest. When we got there we couldn’t go in because snails were migrating and we couldn’t drive across the road or even park in the parking lot. I’m not making this up. I looked and looked because a life form that important was something I didn’t want to miss. Okay, maybe I’m lying about that part—I’m more likely than not to sprinkle salt on a snail when it crosses my path just to see it turn to green bubbles. But for the life of me I couldn’t spot a single snail and we had driven such a long way. So disappointing.
A few days ago a message on the lighted screen over the freeway read, “FIVE FATALITIES ON UTAH ROADS SO FAR IN 2016.” Gosh, that seems like a lot for just over a week into the New Year. Last year there were 274 lives lost on Utah roads. That’s a lot of car-nage (pun intended.) So my question is this: Why are cars still allowed to drive on the roads and highways? I don’t get it. Aren’t people as important as tortoises or snails?
And that’s why I can’t get into the Environmentalist Club. I put people and progress above creepies and crawlies.