Environmentalists, Left, Right and Center. Not Just Left.

I enjoy nature. My family gardens, we hike, eat organic as much as we can, we compost and we even have rain barrels. For some reason though, if you are labeled a fiscal conservative, as I often am, some folks like to brand you as someone who likes dirty air, polluted water, unsafe food, dumping toxic waste wherever we please and as someone that wants to pollute the earth and cut down every tree. This is far from the truth.

So it was no surprise to me when my blog was mentioned in an article from a publication out of Seattle called Grist, who touts they are “making lemonade out of looming climate apocalypse”, whatever that means. Featured in the article was Nicole Woodman, the City of Flagstaff’s Sustainability Director. I encourage you to read the article. I found the statements by both the writer and the City’s Sustainability Director very interesting.

They discussed our water supply and much more, stating Flagstaff is “facing water shortages so severe officials are thinking of hauling water 40 miles uphill to supply the city during the dry season”. This is true in part but not because we currently face water shortages so severe but as part of our long term water planning. I hear of Flagstaff’s looming water apocalypse often. The fact is though that right now, on average we pump about 8 million gallons per day out of our 16 million gallon capacity. Our purchase of Red Gap, about 40 miles east of Flagstaff is for Flagstaff’s future growth. We don’t need that water right now but we most likely will in the next 20 to 30 years as our population grows. This isn’t, as the article put it, because Flagstaff is “facing water shortages so severe”, it is smart planning for future growth and without this planning we would face water shortages, because of increased population. We’re not the only City that imports water. New York City’s water comes from as far as 125 miles. San Francisco imports 65% of their water from as far away as Yosemite National Park. Is Flagstaff so different? Even Seattle, Grist’s hometown, gets its water from multiple water sheds outside the City including the Tolt River Watershed and the Cedar River Watershed. But those are just silly facts.

The insinuation in the article that only “left-leaning locals happily compost” is very one sided. I’m not left leaning yet I compost. Surely I’m not the only one with my ideals who composts. On that note, I also buy as much organic and locally owned products as possible. I collect rainwater to use on my plants, I installed a grey water system and my family has chickens that produce free range eggs. I also have a garden that gets larger every year and hydroponics that grow vegetables inside in the winter and I have concerns over our food supply and GMO’s. I’m not the only one either, I have plenty of conservative, libertarian and yes, liberal friends that do the same. I even know a person heavily involved in the Tea Party that has worked hard to preserve Picture Canyon. But why must some on the left paint those of us in such a sterotypical way? Isn’t their movement about inclusiveness and understanding?

The next time you read a one sided article that paints people with a different ideological view as Earth hating, pollution loving and plow everything down people, send me a message and let’s chat, and that includes you Grist. The truth is, we all have a lot more in common than some in the media would like to portray but that wouldn’t sell too many articles, would it?

Pictures Below:
Free Range Chicken
Rain Barrels
Plate of Eggs, Peppers and Onions, 100% Made In Flagstaff

Flagstaff sustainability chief Nicole Woodman keeps a cool head as temperatures rise




One thought on “Environmentalists, Left, Right and Center. Not Just Left.

  1. From the article, “Some people say Flagstaff is so liberal and green,” Woodman says. “It is still Arizona.” Do her and her ilk come here to help us or ridicule? We don’t need either.

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