Fudd | PostIndependent.com


Common sense, common sense,

Without much hope of recompense.

Common sense can be nonsense

For which there is much evidence.

But in defense of common sense,

The sense derived from consequence,

There’s evidence of providence whence

Sense is no coincidence.

Hence the dense in residence

Sequence sense with confidence

and thence dispense the sense like pence

on pretense of benevolence.

Common sense, common sense,

Teeters on a tippy fence

When fables formed at our expense

Are built on lies and false pretense.

Common sense hangs in suspense

‘Til truth reveals its lack of sense,

So subsequence to the evidence,

Your best defense is uncommon sense.

We can rationalize anything by using common sense. I don’t care if you’re a Republican, a Democrat or a weasel-sucking parasitic organism, common sense will tell you that your actions are justified.

President Bush was caught in the act of using common sense this past week. He said, “We need to make our forests healthy by using some common sense. We need to understand you let kindling build up and there’s a lightning strike, you’re going to get yourself a big fire.” He then announced a plan to make it easier for timber companies to take wood from our national forests.

Fortunately for President Bush and his fellow Republicans, the timber industry was very pleased with this common sense approach. Common sense compelled them to send money to the Republican party because common sense told them that slashing the environmental safeguards that protect old-growth forests would eventually make them stinking rich.

Common sense tells us that clear-cutting sections of forest in a drought-stricken year will help prevent catastrophic fires, and, it be good for the economy. A thriving timber industry will reduce housing costs. Reduced housing costs will kick start the economy and reinspire overconsumption. It’s only common sense.

On the other hand, the plague of environmental degradation accelerates when you start tearing out huge swaths of our ecosystem. Biologists estimate that 36 million acres of forestland are being razed on an annual basis. They say that each year we consume 20 percent more resources than the earth can replace. That means it takes 14.4 months to replace the resources we use in 12. That, in addition to overconsumption of fossil fuels, promotes global warming which is probably the cause of the drought in the first place.

This point of view is considered to be common sense in many circles and it seems to be diametrically opposed to the Bush plan. Common sense tells us that we should be reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but we don’t do it.

Common sense tells us that the destruction of forests has threatened over 11,000 plant and animal species with extinction, and yet we keep harvesting more and more trees under the guise of common sense.

There are 6.1 billion people living on our planet today. Over 2 billion people lack reliable access to good food and water. World population is expected to increase to 9.3 billion by 2050. What does common sense tell you? Did you say growth is good for the economy?

Are we just stupid, or is common sense just spelled wrong? Our values seem to be measured in cents, not sense. Common cents must have replaced common sense while we weren’t looking.

The planet needs its money more than it needs its environmentalists, it seems. The business of environmentalism is stronger and wealthier than ever and yet our ecological problems appear to be getting worse. We’re making more money and less sense. It doesn’t make sense.

Kofi Annan said, “Prosperity built on the despoilation of the natural environment is no prosperity at all, only a temporary reprieve from future disaster.”

In a hundred years from now, weasel-sucking parasitic organisms may have become extinct. By that time the human population is expected to reach 11 billion people and there may not be much room for weasels or their associated organisms. Unfortunately, common sense tells me that money and politicians will survive.



“Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Silt resident Bernie Boettcher’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent.

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