Fireworks, Golf Courses, and Mass Extinction

by William Skink

Stage I fire restrictions will go into effect for Missoula County at 12:01am, July 3rd. That means no fireworks, on either public or private land. Here’s more info:

Stage 1 Restrictions extend the perpetual prohibition of fireworks from County parks, Forest Service and State lands to private lands within the county. No fireworks will be permitted on any land in Missoula County, public or private.

The city-county Office of Emergency Management’s Missoula 9-1-1 Center is staffing a fireworks report line. The public is encouraged to report the use of fireworks to 258-4850. Law enforcement will respond as resources allow. To report a fire call 911.

Stage 1 Restrictions prohibit all fireworks and create severe restrictions on campfires and smoking. Stage 1 Restrictions also mean that responding agencies can hold an individual that starts a fire as a result of fireworks financially liable for the costs of fighting the fire.

This move comes on the heels of the Missoula County Fire Protection Association’s determination that fire danger in Missoula County is Extreme.

Not being able to celebrate America’s b-day by blowing shit up will probably outrage plenty of Montanans. Will those Montanans connect being deprived of detonating explosives with climate change? Probably not, but they should.

In what I would call the most depressing news to come from those haughty “scientists” who keep raining on our capitalist parade, a new report claims Earth is entering its 6th extinction phase. If true, that really sucks. From the link:

The planet is entering a new period of extinction with top scientists warning that species all over the world are “essentially the walking dead” – including our own.

The report, authored by scientists at Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley universities, found that vertebrates were vanishing at a rate 114 times faster than normal.

In the damning report, published in the Science Advances journal, researchers note that the last similar event was 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs disappeared, most probably as a result of an asteroid.

On some level we know, collectively, that we can’t keep living the way we’ve been living. The “fictional” narratives we consume are increasingly dystopian. And yet, in the face of cataclysmic climate change, we have media sources like NPR running PR pieces about how a California golf course ethically keeps its greens green:

In drought-stricken California, golf is often seen as a bad guy — it can be hard to defend watering acres of grass for fun when residents are being ordered to cut their usage and farmers are draining their wells.

But golf is a $6 billion industry in the state and employs nearly 130,000 workers, according to the California Golf Course Owners Association. So while the greens are staying green, some golf courses are saving every drop of water they can.

A lot of golf courses use recycled or reclaimed water, but Friedlander says Pelican Hill is different.

“We’re here at the practice facility at Pelican Hill golf club. We’re looking at a large, 10 acres worth of land that’s mostly warm season Bermuda grass,” he says.

That grass was chosen because it needs less water and doesn’t grow as quickly. And in the non-playing areas, the course uses native bushes that use no water.

That said, the course is as swanky and fancy as it gets, and Friedlander says the players laying out more than $300 for a round shouldn’t notice any differences in the greens and the fairways. The key is the irrigation system. Course managers can monitor and control irrigation from their smartphones.

“You can water specific areas of the golf course without watering other specific areas,” Friedlander says. “We can isolate each head, so instead of turning on 50 heads, and overwatering an area that doesn’t need water, we can turn on one head and water one area that might need water.”

It was a fun run, fellow homo sapiens, but clearly we don’t have what it takes to adapt. Instead of taking more drastic measures to address what science is predicting we are facing with climate change, rich people would prefer to maintain their golf courses.

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About William Skink

I'm a poet and political cynic living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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One Response to Fireworks, Golf Courses, and Mass Extinction

  1. steve kelly says:

    And then there’s the issue of discharge into public rivers and streams. Herbicides, pesticides, and raw sewage right here in scenic, upscale Bozeman.

    In December (2012), a state inspector found that a sewage lagoon at Riverside Country Club – adjacent to the East Gallatin River – was leaking as much as 7 million gallons of essentially untreated wastewater into the groundwater and river each year. For years it had gone untetected. Not sure if the failing waste-treatment system has been fixed yet.

    Like

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