He had a dream
I had a dream about President Obama last night. I saw him standing on a stage and his soul was shining.
He had just concluded a week-long conference on climate change at the White House. To his left and right were people from all over the planet. One by one, they each stepped forward. A spokeswoman from the oil industry announced that they were cutting back on oil drilling and would now be putting their billions toward solar, wind and wave energy.
Sweet Pope Francis stood up in his pauper’s clothes saying that he would start encouraging everyone to have one child — or none at all. A man in a blue suit representing the auto industry announced that all the car makers in the world would be moving toward electric vehicles.
A fracking industry spokeswoman stepped forward to announce an end to fracking. Her 8-year-old daughter had told her that pumping chemical poisons into the ground was not a smart idea. A man from China said that they would be shutting down their coal fired power plants and would be slowing their growth. And on and on it went. Everyone was smiling and shaking hands.
They had all looked deeply into their souls and done the right thing.
Mr. President, we need a whole new way of thinking and a whole new way of being. We need to move away from expansion and toward sustainability. We must come to believe that more is not better and that small is better than big. The earth will not sustain us much longer at our current rate of consumption. The elephants, monarch butterflies, polar bears, bees, frogs, forests and coral reefs won’t be around much longer. And we humans will not be far behind.
Some of us are going through the worst drought in history. And some of us have gone through the worst floods, the most powerful hurricanes, the strongest tornados, the biggest forest fires, the coldest winters and the hottest summers. All of this after just one degree of temperature rise. Scientists are predicting many more if we don’t heed the warnings of Mother Earth.
I remain an optimist but, I must confess, some days it is hard to get out of bed. What’s the use? With no action on our part we are probably all doomed. The predictions of the world’s scientists are upon us.
This was my dream, Mr. President. Will you help make it come true? Mother Earth is waiting to hear from you. I will be by your side.
Now that’s service
We would like to take this opportunity to let the people of this area know what Livingston State Bank has recently done for our eighth-grade Outdoor Education program.
Like many area schools, the Iowa–Grant School District takes its eighth-grade class to Wyalusing State Park for a three-day two-night trip where we study animal life, plant identification, history of the area, and so on. Our trip was in late April.
On the first day of our trip, it was discovered that the well was not in working order and we didn’t have running water at our camp site. This meant bringing our students back and rescheduling the trip.
With tight school budgets, Livingston State Bank heard about our dilemma and graciously made a donation for us to return to Wyalusing State Park so our students would not miss out on this wonderful educational opportunity.
Scenarios like this make us proud to live in a small rural area where you can count on people to step up and help out their community when a need arises. Livingston State Bank was our good neighbor.
Eighth-grade teachers, Iowa–Grant Elementary/Middle School
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