As Governor David Paterson continues to gut New York State environmental funding, the official state animals have handed in letters of resignation in protest to the reduction of the states environmental protection fund (EPF).
This is a move of obvious futility as these animals were out of jobs, homes, and food sources regardless, but the symbolism of the move should not be taken lightly.
The following are some Tweets from our faithful state fauna:
On a more serious note, why should you care if the EPF is slashed to horrendously low levels on top of the DEC cuts? Like the DEC the EPF isn't just about wild lands, and just like my previous post about the DEC and it's role, the EPF winds up benefiting every family in New York whether they care or not. Some things are kinda like the light switch, you don't really care how it works or why it works, and you take for granted it does work right up till it doesn't work. That is the EPF!
The EPF is designed to protect wild land by buying it before it's developed. It also protects farmland and cleans up waste sites. You know that battery factory in your town that is seeping waste into your water supply? The EPF takes care of that problem so your children are born with somewhere around 10 fingers and 10 toes.
Now as far as farmland, I realize most urban New Yorker's really never thought about where their food comes from unless they are label readers, but most of your food actually comes from the state you live in. New York is a top 10 agricultural state in many areas, and in quite a few it's a top 5.
Imagine if all your food was trucked in from California or Florida how much it would cost? Luckily it doesn't have to be because you live in a state with fertile farmland. Even your "local" Walmart started to realize it could save more money buying local than it could buying solely in bulk when gas prices hit $4-5 a gallon. There is no guarantee that gas won't again hit that, and remember how much your food went up over that stretch!
So part of the EPF is protecting your food sources and cost, I bet you didn't realize that.
Interestingly, if the EPF suffers long term cuts it is speculated that this could put New York's not so long term ability to be an agricultural leader in jeopardy. So what you might ask? Well, I did note that New York was a top 10 agri state in almost every area of food production, imagine we knock our food production down across the board not only in New York but in all states, and allow our farmland to be turned into malls, housing developments, car dealerships, more unfilled retail space, etc. That all sounds good, but where do you think our food will come from?
Putting it another way, what is the United States biggest asset? Our ability to not only feed ourselves, but at times other parts of the world with excess for capacity. What would happen if the United States was no longer the most powerful agricultural nation in the world? What would happen if we could no longer feed our own nation?
Let me analogize this, one day, within 20 years in fact, it might be possible that we are as enslaved for our food as we are for our oil based energy grid and transportation systems. How do you feel about that?
Chenango County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board Chairman Don Franklin said if things don’t improve for the ag industry soon, the entire country could lack enough food in about 20 years.
“If we don’t keep ag viable ... if we don’t, I’m afraid to say that in 20 years down the road we are going to be facing a problem that we’ve never faced before. It’s going to be hunger,” he said.
Franklin is a former farmer and once served as a county supervisor. He was on hand at a meeting of the Agriculture, Buildings and Grounds Committee on Monday to ramp up support for two resolutions that would urge state lawmakers to support New York’s dairy farmers.
The EPF faces a $69 million cut under Gov. David A. Paterson's 2010-2011 Executive Budget. A “No Farms No Food” rally was held on Wednesday in the state’s capitol to convince the Legislature to restore funding to previous levels.
Melissa deCordova, The Evening Sun (Chenango County)
In the age of consumerism people might have lost sight of the fact that water and food are still important things. The EPF assures that you have clean water and abundant food, which are still essential for human life and prosperity.
Once again, we need to contact people that count on our votes to do the right thing. Our farmland is a non renewable natural resource, once we use it up it is gone. New York is blessed to be not only a financial and cultural leader of the world, we are also an environmental and agricultural leader as well. So let your representatives know that we aren't going to stand for reductions in the long term safety and security of our state.
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