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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Prince George's County struggles with environmental stewardship

Prince George’s County Maryland is struggling with the concept of environmental stewardship. Some in the county think that other jurisdictions should pay for environmental costs incurred by the county’s flexible definition of open space and limited development - better know as the rural tier. Because open space is less costly than developed space the county deciders are seemingly bent upon reducing the amount of rural open space. The logic seems to be that while the rest of the world is concerned about climate change and water resources, Prince George’s County will continue along without concern for these matters until it has exhausted is precious supply of undeveloped open space. At that point in time, those who made a quick profit can let those who remain pay the price for mitigating the environmental damage.

Prince George’s County, Maryland will consider soon yet another strip mall of some 40 acres (perhaps up to 120 acres, but that will come small step for development at a time) in the rural tier. 40 acres of open space grabs 40 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air every year. [1] Assuming about 1 pound of carbon for every mile driven, the development of the Crain Corner project will remove 80,000 miles of carbon savings or sequestration from the atmosphere. And in addition to being on the wrong side of climate change the county gets the opportunity to impact negatively the quality of the near by Patuxent River through run-off and ecosystem damage as well as to destroy a potential historic district. This one two three punch will be called progress for there surely is a need for one more strip mall - even though there is land across the street already zoned commercial. But in which direction goeth our county? For as the world goes one way, Prince George’s is determined to go in the opposite direction; against the environment full speed ahead, warnings be damned.

[1] Pine plantations in the Southeast can accumulate almost 100 metric tons of carbon per acre after 90 years, or roughly one metric ton of carbon per acre per year (Birdsey 1996).

Statistical information for those who would not see:

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