This morning I was listening to the radio. I heard a story on Charlie Syke’s radio broadcast about studies which have been conducted showing the harmful effects of street salt to our local waters. Apparently, because of such daunting wintry weather this season and the tons of salt which has been needed for our road safety – there is more salty run off into our rivers and streams. This has made some of the waters virtually salt water and toxic to some of the creatures living in those habitats. Studies have also shown that Madison used half of the salt that Milwaukee used this winter because of this danger to nature. I have to wonder how the road safety has compared in both cities. Were there more accidents in Madison this winter due to their ice covered streets?
I can say that I already hate driving in this weather. If I could, I would never leave my home from December to March. When I am driving I certainly appreciate a clean and clear road. It makes me feel much safer and therefore, I am a more relaxed driver.
For the organizations which are protesting the use of salt on our roadways, I have to ask…isn’t most of what we do harmful for some kind of living being in the environment? Look at all the new construction. Subdivisions erect around these parts as fast as their well watered sod. New stores and mini malls are built while empty buildings sleep in the dark for years and years. The land we gobble up is most definitely affecting our animals and their habitats. As a remedy, we simply allow for the hunting of certain species because these animals are “invading” our territories. We see many more dead animals on the highways because they are forced into our environments.
I do think it is sad and extremely unfortunate. But we have to face it…the way we live is going to impact nature. Are we willing to do without? Are we willing to have slippery roads and older buildings? Are we willing to instill laws which limit the permits for new construction while perfectly usable buildings sit empty and unused? Are we willing a more nature friendly life? And will people ever put the lives of other living things on the same level of importance as themselves? Hmmm….I doubt it. What do you think?