06 July 2008

vast expanses of america

Nothing but peaks and valleys, green fields, vast plains for as far as the eye could see. Nothing but cows and their calves, destined for a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation). Nothing but horses and ranches, for hundreds of miles -- from park to park, nation to nation.

On the US side, little in the way of renewable energy resources. With the abundance of land and sunshine, I expected to see solar panels gracing the pastures. None that I could see. On the Canadian side, adjacent the cattle were wind farms.

On both sides of the border, much talk about the consequences of receding glaciers. Drought. Fires. The lengthening summers and conversely shortening winters. The related changes in animal behavior.

Passing Butte, MT, my jaw dropped. As if someone had a giant chisel, the entire landscape was sliced out.

This is the America I experienced on my recent trip out West. Both amazing and alarming, at least from a passerby's perspective. It was beautiful, but I can't help but eco-scan everything I see.

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