In last month’s edition, I wrote in this space about the Moonshine Ink crew having to cut almost five pages of editorial due to a slow winter. It was a tough exercise.

Then, along comes some snow and boy, a solid storm puts everyone in a good mood. The four pages of editorial are back already! We also sold out print advertising space, and only have two slots left online. A subscriber sent in a check for seven times the price of a subscription, enclosing a note that said, “We need you.”

Well, we need you guys, too. Thank you for your support and encouragement for quality journalism in our community. Every word and dollar has an exponential impact that inspires the team to keep going. Keep it coming and we’ll keep on working.

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This edition ended up with a focus that could be branded as environmentalism, a fitting coincidence in light of Earth Day on April 22. We look at the implications of Truckee’s new plastic bag ban, examine past Tahoe droughts in the face of an extremely dry summer, and delve into the local rise of solar energy due to lucrative rebates.

Fear not, ye who don’t dare call yourself an environmentalist. This isn’t last generation’s credo. Environmentalism has changed.

A long-term Gallup Poll trend shows that fewer Americans now than in the past say “the government is doing too little to protect the environment” (47 percent as of January 2014). Yet, a 2013 Gallup poll found that by a two-to-one ratio, we want our country to emphasize production of alternative energy such as wind or solar over traditional supplies such as oil, coal, and gas.

When an environmental solution like alternative energy aligns with an economic choice that saves you money in the end, people support it. Local Tahoe pundits are always looking for a new economy to lighten the load on the tourism industry. Solar, in a region that is bathed in light and treasures its surroundings, is an industry to be fostered.

Last generation’s environmentalism focused on preserving pristine swaths of land in the hopes there’d be some places left that our grandchildren could point to as “natural” and wild. Yet, with 7 billion people on the planet who need food and shelter, there are few places we haven’t altered. Heading into the woods to get away from it all has become mission impossible. According to Backpacker Magazine correspondent Mark Jenkins, “East of the Mississippi, the nation is so heavily highwayed that remoteness hardly exists; it is not possible to be more than 10 miles from a road.”

Our planet is struggling under human population growth, loss of biodiversity, climate change, and pollution. As many as half the world’s species may face extinction by 2100 if we continue at the same rate, says renowned scientist and prolific writer Edward O. Wilson.

Humans are animals and we prioritize our own survival. But without a place to live, we will be S.O.L. I propose that in this next iteration of environmentalism, we replace the word environment with “home” and add in a healthy dash of economics. See whether that changes the tone.

~ What’s the future look like? Let us know below.

Author

  • Mayumi Peacock

    Hailing from a U.S. military family and a graduate of the University of Florida, Mayumi Peacock has lived in several corners of the country and globe, yet Tahoe/Truckee has been her home since 1999. She is founder and publisher of Moonshine Ink, the region’s award-winning independent newspaper, which continues to be created by, for, and of the community. Other passions include family, animals, books, healthy living, and humane food.

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