Glance back over the past five years, and I think you’ll quickly be able to identify at least a dozen major instances in the news that demonstrated a very obvious absence of anything resembling a “sense of urgency.” It’s becoming commonplace in politics, sports, the economy, environment, business, healthcare, safety, entertainment, and the list goes on and on. This needs to change and change immediately.
What’s taking us so long to respond to Katrina? It’s been two full years, and certain areas of the Gulf Coast look as though the storm came through last night! We’re talking about the most powerful nation on the face of the earth! It seems as though the larger and more powerful we become, the longer it takes to respond to anything. Whatever happened to “take action,” “quick response,” “a stitch in time,” “pro-activity,” “close the knowing-doing gap,” and “listen to the whispers, and you’ll never hear the screams”?
I guess I mention this concern for a selfish reason. I live in Michigan. As you well know, we have major problems based on, in and around the Big Three Automakers. It’s impacting our state, our businesses, and our residents in too many ways to mention. In addition, our second strongest industry, tourism, has taken a major hit due to the rising expense of traveling to and through our state. Now, as if that weren’t enough, we may be in danger of losing one of our greatest assets.
The following news article is shocking for a couple of reasons. First, the Great Lakes are losing 2.5 BILLION gallons of water a day! Second, the government is looking into it! Now think about a “sense of urgency” and what comes to mind as you attempt to link that phrase to the previous two statements.
Great Lakes leaking from “drain hole”
There’s a “drain hole” in the Great Lakes basin that’s hemorrhaging almost 2.5 billion gallons of water a day and must be patched up by the Canadian and American governments, environmental groups said.
Navigation dredging, riverbed mining and shoreline alteration on the St. Clair River near Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario, have affected the flow of the Great Lakes and is draining water into the Atlantic Ocean at a rate that’s three times greater than original estimates, said Mary Muter of the Georgian Bay Association.
Muter said water levels in lakes Michigan and Huron and the Georgian Bay have fallen 23.6 inches since 1970.
The loss of water is senseless and will negatively affect water quality in the Great Lakes, as well as boating, fishing and commercial shipping, said John Jackson, program director for Great Lakes United.
“We think it’s really important that the governments do some serious study to figure out the cause and to figure out what we can do,” Jackson said.
The International Joint Commission is preparing a major study of Great Lakes issues, including the drain hole in the St. Clair River, but governments can’t wait for that research to be done because it could take years, Muter said.
“We’ve spoken with federal politicians and they are totally supportive of this concern and that the IJC move to address it in a timely matter,” she said.
“But even if they come out with recommendations for what needs to be done in the St. Clair River, it will have to come back to both our federal governments for funding and approval to proceed, and if we have to wait five years we will lose another 4.7 inches of water from lakes Michigan, Huron and Georgian Bay.”
“It certainly is a concern for people around the lake and its many users, and the government is concerned about this as well, but I wouldn’t characterize it as a panic situation at the present time,” he said, adding that water levels on lakes Michigan and Huron are not at record lows.