In the “good old days,” people received local newspapers weekly in rural areas and daily in the cities. Radio made news in the 1920s, and television nightly national news was introduced in the 1950s. It could take months to disseminate information about “current events.”

It’s been difficult to narrow down today’s blog topic because there are so many “current events” from across the world that impact my life on a daily basis. The more I read, the more I see. Studies estimate that we’re bombarded with anywhere between 3,000 and 20,000 messages daily! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to stick your head in the sand and ignore it all?

Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away, so today I’m going to key in on the issue of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the condition of the environment. Many people have jumped on the wagon of climate change in recent years. I know… I know. There is “evidence” that proves this theory, but even National Geographicwarns that information in charts can be misleading; charts can be manipulated to make a desire points. According to the guy who reportedly invented the Internet, the polar caps should have all melted away and New York City should be under water by now!

There have been and continue to be “doomsday” theories, but great improvement has been made and will continue to be made! I agree that everyone in this world can – and should – do a better job of managing resources from the amount of water they use when showering to reducing food waste. Farmers also should take advantage of new farming practices and technologies that allow us to better care for the environment. But do we need to break our economy and the businesses that are pushing our economy ahead by making laws, rules, and regulations that in theory may help the climate?

Pope Francis also writes about the waste in today’s affluent countries, and I think he may be on to something here. We live in a throw-away society where it often costs less to replace rather than repair something. Our landfills are unbelievable. Recently, I visited a landfill on Des Moines’ east side and was flabbergasted by the vast quantity of garbage going into that place. Just think how much waste must come from a larger city like Chicago or New York City!

What happen to all of this trash? At one time, big cities loaded barges with garbage. They can’t still do this, can they? (I’m seeing another research project here.) Sanitation and clean water systems are definitely key infrastructure needed for a healthy country. A healthy, steady food supply is also important to a country’s health and stability. (This reminds me of National Geographic articles I read recently about What the World Eats and Where The World’s Hungriest People Are.)

Kathie Obradovich did a nice job in her opinion piece, “Pope’s message challenges caucusgoers, candidates, in The Sunday Des Moines Register. We can all live a simpler life by making do with fewer things. But let’s not let government break the bank with untried, unproven technologies, pushed by people with nothing to lose but have a fortune to gain on our tax dollar!