Thoughts from the North Woods

Just letting  my readers know that I’ve returned from a three-week hiatus in the north woods of Wisconsin and will resume posting on current events. 

Since my concern for overpopulation and the eventual development of my economic theory relating it to deepening unemployment and poverty was inspired, at least in part, by my fear of the consequences of overpopulation for my little retreat in the woods, you may be interested in an update on what I see going on up there.  Since this was my first visit back to my cabin since the fall, at which time the collapse of our financial system and the stock market were just gathering steam, I was curious to see what effects there might be on the pace of development up there. 

I’m sad to say that, to the naked eye, there appears to be no effect whatsoever.  While I’m sure that developers and home-buyers are in more of a scramble to obtain financing, there’s no let-up in the rate at which forest is being cleared to accommodate new subdivisions and business sites.  There seems to be an endless supply of retirees from Chicago and Milwaukee looking to build a summer home “up north” to escape the heat of their other new digs in Florida. 

And among them all, carved from the forest,  is a huge new church with a sprawling asphalt parking lot.  It was a weekday when we drove past and it was completely empty, as it is for probably 166 hours out of every 168 every week.  During those two hours of services on Sunday every week, I’m sure that God is pleased by the gathering of voices raised in prayer, joyful song and praise.  But you have to wonder:  what about the rest of the time?  Does God miss the songs of the birds, the beauty of the wildflowers and all of the flora and fauna now displaced by two acres of asphalt?  Or does He think to Himself, “Aaah, good riddance!  They weren’t my best work anyway?”  It doesn’t seem likely.  That’s not the God that I think I know.  If He saw as little value in them as we seem to, why would He have bothered to create them in the first place?  Or, instead, does He think to Himself, “Thanks for all the songs and prayer, but couldn’t you find a way to give thanks and praise without leveling two acres of my forest just so that you have a place to park your cars while you park your butts in air-conditioned comfort?”  “Do you not see that I created all of this for a purpose, to enhance the quality of your lives, and not just so much rubble to be bull-dozed out of the way for your convenience?”  I wonder.

Which brings us to the logging.  There’s been no let-up in the pace, and the air is punctuated by the sound of chain saws and machinery rumbling through the forest, Monday through Friday, dawn to dusk.  Of course, it’s nothing like what took place in this area in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, when the whole northern forest was clear-cut to provide lumber for the construction of Chicago.  Forestry practices have come a long way since then.  Nevertheless, it seems that, as the economy worsens, land owners more and more turn to  the forest as a stream of income.  An acre of trees that are more than a foot in diameter doesn’t stand a chance. 

Anyway, there’s lots in the news to comment on – cap and trade legislation, the June unemployment report, trade news – so watch for a flood of new posts this week, including my 2nd quarter update of my 2009 Predictions.  So stay tuned.

Hope you’re all enjoying the summer!

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