Seeing History and the Environment in Salem, MA

Submitted by Jerry Halberstadt on Sun, 06/24/2007 - 16:21

Seeing History and the Environment in Salem, MA

Salem is a proud city with a proud past. As tourists, we see grand homes and sailing ships, shops with witch costumes, cobbled streets, and a once-busy harbor. It also has hidden areas of great natural beauty. If we look only at the surface, we make pretty photographs that tell a surface story. However, if we bring some background knowledge and thought to interpret what we see, we may see things in a different light. More, with photographs: Salem's Global Warming...

Close to a handsome reproduction of a sailing ship we see coal being unloaded for the Salem power plant. How can we ignore the pollution from burning coal or the threat of global warming? While the Salem power plant operated by Dominion has made concessions to environmental concerns, has the plant been brought up to best-practice standards?

Perhaps looking only at the Dominion smokestacks is the wrong focus. If we want our children and grandchildren to have decent lives, we need to look a bit further. We need to look at ourselves. I recall the wisdom of Pogo: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

Are we ignoring a myriad of sources of pollution and energy waste? What about the other sources of global warming and pollution such as inefficient insulation, reliance on gas-guzzling cars, or the use of hazardous chemicals? Are we pressing for changes in lifestyle and regulations? If not, what are we waiting for?

A photograph can identify and symbolize the challenges of a town.

More, with photographs: Salem's Global Warming...