My Father warned me about people like you

“My Father warned me about people like you,
He said do not try to understand them, and do not try to make them understand you.
That is because they are a breed apart and make no sense.”
James Fenimore Cooper in the “Last of the Mohigans.”

The last blog I wrote was on the overcrowding of Mount Everest, one issue not addressed was the amount of trash left behind. Thousands of small oxygen bottles, food containers, and all types of gear left behind for someone else to deal with. As the words were being placed down this quote came to mind, it’s a statement I have known my entire life but put in words by James Fenimore Cooper. Not only was it applicable in the 18th century but it is still relevant today.

I am saddened by the hordes of people fulfilling a line on their list of personal achievements at the expense of the worlds natural resources. Not only is it evident at the highest mountain in the world, but it is also a problem at sea level.

I live on a river that leads to the ocean, my Spirit is free here, the freedom is easily felt. Leaving my home on a boat the world opens up, we are able to travel anywhere in the world from my doorstep. Every morning the wind blows inland from the ocean greeting us and inviting us to come home. In the evening the winds change to an offshore, inviting us to leave the Island and venture into the wild ocean beyond the bridges, and towns. It’s not this way because it has been preserved, it is that way because we will not allow it to be destroyed. The battle for water in California is a very real war pitting North and South against one another, encouraged by our government.

Photo by Kristel Hayes on Unsplash

What is more distressing to me is the abuse perpetrated on the Delta by the very people that claim to respect it. These may seem like small abuses but over two hundred years they have succeeded in the disassembly of the ecosystem from North to South.

There are a lot of boats on the Delta, some are occupied year around, some take the Delta or granted.

I have known quite a few liveaboards as well as homeowners, a few weeks ago I was talking to a man I have known for a short 3 years or so. We were talking about the Otters, he had caught one in a trap he set for something else, rabbits I suppose. He told me the Otter was piping mad, hissing and snapping at him as he approached it. His response was to tie a rope on the handle and toss the cage trap into the water sinking to the bottom with the live animal in it. Left to drown, he thought that was a reasonable solution, I was sickened. Being raised to thank mother earth for everything I have. Grateful for all of the resources I use these acts are hard to endure. They are living creatures, we are free to use them if they are needed, if not we are not to disturb them. When we do sacrifice an animals life we were taught to face the four directions and thank the Great Spirit asking for the animals’ spirit to be accepted at the great council fire.

Another man told me about an incident that occurred several weeks ago. He along with a friend were on the levee when they spotted a skink, he didn’t know what it was until I told him after his description. They are passive animals, not attractive looking snakelike with small legs. It’s hard for me to figure out if they are a snake becoming a lizard or vice versa. We should never mess with animals that are simply minding to the business of survival. The man’s friend was from the city and does not understand, neither of them did. Bending over he was intent upon picking the docile creature up with his bare hand. Grabbing onto two of his fingers, Skinks have a nasty bite with rows of sharp teeth curved inward. Pulling his hand skyward rapidly the amphibian sunk his teeth in and would not release the grip. The man swung the Skink around his head in an attempt to fling it off of his fingers. Finally, the animal released the man’s fingers after he stopped swinging it in circles, it scampered off into the weeds and bushes. His fingers were bleeding profusely from the laceration.

Some of the boats have oil leaks, many are not repaired, but there is a solution that will hide the oil slick. Hiding it is not the answer, it is a hefty fine when the sheriff notices the sheen on top of the water. One of the false remedies is to squirt Dove Dishwashing liquid detergent on the slick. That does not eliminate the oil from the water it merely takes the sheen off of it, the oil cannot be seen. Some people do that for years, never intending to repair the problem. The Sheriff noticed an oil slick behind a large boat, it was a Trawler, a very common type of vessel. When they called the man out on it he went into his cabin and got a bottle of Dove. In front of the Officers he began squirting the stuff in the water, the deputies were astounded that someone would be so bold. Fines can range in the tens of thousands of dollars for an infraction, I don’t know how much his was but I’m sure it was huge. There is a possibility he received a ticket eliminating the fine if he fixed the leak, I don’t know what the end result was.

This is what inspired this blog along with the waste on top of Everest. I was on the Levee this morning thinking about how blessed I am by the Great Spirit to be able to be a part of this whole environment. A boat rounded the bend with two men in it, I’ve seen them many times previous to this. They are employees of the County, (most probably the worst County in California, if not the Country) the boat has a disperser on it to spread weed killing pellets. Several years ago there was a meeting explaining the poison that is being spread into our drinking water. The animals are dying by the boatload, the State Government claims the poison has nothing to do with it. They told us the weeds were being killed to keep the waterways clear for us, it’s a lie. The weeds are being killed for two reasons, first they get tangled in the pumps that send the water south, the second is to kill all of the wildlife to enable the State to declare the Delta “Dead”, that way there is no need to protect the environment and all of the water can be sent to the Central Valley but mostly Los Angelos.

There are many stories of the sort I have mentioned, all of these actions are being executed by people claiming to care about our sacred waterway. Talking about how wonderful it is to live here while dumping raw sewage into the slough. It’s not just Everest it is everywhere. Just try to correct them, instantly we become the enemy someone to be suspected to “turn” them in. There is no explaining to people the impact of their actions, I don’t know what they are thinking while committing these sins against Mother Earth. They are different than me and many others, we’ve known it our entire lives, it is fruitless to attempt to explain it to them.

We owe it to one another to protect our Earth, to take only the resources we have a use for and thank the four seasons and the animal that sacrificed its life for us. We need to learn respect, although it is most likely far too late, but some of our children will survive this, and bring it back to the way it was. Soon all of the gold, dollars, and power will mean nothing, they won’t be able to buy a healthy world back after they made their money destroying it.

“My Father warned me about people like you,
He said do not try to understand them, and do not try to make them understand you.
That is because they are a breed apart and make no sense.”

James Fenimore Cooper in the “Last of the Mohigans.”

My father did warn me about these people, I have known it my entire life, James Fenimore Cooper could not have chosen better words.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance.

2 responses to “My Father warned me about people like you”

  1. My daughter and I talked of the Mt. Everest debacle. The reason to climb is human arrogance facilitated by a country and people that need the money. We admire those achievements yet ask the purpose. Those tales of oil spill are irresponsible and selfish. And the other? Disgusting yet that man saw nothing wrong in his actions. Can we teach our children better. At least the skink got the last word on being trifled with.


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