My son's roommate in college, Panit was from Thailand and after graduation Dana came home, got a part time job and boned up for the LSAT, while Panit went to his home country to spend a year as a Buddhist monk, wearing colorful orange robes and living a simple life while following all the official precepts. Serving in that position could help him gain karma and certainly merit it is called for his family.
While roommates they shared cultural differences and picked up new vocabulary, which I witnessed when he came home with Dana and we ate at Cosby's Catfish out past Disney, OK. The only thing on the menu was catfish, so that was the word for the day. To me it sounds like a silent C in "CLO." Fish have been studied in the Great Lakes for over 25 years and results lately are saying even with the mercury and other contaminants, the lake fish are better for the residents than store bought tuna and other varieties. They are now preparing guidelines for visitors and residents much like the ODEQ Fish Advisory for our local fish for lead so people can decide the amount of fish that would be safe for them and their children.
Fish is a nutritious food, one I certainly enjoy. And next Thursday LEAD Agency members have been invited to the Afton Masonic Lodge to pick up a check for $1,500 given as a match for the fundraiser fish fry they held for us at this year's Tar Creek Conference. These funds will help our organization continue our outreach efforts. You bet some of those efforts will continue to be about sharing what we know about the fish we eat and just how much of each species to consume, especially to limit the portions of those really large "CLO" catfish. Those are the ones to catch and to release so they can keep populating our lake and rivers.
Governor Fallin asked for a day of prayer for the oilfield, and I didn't do it. As a Cherokee, I did go to water, down to the creek below my house and say a prayer for our water, our precious earth and all abiding here with us. The governor also thought we should ask for protection.
Protection? One of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Richard Morrissette hoped that there would be prayers on the following day asking for no earthquakes. We need some protection from earthquakes in the state most prone to have man-made earthquakes. The protection could come also from leadership from the governor's office, state legislators and certainly those charged with regulating the oil and gas industry in our state. They have all let us down as the industry continues the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the wastewater injection wells used to get rid of the produced water, now billions of gallons of it.
Panit also taught Dana to use the Thai fishbone management system. Imagine the boney fish with the head attached, much like the image we have been using for years for the "Tar Creek fish." Of course my first fishbone management problem would be Tar Creek and the tail has filled out with education and planning, the first bones are these pilot projects, Bob Nairn's passive treatment project at George Mayer's Ranch, the distal EPA cleanup acres, next bones, the Catholic 40, chat piles going down, next set of bones, the Beaver Creek watershed, that should count as both, and it just is continuing and it will be completed and Tar Creek will be restored from Kansas to the Neosho River.
My goal for the earth would be for her survival and all who call her home and to get there, bone one near the tail might have some prayers on it, but bone two would have some actions, personal changes we can make, as simple as taking your own reusable cup to work and quit using Styrofoam cups, reading labels and removing everyday products made from petroleum, bone two left side: take reusable goods for the picnic, quit gifting people with products made from petroleum. Bone three, four, five move us and those in our circles to a world that might last, as we shift ourselves from fossil fuels to sustainable ways to power our vehicles, heat and cool our homes, generate lights and charge our phones.
And certainly once we have saved the earth and slowed climate change, we will breathe better air, our fish will be safer to eat, and there will be time to not only celebrate, but also for prayers made by us and surely by the orange robed monks of Thailand for thanksgiving, which will have been well earned by all.