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Words from Winterbilt

The New Year

Shannon Bohrer


(1/2017) Making my predictions for the New Year will not be as simple as they have been in the past. A lot has happened since the election that makes it difficult for me to make my yearly predictions. Normally I predict, with some success I might add, what will occur during the New Year. Economics’, weather, politics, foreign affairs and international disasters are just a few of my areas of my expertise. I should add my disclaimer about the weather. During May and June, when the hay season is in, my weather predictions have experienced a few issues. I also make predictions for terrorism and the constant wars in the Middle East, which I predicted last year. In those areas I predict that terrorism and wars in the Middle East will continue this year. Although I don’t think you need to be an expert to predict that.

A significant problem with making my prediction this year is the President Elects changing positions. During the campaign he said many things that he appears to be walking back. By the way, walking back is the polite way of saying he did not mean what he said, or he changed his mind, or he has a new position. I hope that’s clear? One change that surprised many people was that he would be taking a second look at global warming. He recently said that he now believes that man has influenced the earth’s environment. He also said he is not dismissing the Paris Accords on combating global warming, although he is not embracing them either. Just what his views will be after being sworn in is, well, – we can’t be sure.

In this country we have already taken steps to combat global warming and I believe some of these steps will continue. I think that as a country we like doing things that we think will make life better, it makes us feel good. How many programs will continue could be determined when the President elect takes office and what his positions are then. That – would be a very good prediction, but that is above my grade level.

There is one program to combat global warming, the forestation of urban environments (planting trees) that I think will continue. Planting trees in our cities is something I would think most people like. Planting trees is supposed to be good for the environment, but also just looks good. Who doesn’t like trees?

The idea of planning trees was started several years ago when the Unites States was geo mapped using satellites. The mapping showed us the warmest areas in the country. Surprise, the warmest areas often occurred in major cities. In an exhaustive study of the "heat maps," what was found was that in major urban areas, without trees, it was warmer than surrounding areas. No trees and a lot of concrete and asphalt - who could have predicted that……

I am sure someone was paid a lot of money to conduct the research that demonstrated that in the urban areas with no trees, it was warmer than the surrounding areas. If they would have just come to me I could have told them what they would find before the research was conducted. If the research was conducted with government funds and they wish to repeat it, I will produce the same results for half the cost. That is my offer to help with reducing government expenses.

Planting trees in urban areas is supposed help keep homes cooler in the summer, so you use less air conditioning, provinding you have air conditioning. Trees also help in winter as wind breaks, so people would use less heat. Planting trees seems like a win-win and is a good investment, right. Well, maybe not for everyone.

I was listening to a radio program that was talking about an urban tree project. The discussion was about east coast urban areas where trees have been planted and how the program has worked. What I found strange is that no one on the program talked about any government sponsorship, funding or oversight. So, while listening I was wondering who runs the program. At one point someone connected to the program mentioned that the program was run by a non-profit organization. Is the program funded by the government?

The program was open to callers and many people that called generally liked the program. It was often repeated that the program has been good for them and their neighbors. However, there were several complaints. One caller complained that every time he parked his car under a tree, it was violated by bird droppings. Who could have predicted that? Another caller who seemed very agitated talked about his neighborhood, the trees that have been planted and the increases in asthma and allegories to the neighborhood, especially the children. My first thought was that some people just like to complain. And then the caller specifically asked if the pharmaceutical industry was paying for the trees, which I thought an odd question. Apparently in his neighborhood everyone thinks the pharmaceutical companies that produce and sell allergy medicines, are funding the tree plantings to create future customers.

As far stretched as that sounded, the caller then accused the politicians and the rich people, of having investments in the pharmaceutical companies, knowing that their products will be in greater demand with more and more trees. I had to think for a moment, while I did not believe it, there have been numerous stories about fake news. Plant some trees and then sell the produce needed for the allergy relief – for years. It sounded like a bad cartoon plot, could it be true?

Did you know that three million illegal aliens voted in the last election? During the election it was reported that Hillary was very sick and would not live for another year. The government is building large camps in case it has to declare martial law. And the United Nations has plans to run the world, including the United States. The Russians also helped in the election by reporting on Clinton’s child sex ring. And then we have the pharmaceutical companies planting trees to encourage allergies. I do question the possibility of air or water pollution, how else can we explain what some people believe?

As to my New Year predictions, I predict the rich will become richer in the coming year and I predict I will not be rich. I predict the middle class will shrink and I predict our deficit will grow. I predict we will be talking about this past election for the next year and we will continue to be a divided country. And that’s the good stuff. I started predicting the bad stuff, but it was too depressing so I had to stop.

Oh, and one more thing, someone once said, "If you wake up one day and find that the government is everything you want it to be, then you no longer live in a democracy." So with that I predict our democracy will continue.

Happy New Year

Read other articles by Shannon Bohrer