Fireworks Fundraiser, Saturday


Posted by
Mon, May 4, 2009


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I suppose a 100 percent privately-funded fireworks display that pays for all costs including the full clean-up and the full police and fire department overtime might be ok, but I kind of doubt that is what is going to happen. Do we really need to stage our own atmospheric-warming spectacle here on the Coastside? What does this accomplish besides burning up resources?

I’ve always been a strong supporter of the fireworks.

We’re not going to be able to reverse consumption of fossil fuels or the warming of the planet by doing away with our little fireworks display. But if we’re going to make it as a community in the next century, we’re going to have to learn a lot about keeping things local and making our own entertainment.

Since the second world war, Americans have gradually lost the ability to amuse ourselves without the assistance of major corporations and their sponsors. Our little Main Street events, film nights, concerts, art walks,  cioppino dinners, farmers markets, parades, and fireworks displays are part of what make the Coastside special and are the seeds of a better future for all of us.

“...We’re not going to be able to reverse consumption of fossil fuels or the warming of the planet by doing away with our little fireworks display…”

That statement is true of just about any single action that any single person or any single community might take. So if everybody uses that justification, then nothing is going to change.

I’m uncomfortable with justifying small-scale actions with the rationale of global warming.

HMB used global warming to justify permitting concrete crushing near people’s homes last year. Yeah, sure. I can’t tell you if the effect of shutting down the fireworks would outweigh the extra vehicle miles incurred by trips over the hill. I have no idea what the greenhouse impact of fireworks is. And I can’t install enough compact fluorescents or inflate my tires enough to save the polar bears.

Only big federal actions, perhaps spurred by states like California, give me any hope at all.

But I do believe that if we learn to be a real community and do the things that communities do together now, we’ll drive a lot less and this will be a better place to live when gas costs $24 a gallon.