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Earth Day: Protect What Matters

Today is Earth Day, a day annually marked for environmental protection. Good, we need it. We all need to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and eat clean food.

All kinds of organizations run advertisements today promoting a clean environment, a protected environment, wildlife habitat conservation, and so on. Most of the ideas we will see promoted today are worthy of attention and worthwhile policy efforts, while some of the more heavily marketed ideas are Marxist anti-capitalism dingbat stuff.

The two biggest challenges we have on Earth Day are overcoming the fake issue of human-caused “climate change,” and protecting the American economy. Achieving both of these goals will actually maximally protect the environment.

“Climate change” on its face is a factual thing, because Planet Earth has had constant climate change since its creation. Glaciers have come and gone on their own, sea levels have risen and fallen on their own, and plants and animals have come and gone as the greater environmental forces around them directly shape their habitat, the salinity of the water they live in, and the air they breathe. All of this dynamism has happened without any human intervention. In fact, most of it has happened without any humans existing at all.

Climate change continues on today just as it always has since the Earth was born, and though human actions might contribute to it in some minuscule way, the fact is that humans have a far greater and more measurable impact on more important environmental issues.

The problem with the current human-caused climate change hoax is that it sucks all of the air out of the room, leaving no oxygen for other real, actual, measurable and documented issues like lost wildlife habitat, farmland loss, water quality, forest fragmentation, and controlling the invasive plants and animals that are literally destroying our native environments and species.

All of the “climate change” policy bandied about is a result of bad modeling using flawed data, junk science, topped off with deliberate fraud and public shaming of heretics. The fake but well-heeled climate change industry is fueled by juicy foundation and government grants, making all kinds of financial incentives for people to continue this fakery. Fake climate change junk science can be a hell of a good business for a few private bank accounts!

Normal people see this obvious policy fraud and end up writing off the entire quest for environmental quality as just a bunch of “environmentalist wackos” trying to destroy Western Civilization. And indeed, a great many of the climate change advocates are in fact America-hating Marxists, whose suspect opinions aren’t worth spit. But it is not fair to roll all environmental quality efforts in with the climate change nonsense. Leftists include the real issues together with fake climate change to give climate change unwarranted credibility, while magical-thinking meatheads on the right also do it to discredit all environmental quality issues.

If there is one thing we have all witnessed over the past month of China Flu coronavirus here in America, it is that in addition to weakening America by sending our technology and jobs there, for decades Americans have exploited Chinese slave labor and the Chinese environment so that we could have more cheap junk available to play with at home. It is an undeniable fact that like the Russians before them, Chinese Marxism has destroyed the Chinese environment, while American capitalism has created the high living conditions here necessary for our citizens to expect environmental protection.

Capitalism protects the environment, while Marxism and communism destroy it through unbridled industrialism to buoy up their ruling elites.

Today, on Earth Day, the best thing we can do is to re-open the American economy and create the kinds of high quality living conditions here that incentivize environmental protection. Protect the world’s environment by repatriating American jobs from their thirty-year hiatus in China. Demonstrate to Americans that we can all enjoy high quality environmental protection without sacrificing our economy on the false altar of human caused climate change..or a Chinese virus whose effects are felt locally but whose costs are being applied equally everywhere across the United States.

I love the smell of brown sludge in the morning

When I get a snoot full of that brown sludge in the morning, it brings back warm memories. Doesn’t happen all the time. Not as often as I would like. The period for brown sludge is often almost over as soon as it begins, though when I was a kid at Stone Valley Lake, the period lasted for a good eight weeks.

Memories of cold mornings, even cold nights, sometimes lugging a sloshing bucket by headlamp, stumbling through the brush, tripping over vines and branches, picking bugs out of the buckets. Sometimes the bugs concentrate in the buckets, drawn by the smell, and the taste. Trying not to spill it, good God don’t spill it! And then the long nights. Yes, you might start in the daylight, but at six the next morning you were up all night, running for the bucket every ten minutes, tired out, cramping, sleepy.

You see, modern maple syrup is nothing like it was. It is now a victim of technology. Where maybe just five years ago maple syrup producers used fire to boil maple sap down, now they have reverse osmosis machines, and spectrometers and spectrographs that tell the syrup maker how concentrated the sap sugars are, and thus when to start and when to wait longer. When to keep adding to the huge coolers, and freezers, and when to begin condensing.

In the big maple syrup production outfits today, the sap collection is mechanized, run through a spider web of tubing across the sugar bush. The sap is pumped, and gathered in big tanks, then stilled, separated, distilled, purified, filtered over and over, sterilized and then jugged. This is maple syrup today. How it is created looks nothing like how it was made for the past 15,000 years until very recently.

And frankly, as a result of this industrial processing, it no longer tastes like maple syrup. It tastes bland.

Sure, you can try to buy the old Grade B dark brown maple syrup. You remember, surely, the maple syrup that puts the phrase “maple flavor” in maple syrup? You can try to buy it, and some sellers will try to sell it to you. And it will indeed look amber-ish, with a hint of brown. Now they will disclaim it, or add some caveats, or sheepishly try to explain that it is dark for maple syrup “these days,” but it is not quite like what you remember from just a half dozen years ago, let alone your childhood.

And you will taste it, this modern creation, and you will not taste maple syrup. Instead you will taste Maple Product.

Maple Product is the result of the industrialization of even hand-crafted specialties like maple syrup. It is mechanized, industrialized, and heavily filtered, and it has very little real taste. No rich taste, for sure, not the unique and authentic maple taste you came for in the first place.

That is why we have been making our own maple syrup. It started out really small, like when I was a kid using plastic milk jugs hung on string from hand- cut wood spiles. Maybe a couple cups of syrup, and it lasted one day. A treat from Mother Nature, the whole family enjoying it, gathered round like families have over nature’s bounty since time immemorial. A natural and innately healthy moment.

Then I ordered a bunch of old maple buckets with metal spiles, and boiled lots of sap on the stove top. That was a bad idea because the whole house steamed up and smelled vaguely of damp earth. The small amounts of sugar in the steam hardened to a clear armor on everything in the kitchen, and cleaning with water just made it sticky. Getting closer!

Then I ordered a stainless steel evaporator pan from a young guy in the Midwest. Couple hundred bucks and worth every penny. With a threaded spigot and a valve on the end, it can release as much boiled down sap as I want to take to the next stage of boiling. The only filtering we do is from the big sap collection tank in the back of the pickup, through an old cotton tee shirt, and some skimming in the evaporator. Bits of bark, the occasional rogue ant, “stuff” from inside the maple trees is all skimmed off. But what we do not do is filter out the taste.

We gently and carefully finish off the concentrated brown sap inside on the stove top, and then pour the finished syrup into old whisky bottles with cork stoppers. This is real maple syrup, and it is so rich tasting it knocks your socks off. This is what maple syrup used to taste like, and it is what maple syrup is supposed to taste like.

So when I hit the bottom of one of those old whisky bottles because the syrup was mostly poured out over pancakes or hot cereal, then all that remains is the thick brown sludge. This is the stuff you could make maple candy from. My son and I pour cold milk into the bottle, swill it around until the brown sludge has turned the milk brown and slightly viscous, and we heartily quaff it down.

You just can’t beat it.

p.s. sorry we make just enough for our own family use, and we do not sell it. But you can make your own, and because you worked so hard to make it, you will truly enjoy every drop, every molecule, every rich taste you take.