Live Indian Memorial

I recently saw a Facebook post ostensibly showing that the word “Dead” had been painted over in a road sign for Dead Indian Memorial Road. True or not, it got me to thinking.

I know, I know, a perennial issue that never seems to budge. But I have bold new proposals. What if we change the name to “Dead White Man Memorial Road”? This would leave the name mostly intact, and if the current name is not a big deal, then this wouldn’t offend anyone either. Although almost any road with a person's proper name is, in fact, a Dead White Man Memorial Road. Only, of course, the white men have proper names. Change it to "Dead White Man Memorial Road,” and it's just another generic dead white guy, essentially interchangeable. Like the current sign, only with white men.

So instead, I propose it be renamed “Live Indian Memorial Road.” It’s only oxymoronic if you think Native Americans don’t need to be remembered. If, for instance, you believe that Native Americans are here, among us, not a museum culture whose passing white people enjoy feeling melancholy about — only a paradox if you recognize Native Americans as vibrant (if overlooked and under-represented) members of our community. If, on the other hand, we are complacent enough to believe that the current name wouldn’t offend anyone, then perhaps the time has come for “Live Indian Memorial Road.”

Warren Hedges

Montague, California

What if?

Thanks to international conferences on climate change, with the almost unique exception of the current administration, national governments throughout the world have become active in developing policies to cut their emissions of climate pollution. These governments are also pushed to do so by their citizens, who see it as a moral issue as well as a survival issue.

But these climate-polluting emissions come from fossil fuels, produced mainly by a rather limited number of corporations. Since 1988, when human-induced climate change was officially recognized by the United Nations, the fossil fuels from just 25 corporations or state entities are responsible for over half of the emissions which pollute our atmosphere, according to CDP Worldwide in its 2017 Carbon Majors Report. The report shows a recent trend up to 2015 in which emissions from coal were falling, while those from gas and oil were rising.

What if these corporations also saw the economic handwriting on the wall, and looked for alternative ways to profit from energy production and distribution? If they acted responsibly, we wouldn’t need government regulations. What if we investors supported such companies, and divested from those with business models that endanger our health and well-being?

Ken Deveney