A True Environmentalist

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In my last column I told you about my friend Lenny from Greensboro. Now, as I said, Lenny and I are friends and we always will be, because like my father, I have never lost a friend over politics and I don’t intend to start now.

Lenny calls himself an “environmental progressive,” his words not mine. Dad called Lenny something entirely different, but Lenny always took it in stride because, according to him, we have no idea what an environmentalist is and we never will, and our only line of defense was to resort to name calling. I guess that’s what made dad a “right-wing nut job” to Lenny.

So Lenny has issued a challenge to me to define and defend my position on the environment, in writing, for the world to see.

Happy to do it, Lenny, because this will give me a golden opportunity to not only educate you, but to brag on my children. Now, before I start bragging on my children I must tell you what Lenny’s contribution to the environment was this past year. In the name of environmentalism, Lenny donated a large sum of money to his favorite political candidate and lectured me about my lack of knowledge on environmental issues.

Well, Lenny, allow me to introduce you to a real environmentalist. Meet my oldest daughter, Christina Parker, a junior at Western Carolina University.

Last year Christina and several of her friends supplied over $1,300 worth of much-needed supplies and $500 in cash to the Macon County battered women’s shelter. Christina does this every year as well as volunteering at the Jackson County animal shelter [Catman2], working with illiterate children, and mentoring freshmen students on how to be successful college students because, to her and people like her, making the world a better place to live for each and every one of us is a cause and not an agenda.

You see, in order to be a real environmentalist you have to be a volunteer. Like my other daughter, Sarah Parker, who spent two summers working as a lifeguard for the local Police Athletic League so children less fortunate than her could spend the summer enjoying the pool.

Real environmentalist are easy to spot. You see them picking up trash on the beach each and every summer, cleaning debris from lakes and rivers, volunteering at soup kitchens, animal shelters, and charity events. Contributing time and money to organizations that truly make a difference in people’s lives.

Lenny is right about one thing, I never have and never intend to give my hard-earned money to a political candidate who claims to be a champion of the environment. I’m sorry, while taxing us to death and forcing us to use light bulbs manufactured in China does bolster your globalist agenda, which is and always has been your true objective, it has done nothing to enhance our standard of living.

All kidding aside, I’m glad we had this debate because it got me thinking that I certainly could do more to make the planet a better place to live. In 2017 I’m going to make a donation to SAFE of Harnett County and to the United Way. I have a couple of other environmentally dense friends who work closely with those organizations and I know it will make a difference.

So in closing, Lenny, when it comes to the environment I want clean air to breath and clean water to drink just like everyone else. The difference is, I know the difference between a noble cause and a political agenda, but sadly you do not. So as Dad used to tell you, the next time you want to see a radical nut job maybe you should seek out a mirror.

Mr. Parker lives in Erwin. Contact him at jimmyprmg@gmail.com.

JIMMY PARKER

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