Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Marty Bender

I didn't know Marty Bender, but after obituary on the home page of the Land Institute, I thought what a shame he won't be around as the country debates the future of using our natural resources. Here's an excerpt..
"Historian and Land Institute board member Donald Worster said he once asked Bender for a few facts about energy consumption on a Kansas farm.
"Back in the mail came a response that must have taken him several hours to assemble — far more information than I needed, all given in a spirit of selfless generosity that characterized Marty to the core. Besides his family, he lived for The Land Institute and its research programs."
Bender's answers were both blunt and exacting, what institute board Chairman Conn Nugent called a "tough theology":
"Will biofuels one day power an expanding American economy? No way, says Marty: You could grow fuel crops on every square inch of North America, and still fall way short of the net energy provided by the contemporary supply of fossil fuels. Solar panels? Wind machines? Hybrid vehicles? Sure, Marty would say, those are good things. Just don't expect them to let you live in the style to which you've become accustomed."

Tough theology, tough answers. A reminder that our greatest natural resource is smart, curious and honest people.


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