The Swan Song

So long, friends….

The Allegheny Voice was born on the Fourth of July, 2019. It’s purpose was mainly to serve as a supplement to local newspapers within the Allegheny River watershed—a necessary supplement that addressed the many serious environmental concerns that these local newspapers intentionally ignored. We hope, if nothing else, that we alerted readers to these issues, and that we helped contribute to civil discourse about the value of nature, and especially about the value of the waters that flow through our communities.

The Allegheny Voice will now fade back into the mists from which it came. But the spirit that motivated this website—the spirit of the many water and land protectors within the Allegheny River watershed—will remain, and their voices will be heard in other forums and other ways, and those voices will eventually prevail, no matter what the odds, and no matter how powerful the forces they face. Because they must prevail for the good of us all.

Thanks to all those who posted on The Allegheny Voice, especially those willing to publicly say things that were unpopular but true and which just needed to be said. And thanks to all those who read the posts and who shared the spirit of The Allegheny Voice.

Paddle on.

Breaking News: SB790 Vetoed by Governor Wolf

PA Senate Bill 790—an “Act relating to conventional wells and the development of oil, gas and coal” and “imposing powers and duties on the Department of Environmental Protection”—has been vetoed by Governor Wolf.

Whether this marks Pennsylvania’s turn away from a carbon economy toward a greener future is yet to be determined, but it does shine a rare ray of hope on an otherwise looming dark winter.

Post-Election Holiday Message

Just a reminder to keep all things in the proper perspective. How a person votes does not define them as a sister, brother, friend, or neighbor. We are all so much more than a political party label. As we come together over the holidays–whether in size-limited family gatherings or Zoom conferences–let’s allow each other’s differences while finding our much vaster and more wondrous common ground.

Mornin’ Ralph; Mornin’ Sam. (Ralph Wolf & Sam Sheepdog)

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

By Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.