Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Question: How many Californians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Answer: Five. One to screw in the light bulb after the other four complete a n environmental impact report

I heard a reference recently to Yucca Mountain. It is not a tragedy. It is not even a sad note. Still, I am listening to what, at one time, seemed a good idea. Yucca Mountain is a monument to abandoned projects. A mountain that was unknown to most of America, it sits alone, a desert hole. This mountain was dug into when many in America had it marked as a great future depository for the waste we produce in efforts to surplus low-cost, low-pollution energy.

Before this project was stopped, we had, as a nation, become embroiled in a wild discussion in the nature of nuclear waste, and whether the heart of a mountain can safely contain the waste, and keep Americans at peace as we try to reconcile new ideas in energy production.

I am nt an engineer, and I am poorly equipped to argue any side of such a controversy. I do know many scientists have convinced me that this was a great idea, and their ability to convince is noted. Several billion United States dollars were spent digging a hole in the core of this mountain. Still, at the end, doubt reared its ugly head, and controversy won in this battle. When doubt prevails, groups descend upon the decision makers to preach the doctrine of controversy. Science often takes a back seat when the controversy preachers come out of their churches to lobby the decision makers of the world.

Well, the controversy lobbyists that worry me exist within my head. The unfinished projects of which I am concerned are not as conspicuous as this eight billion dollar hole in a mountain. I want to do so much in my life, and it is amazing what happens when I open my mouth about my projects, my dreams, or my actions. People actually listen in bits and pieces when I talk of what I am doing. It is daunting to have people ask about the Yucca Mountains of my life, many of which seem at the outset neither big nor complicated .

When faced with controversy, these questions prevail:

1.Do you really have the resources to finish this project?
2.Do you have the backers to support the project?
3.Is this project one which looks good on paper, but may disappear once outside interest/support declines?
The fact is I heard about Yucca mountain many times in the past, but the passages were quiet, and I was shocked to find that with all the controversy, it progressed as far as it did. I hope that when I bring a bill before my own private legislature, I will have the ability to see exactly what I want to accomplish, and present my case with conviction, while still being able to stop; consider all arguments against what I want to do before taking radical action.

I offer this simplistic discussion to ask: what are the Yucca mountains in your life? I told my sister that I need to look at my goals list. I need to look at them fearlessly and ask myself why my projects are sitting on a shelf, or why I have kept goals which perhaps should have been scrapped long ago.

6 comments:

katcarneo said...

I live in a country where billions are spent on projects that never get finished. Many of them are stopped not for the lack of funds but because of the issues that suddenly arise when they should've been tackled even before the project began. True, such occurences are parallel to our lives, which only goes to show that planning ahead has its merits even if living a day at a time sounds so much fun.

I have a rather different approach to reaching my goals---the no Plan B method, because I have to make Plan A work. It's okay most of the time.

Keith said...

I believe in prudence, and goold thinking. I strive to keep moving in a positive direction. It is quite a challenge when a person
can hold my feet my feet to the fire by merely remembering what words fall from my mouth.

Nyl said...

Unfinished business or projects can be found everywhere and we sigh over some issues running with them...because we put our great concern on them while others just brush aside and stop to care..sad realization.

What are the Yucca Mountains in my life? These are deep thoughts Keith. I have plans in life that go unfinished though I hope still to push them through.

Anyway, have a blessed week Keith!

Momisodes said...

A poignant post. I have seemingly lost track of the Yucca mountains in my life. There have been so many over the years. Some that also seemed like a good idea at the time, but not so much now.

Nyl said...

Have a happy Easter Keith!

May our faith in God makes our every trek to the hills and mountains in our lives much easier.

A blessed weekend to you my friend!take care..

bw said...

Many times politicians give in to lobbyists because they fear they would tank in the polls and lose votes if they run for re-election. The environment is now a popular vote getter for politicians - going green means more votes.

As far as goal setting is concerned, I always go for goals that are measurable and quantifiable because at the end of the day I know where I stand, how much I had done and how much I need to do before I abandon the idea totally.