Two days ago the AP carried a story saying the UN inter-governmental panel of scientists not only continue with their assertion that global warming is real, but it’s apparently accelerating rapidly. However, the panel does note there is still time (but not much) to curb it. With this in mind, I attended the Northwest Ohio Urban Forestry Seminar at Bluffton University yesterday. You see, trees absorb carbon dioxide. So if we start planting a bunch of trees all over (in tandem with sacrificing, going to much more green energy, etc.), we’ll have a leg up on this global warming thing. Nebraska City, Nebraska (home of “Arbor Day”), did. On a campaign stop there several years ago, we learned this town of 7,000 people was planting 10,000 trees. While we were in Rawlins, Wyoming, for another campaign stop, a U.S. Forestry person there told me that while we get so up in arms about the rapidly depleting Brazilian rain forests — we clear cut almost all (96%) of America! And it’s time we start looking in our own backyard, and, well, planting some more trees in it… After the seminar, I took our kids to basketball practice at the Harrod, Ohio (pop. 467), Multi-Purpose Center. And as luck would have it, the Harrod Village Council was meeting last night just up the hall from the gym. I stopped in. While most of the nation was riveted on the mounting tension between Israel and Iran yesterday, the Harrod Village Council people discussed the best way to get some “duck weed” off a local farm pond. And then there was the issue of a tractor tire in a ditch by the fertilizer plant. The village administrator said: “If the water plugs up in a big storm, there could be real trouble out there.” (And you think this nuclear threat in Iran is a nuisance…) Note: Levity aside… My wife Liz was just showing me yesterday that iconic Norman Rockwell painting of a man in a worn leather coat and flannel shirt standing to address what seems like a small village council meeting in America somewhere. The picture has “grassroots democracy” written all over it. And these guys at the Village Council meeting in Harrod last night, dressed in jeans, work boots, flannel shirts…, were living this small town democracy thing out with all the gravity it should be lived out with — as were those in the audience. For instance, three women from the Harrod Historical Society were there to lobby that the town park lights not be turned off as a cost cutting measure. Those lights shine down on, not only grass and park benches, but a 1905 Shay Steam Engine (which was designed here) and a Veterans Display that features a full-size Army green tank, a full-size Army green helicopter, and the words on a plaque nearby that say, in essence, that people gave their lives so that the democratic process that was being played out in this small village council room up the street last night — could go on. Note 2: As the highly-charged, geopolitical international chess game goes on around a “nuclear Iran,” like with the rain forest dynamic, it’s time the U.S. look squarely in it’s own backyard — or at least in it’s ‘backyard’ out West. That is, I once posed to a reporter from ABC News in Toledo, Ohio: “What if we let the weapons inspectors into Montana? What would they find?” Hint: Some 2,000 nuclear missiles aimed all over the world, including at Iran.