Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Something I love...

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, I love public radio. We are fortunate in Minnesota to have a thriving public radio station. And the reason I love public radio has nothing to do with politics.

One day at church I mentioned something I had heard on MPR to one of the pastors and he flippantly replied, "Oh, the liberals network." I was slightly offended by this comment. First, because I think it represents a narrow minded view of something I value highly (and I don't like narrow-minded people in general). Second, it devalued whatever it was (I forget now) I was talking about. Which brings me to the reason I love public radio, which as I mentioned, isn't the politics. It's knowledge and the exposure to all kinds of it. I don't know if the politics represented on MPR are liberal or not, because I tend to be on the liberal end of the political spectrum. But the majority of what I listen to doesn't have anything to do with politics. (And the people who tell me the politics are liberal are in fact right-wingers, so their opinion isn't unbiased either!)

Last night on the way home from a meeting at church I was listening to MPR. It's generally the only station I listen to in the car because I don't like commercials, on TV or the Radio, and public radio's sponsor messages while actually commercials, are less annoying to me than regular radio. The program being broadcast was Fresh Air with Terry Gross and she was talking to Charles Fishman who is the author of a book called The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water. I was not able to listen to the whole interview but the part I was able to hear was amazingly informative. One bit of information that really stuck with me was this, "In the U.S., we spend $21 billion a year buying bottled water, and we spend $29 billion a year maintaining the entire water system — pipes, treatment plants, pumps. We spend almost as much on crushable plastic bottles of water as we do maintaining the water system." Where in the US is bottled water actually a necessity? I don't like the way some water TASTES but that doesn't make it undrinkable. And if the money spent on bottled water were put into maintaining or improving the water system wouldn't we effectively eliminate the need or want for bottled water? He talks about how we it isn't an issue of taking our water for granted, because to take something for granted you have to think about it. We are so used to having clean water flowing out of our taps that we don't even think about it. We use safe drinkable water for drinking as well as washing our cars and watering our lawns. Which, if you think about it, is absurd.

You can read about the interview HERE and listen to the whole story online as well. It was interesting and informative and everything I adore about public radio. Because who doesn't want to know more and have a better understanding of what is going on in our world?

1 comment:

Janet said...

Heather, you and I are surely cut from the same cloth. I ONLY listen to NPR and IPR -- and occasionally MPR -- for the exact reasons you describe! I detest commercials and any kind of "talk" (YELL) radio. I value NPR for civilized discourse on a wide range of subjects. I've learned so much from listening over the years and I'm always upset when I hear the "liberal bias" comments. I seriously could not get by without NPR in my life!