I’ve been heckling my friend Lisa, who has been sending ‘green’ messages on Facebook. When did you become a tree-huger I asked. Her reply, “I am a steward of the land?. She comes from a large ranching background, with impeccable GOP credentials (her late father being a GOP legend). She made me think.

I always thought my Grandfather Froehlich was the perfect example of what a Republican should be. He and my grandmother had their framed Inaugural invitations. The Christmas cards were framed. Their homes in FL, SC, NC all held coffee table books about the Reagans. There were magazines about the Reagans. There were letters and cards from the Reagans. They donated to the max, constantly. Then there were the jars of jelly beans. Ronald and Nancy Reagan were American royalty and my grandparents their loyal subjects.

My grandfather, like all ranchers and dairymen was what Lisa would call a Steward of the Land. It had nothing to do with being eco-friendly, and everything to do with protecting his investment. He was constantly planting trees, cutting timber, thinning groves of trees to improve the lot of those remaining. He worked on the springs on his mountain property, repairing, fixing, making them better. He worked on run-off, erosion, and protected the soil. He built dykes. He stabilized pasture land. And – he was on the state commission to preserve the Everglades. Back in the mid-1980’s he predicted the problems we are having today. He came up with a list of solutions. Instead of having his solutions adopted, he was removed from the commission as being old, senile, and out of touch. Unfortunately, he was right.

There is nothing wrong with trying to maintain our natural treasures the same way there is nothing wrong with releasing dangerous toxins into the air, land or water? Why is there an explosion in cases of autism? What about cancer? Is there anything wrong with asking these questions and not being declared a tree-hugging liberal?

What if there is a better way?

Maybe these extreme prices for oil is just what we need. Last week I was listening to John McCain. He brought up the fact that the big oil companies had not actively investing in nor exploring alternative energy sources. He will probably be lambasted for that statement, also. But, why not pursue alternative energy ideas?

There is a better way. During World War II an alternative for rubber was invented for tires. Instead of harassing politicians who are demanding this better way be sought, we need to get behind them. Think of the economic opportunities.

Did you know you can put a wind powered device up somewhere and run the “current? into some thingie (I’m getting extremely technical here) and end up forcing your power company to credit your account? There’s some other thingie you can do to your vehicles and use spent cooking oil in them. This nation is known for its inventiveness. I wonder what is going to come out of these high prices.

Maybe it’s time we thumbed our noses at big oil and started showing that inventiveness. Remember when Apple and Microsoft were just infants. Think of the stock options and all those millionaires created out of that stock. I have no intention of giving up my SUV unless it is for some cute, hot, little sports number. Someone had better go out and invent something to keep my vehicle powered. I sure can’t do it. But I can sure write about it!