In his novel “State of Fear” Crichton creates a storyline around Drake who is frustrated about the public’s lack of enthusiasm for funding NERF, an environmental organization devoted to reversing climate change. Drake decides he needs to put on a high-profile climate conference on abrupt climate change. To emphasize the validity of his theory he hires the Environmental Liberation Front (ELF) to develop and implement a series of environmental catastrophes that coincide with the conference to impress the general public that global warming is a pressing concern.

Farming Community. Photo by Christian Heitz

The TwispWorks economic analysis of the Methow Valley is a good analysis of the demographic and economic characteristics of the Valley. Most noticeable is the economic disparity between new residents who have for various reasons chosen to move from urban environments to rural Methow. Many are able to remotely work and maintain large salaries in the $200,000 range. This living standard is in contrast to the average income of Okanogan County residents of $57,779 annually. This is compared to other statistics where the population is aging and poverty is increasing among long term residents.

Photo by Anthony Garand.

Where is liberty today? It is one of the founding principles in our Declaration of Independence.  Yet it is not being upheld.  Black Lives Matter demonstrators are free to demonstrate, but they have stepped outside the freedom of assembly to coerce people and destroy property and businesses.  On the political front, there is no bipartisanship because either side abhors the principles of the other side.  Bills are discussed and passed on party lines without rational discussion and input from those who see the issues differently. 

How do you protest a tax which is required, especially in a rural area such as ours, in order to go about your daily activities? Any nonpayment of such a tax isolates you on the side of the road, in poor standing with a police officer. In mid-February, that was my situation, and I was issued a traffic citation for failure to renew a vehicle registration. I’m nearing 40 years old and that was my first ever citation, so I’m obviously not a habitual scofflaw. I was trying to protest, in a peaceful way, that I really was upset with the Washington State government’s prevention of our voted, and successfully passed, $30 car tabs initiative from taking effect when it should have. For me, this is not so much about the money I save, or of having a number of taxes capped from their inevitable rise – rather it’s much more about the respect and deference that a government has for its citizens, who are supposed to be in control of it.