Bigger than Bird-Safe

The price tag of the new Viking’s stadium has gone up, again, by half a million dollars for more concession areas. Total cost of the stadium has hit $1.024 billion. The stadium, for those who don’t know, is basically all glass. Being that it’s right on a major migratory path, environmentalists have asked that the glass be bird-safe, which would add $1 million (less than one tenth the total cost). MSFA (Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority) says they won’t take on the additional cost, even though they have $21 million left over in a fund they set aside for this project. The reason: they don’t like how the bird-safe glass looks. Oh, and my personal favorite, “but everyone else has lots of shiny, hard-to-see glass. Why can’t I have lots of shiny, hard-to-see glass?”

Vikings put in $518,000 more for stadium (Pioneer Press)

Quite frankly, I think the Vikings can use all the good PR they can get, what with their star player being on trial for child abuse and all. One would think they’d jump at the chance to be in the spotlight for doing something good for a change, and a million dollars (half the average yearly salary of an NFL player) is a small price to pay for a much needed image boost.

Please consider asking the Vikings to use bird-safe glass.

But I think this points to a bigger issue. “Eco” is a major buzz-word (or prefix, rather?) these days but as soon as it limits or changes the aesthetic, it’s all over. No one wants any part of it. If it in any way inconveniences us, we won’t do it. We won’t switch to copper ammunition, even though lead is a proven poison to both man and animal (birds are especially susceptible) because lead is cheaper. We won’t take public transportation if we don’t have to because it’s ‘icky’ or scary or inconvenient. Instead of making daily trips to the store for perishables, we buy weeks in advance, which just leads to millions of tons of waste every year. I am just as guilty. I could walk to work, but I don’t. I HATE mornings and can’t fathom getting up early enough. It’s laziness, but it’s not right.

I can’t help it. As I get older I look around and see all the ways in which humans negatively impact our environment (let alone one another), and it breaks my heart. I believe we were given this planet to care for it, to manage it wisely. Not to completely cover it with concrete and glass. A little moderation is all I’m asking for. Let’s just take a minute, step back, and figure out how to live WITH nature, rather than instead of it.


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