Sky wish lanterns, also known as Kongming lanterns, have the potential to cause havoc on our South Carolina shore properties. This “fireball in the sky” has burned marshes, docks, homes, killed livestock and polluted our waterways, streams and oceans. The Boy Scouts of America have banned them as an “unmanned fire.”
Why is South Carolina not acting upon this?
Kongming lanterns are sent off by the dozens at Lowcountry celebrations and memorial events, beaches and plantations, with disregard to dry conditions.
Biodegradable? S.C. Fire Marshal Policy states this product is oil rice paper (or plastic), constructed on a bamboo frame containing a combustible fuel cell that, when lit, causes the lantern to rise and travel several miles. These are serious fire and safety hazards with the potential to start beachfront or home fires.
Wherever the wind blows they go with little regard to life or property.
Folly’s Beach averted tragedy four years ago, according to Mayor Tim Goodwin, when visitors sent the lanterns into the air. They were blown back onto land and set the dunes on fire.
Flames nearly reached the adjacent marina when the fire department arrived. Public Safety soon prohibited their use.
State Fire Marshal Policy No.12-001 “bans the use of these devices in South Carolina, unless anchored or tethered.”
Would you hold a string attached to a fuel cell to intentionally ground a Sky Wish lantern? State Assistant Fire Marshal Nathan Ellis agrees on the lantern dangers.
Be proactive. Protect your investments and our tourism dollars. Contact your state representative. Ban this deadly lantern before more go airborne.
Funny, Mount Pleasant is discussing saving a 170-foot water tower but rejected a 120-foot Medal of Honor Museum.
Glad to see the officials have their priorities right.
Protect gray wolves
The Trump administration has released a plan to end gray wolf protections from coast to coast.
This will take us back to the days when wolves were shot on sight, killed in traps and relentlessly persecuted.
This proposal would remove important Endangered Species Act protections for wolves before they have returned to many parts of their historic habitat, including the Southern Rockies and Adirondacks.
Without protections, wolves attempting to return to these places will simply be killed.
In an independent scientist peer review of the proposal commissioned by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the scientists were unanimous in criticizing the agency’s proposal. This proposal is based on politics, not science.
We must all speak out to ensure wolves keep the critical protections of the Endangered Species Act to secure the long-term survival and recovery of this iconic species.
Can you imagine your children and grandchildren and all future generations growing up learning of these animals only in story books and encyclopedias like the dinosaurs?
Have we not evolved enough as a species to stop persecuting and eradicating all other predators on this planet to the point that we cause an implosion of the ecosystems and ecology of this amazing planet and creatures that God created?
This horrific and senseless killing must be stopped. We are all running out of time.
Act now. Raise your voices. Stomp your feet. Call your senators, send letters to your congressmen. Flood them so they have to hear us.
The damage we are doing cannot be undone. I can’t imagine leaving a world devoid of all wildness and wilderness to my daughter and her children.
These decisions fall to our generation, and we are failing. But it’s not too late. Yet.
I wish to pay tribute to some dead old white guys.
Those who left a civilized country to tame an uncivilized vast wilderness in search of freedom. Those who later pledged “... our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” to declare independence from an oppressive government, many of whom lost their lives and fortunes as a result.
Their Declaration of Independence included these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
And those who fought, bled and died in the war that followed sealed our independence. And later to those who wrote the most enlightened Constitution ever imagined, an aspirational document that would challenge every generation to follow.
To wit: “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do Ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
It wasn’t a perfect union, but the framework for a more perfect union was provided. Each decade since has brought progress and change.
All of the peoples from all over the world who have joined in the American dream and sacrificed their lives and fortunes have made this the most robust nation ever.
I would want that all of us could be a positive force in that pursuit and not wallow in negativity and victimhood.
Those old dead white guys the young progressives like to disparage gave us something sacred: America.
MOULTRIE D. PLOWDEN
Wade Hampton Avenue