Letter: ‘Short-term profits do not justify long-term loss’
I hope you did not take the words of the author of "The lunacy of legal rights for Mother Earth" (Readers Write, July 14) as the gospel truth, but instead went to http://www.rightsofmotherearth.com. The Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth is a short declaration—3.5 pages of large type and lots of space. This is a world movement to protect our planet’s environments. Agenda 21 is a huge multi-volume document to sustain the quality of life on our planet. What is the alternative? Let the free market poison and sterilize the earth one pile of dirt at a time?
A deed of ownership or property rights does not give the owner the right to pollute and poison that property. Poisons and pollutants follow the Law of Diffusion. If giving Mother Earth legal rights is a way to protect our planet—so be it.
Lately, have you paid attention to our environment? Women of child-bearing age and children should not eat certain species of fish from our Dragon Run. This is because of coal-burning industries to the west. Mining and burning coal produce waste which is dumped on the land or into the atmosphere, all containing heavy metals (mercury, lead). Heavy metals are listed on the Periodic Table of Elements. They do not decompose except rarely by radioactive decay. They are poisonous to all forms of life. Carbon dioxide is acidifying the oceans and lakes faster than green plants can photosynthesize it back into solid form. The rapidly industrializing nations of Asia are sending their smoke to the USA. We are sending our smoke to Europe. Round and round the poisons go. How would you stop this slow suicide of the human race?
For about 150 years, we have been extracting fuels and minerals from the earth at a faster and faster pace. Mother Earth spent four billion years to concentrate and deposit these natural resources. We have dumped them on Mother Earth. This is not sustainable. Global Warming and Climate Change are accepted as fact by a majority of environmental scientists. Google both and look at the evidence. I could not find evidence of the opposite view. Some consider lying an ethical exercise of their freedom of speech. We need to conserve, recycle and use renewable sources of energy and source of materials. We must consider the long-term effect of our actions.
I have visited the beach all my life. In the last 20 years, many of the commercial fishermen, crabbers and clammers have disappeared. Is this Silent Summer? It’s so quiet in the morning. Sport fishermen are rare. Walking along the shore or sitting in the warm shallow water, I rarely see once common species. Juvenile blue crabs, mud snails, butterfish (the squirting clam), nibble fish, schools of juvenile menhaden and clumps of ribbed mussels are all rare. When I was young, crab bait was a waste of time and money. All we needed was a crab net and a basket—walking along the shore taking turns netting and dragging the basket. We were proud to help feed our families by avoiding chores given to idle children.
I am proud of our local members of our boards of supervisors and local authorities when they vote to protect our environment. Short-term profits do not justify long-term loss. I would proudly sign the Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth to save this planet for our descendants.
Port Haywood, Va.