Letter: Water ‘crisis’ may be a Chicken Little claim
The item appearing in the Gazette-Journal’s community news ("Good to the last drop," June 16 issue) has a distinctly Malthusian ring to it. Some years ago, I recall reading that if the new city reservoir for Newport News in the Mattaponi area of West Point was not authorized, Newport News would suffer a dramatic water shortage. However, since this reservoir failed to materialize, I am now hearing of plans to expand the customer base of the Newport News water supply.
At a time when the glaciers are supposedly melting and sea levels rising, I recall that not so long ago Time magazine warned of an unstoppable Ice Age. Like Thomas Malthus, Paul Ehrlich likewise predicted a population bomb. The point that I believe is pertinent—question authority. The statement that claims our water supply is maxed out bears scrutiny. Like Chicken Little’s claim, "The sky is falling," Malthus, Ehrlich and Gore appear to be in a similar category as Alfred E. Neuman (i.e., the goofy guy from Mad magazine whose mantra was "What, Me Worry?"). A considerable sum of science was not included into the predictions of the aforementioned theorists.
The coming water crisis in Virginia may evolve into another "unstoppable Ice Age." To avoid the failings of Malthus, Ehrlich, Gore and Chicken Little, a principled inquiry into any claim of authority, be it scientific, political or otherwise, is always a necessity. Question authority, even Alfred E. Neuman.
Port Haywood, Va.