This is a response to Mr. Merc's recent letter.
True, you may have survived your list written under "An Incontinent Truth" (Source 3/23/07), but the point is that the planet isn't doing as well as you. While you may die of old age, the ever more alarming proof is that generations after you may not, nor will the quality of life you inherited be the same for them. Those that came before you did not abuse the planet as much or at the rate it is happening now. You have a nice life because those in the past, even if inadvertently and unknowingly, passed that life on to you. The situation now is completely different. We know what our actions are doing, and we, as a global community, have moral choices to make. You call us 'Chicken Littles," and yes, we are running around squawking there is a problem, the Earth, as we know it, is in serious trouble. But hopefully the noise will sound an alarm. Of course, I realize you can't hear the alarm if, like another bird, you have your head buried in the sand.
My only hope is the youth hear the alarm, understand that this time the wolf really is in Peter's flock, shut off their FOX/BETA sitcoms and 'reality shows' and give us chickens some help with a more pressing type of reality. Commenting on your list, these are actually true, and their effects are cumulative: "over population, global cooling, resource depletion, acid rain, ozone depletion, global food shortages and second-hand smoke."
Your list of predicted terrors that you have survived continued:
"mass extinctions" – This has happened to animals, and groups of red, brown, and white people as well, and its near relative, genocide (expanding to include large numbers of blacks is still going on in the world today).
"The Japanese will dominate us" – Actually, Japanese and East Indians have done that as we speak, in certain fields where they spent the last 40 years preparing themselves in school for the technology revolution, but I fear they too will be overtaken in turn by the sheer numbers in China).
"Communism is indomitable" – You are right. Embedded authoritarianism and borders to new thinking have toppled, so that gives me hope for the current state of education. And folks, ending Communism had a grassroots movement from the masses to the top…so don't give up hope; we can turn politics and business as usual around in the V.I., if enough of us get involved!
"bird flu, West Nile disease" – You forgot killer bees, and women's suffrage
"Y2K" – Hey, you're right! But we did solve Y2K (In time) because people realized as the date got closer that it would be a problem if they didn't get their thinking caps on and come up with a way to solve it, (hint, hint).
"55 mph " – No. That speed limit is alive and well on St. John…It's the speed of overloaded cement trucks driving with their horns, on Centerline!
"farmland is disappearing" – This is important only if you don't like genetic manipulation of seeds, the effects we already suspect we are seeing in young girls and boys from forced chicken production hormones, and you don't really miss how fruit used to taste and feel in your mouth as juices escaped and dribbled down your chin from the non-woody pulp.
"global water shortages" – I'm a transplant from New Mexico where the underground water table is always in crisis because we fritter it away watering resort golf courses in the desert, built because permits were granted for payoffs – not because they were well thought out with an eye to the future. Right now I am more concerned with the water rationing we are having on St. John even before residents occupy Grande Bay and the new village of Sirenusa.
"1984" – Have you been asleep during the Bush administration?
"massive amounts of bovine flatulence (honest!) "- Yes, but at least its 'natural,' whereas the hot air expelled by politicians and bureaucrats to hide their deeds and intentions is still going on and hurting us – especially when these very few lawmakers and administrators actually have the power to do 'the right thing' and make life better for the majority and not the few.
"nuclear energy and its waste" – Wait until nuclear waste has to pass through the main highway in your state to get to another 'dump' (if you can find a state that wants it). Watch your taxes go up then as they widen intrastate highways into four lanes to accommodate nuclear waste transport convoys and put 'protective' devices in place in case of accidental spillage. You are practicing for this already by not enforcing environmental laws on run-off that kills your reefs (the main attraction for tourists) and by not having stricter litter and waste disposal laws in place. Or are you not worried about trash growing exponentially and land for dumpsites shrinking? Better buy now before the real estate agents try to sell it to you 20 years down the road!
"Club of Rome" I'm not sure what this is, but we are currently being compared globally to the Roman Empire and its internal collapse, which permitted it to be invaded and sacked.
"Limits to Growth," "hand guns," "global economic meltdown," "mad cow disease," "the Late Great Planet Earth", etc., etc., etc." Yes, well, congratulations for surviving these as well. But remember: 'location, location, location.' In this sense – one of the reasons your list of "Tragedies That Never Happened After They Scared Us About Them" is because of where you live especially for many of the items above. And that fact, where you were born, was a lucky accident for you; it's not like we get a choice. I'm sure those who were born by chance in the places actually hosting the aforementioned afflictions would be willing to exchange places. Want to exchange and see if your luck holds?
"I think I'll just go lie down and wait for the inevitable." – It would be preferable if you would get up and get involved!
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