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Look to the future

Dear editor:

Tina Bradley is absolutely correct in urging that we elect representatives and senators who will work to alleviate the increasingly deadly environmental problems we face. Time is indeed running out.

I have written to our Washington politicians about the urgency of the situation. They reply with form letters giving their own points of view. It seems that before they can deal with saving the environment for future generations, they feel obliged to make their actions fit in with having America first and rich. Businesses and corporations must be allowed to be profitable or else foreign countries will undercut us. How can they make money if we require them to adopt measures that cut down on pollution, for example?

My response:

"There is no longer a question regarding climate change or deadly pollution or about who is causing them, or about whether human activity or inactivity is contributing to the loss of many species, including our own. The question now is, what to do about it?

"You say that the American economy must come first. We must not restrict corporations to the point that they cannot make tremendous profits. My reply is that if we save the economy and do those things that put America first in financial matters, but in doing so continue to shorten the span of human existence on earth by polluting our home and wasting the good things that nature provides, human life is doomed.

"Of what use then are jobs, and a position of financial power, if we continue to let life on earth deteriorate? My challenge to you is to start with first things first: look for ways to keep our world safe for human life. Study the problems of overpopulation, global warming, sea level rise, and the pollution of water and air. Put the almighty dollar second. Or we will not be around to spend that dollar.

"If Congress does not join with world leaders in looking for answers, Republicans and Democrats alike will one day awaken to the fact that our shores are flooded, our air is not fit to be breathed, our water is undrinkable, and our people are fighting for space. If you wait for action from the states, and from corporations with their self-interest at heart, you may be waiting right up to the day when you take your last clean breath and drink your last clean glass of water. Without the power and influence of the Federal Government, many of the monumental advances America has made would not have come. Look at civil rights. Look at the women's vote.

"I ask you to look to the future. I ask you to think about the desperate situation your grandchildren and their children will face. Will they look back at you and ask, 'Why did he not do something while he could?'"

C.G. Smith

Hot Springs

Editorial on 11/04/2018

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