Letters to the editor for Nov. 8

November 8, 2009 

Population growth is the enemy

Recently two members of a Catholic order have been writing about saving the Earth from human-caused degradation. I find their words wise and caring, as do, I think, many Olympian readers. In that sense, they are preaching to the choir — ha, ha — anyway, speaking to people who already agree with them.

The sisters were conspicuously silent about the worst of all eco-degradation problems — human population growth. In a way, they are like other environmentalists who dare not openly advocate stopping growth. Our culture of endless growth, force-fed by economists and those who profit from it, has zero tolerance for anyone who challenges growth.

But the sisters’ situation is worse. They are members of a church whose hierarchy is the most influential and implacable enemy of birth control on our entire planet. That is, while speaking of saving the Earth, they are required to support and sustain an organization whose antagonism to contraception is foremost among all of the forces that are unraveling the biosphere and destroying human living standards.

Do the sisters ever challenge their hierarchy about this? That would be a far more effective attempt to save the Earth than writing to a generally supportive public.

Back in 1830, the entire population of the Earth was 1 billion people. Today, more than that number of people go to bed every night hungry or malnourished. The sisters and all other environmentalists need to start speaking up about the underlying cause of this — population growth.

David H. Milne, Shelton

Adopt responsible wolf management

Wolves are amazing animals and a unique part of our American heritage.

The return of the gray wolf to the American west is in incredible story of what we can do to restore our natural world. Humans and wolves have coexisted for hundreds of years, and we should be able to continue to live with them.

But aggressive state management could threaten to turn back the clock on wolf recovery, and risk endangering wolf populations. We need to adopt responsible, science-based wolf management strategies. We should manage wolves like other wildlife, such as mountain lions and bears, instead of treating them like pests and actively reducing their numbers to minimum levels.

Leila Merosands, Olympia

Do decency, discretion have meaning?

As my young grandson and I shared a snack recently in a small city park, a young man sat down nearby whose T-shirt proclaimed loudly, “F--- milk, got pot?”

I believe in an open society based, in part, on the ideal of free speech, where all citizens are free to express their views openly. But the concept of an open society presupposes well-educated, thoughtful citizens.

Then how do we operate in a society like ours in which education and thought become rarer every day and where, quite literally, anything goes?

The open society presupposes that words such as “decency,” “morality,” “appropriateness,” “responsibility,” “sensible,” “manners,” and so on have generally accepted meanings.

Then what do we do when such words have become outmoded, old-fashioned, the objects of snickers and sneers? Do decency and discretion have meaning when everyone’s only consideration is, “I gotta be me. I gotta express myself!”

The traditionally religious among us would respond that they can restore order to the society by making it a theocracy, thus replacing one kind of horror with another. Some of us would also observe that anything goes, dominated by mindless violence and unbridled sexuality, is primarily promoted by commercial interests.

The stupid and irresponsible spend a lot of money on stupid, irresponsible T-shirts.

Is American society destined to die on the garbage heap of inanity, selfishness and thoughtlessness?

Burton S. Guttman, Olympia

Return Capitol Lake to an estuary

It was high tide recently when I drove past the Nisqually Delta and it was a sight for sore eyes to see the flood of water covering hundreds of acres that until a few days ago was wasted brush land.

I just turned 78 years of age, and I hope I can live to see the day when all of that land is the home of fish and shell life that existed something like a hundred years ago or more.

I don’t get out fishing much, but I hope this will enhance all sorts of fisheries.

I only hope this is the beginning of riddling our wonderful Northwest water of needless dams and lakes where they do not belong.

And again, I hope to see Capitol Lake returned to an estuary before I die.

Charlie Brough, Olympia

We have too many government workers

I live under the Lacey umbrella, just outside the limits.

If my numbers are correct, Lacey has 243 employees, Olympia has 511, Thurston County has 1,037 and the state has 108,692.

That’s 110,000 government employees telling us what to do.

It certainly raises the question of how much local government do we really need?

Isn’t anyone in favor of a huge reduction?

Marvin Merritt, Lacey

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