Letters to the Editor

June 17, 2008

Environmentalism is 'license to intrude'

To the editor:

I want to respond with great appreciation for publishing an excellent commentary by George Will on May 28 entitled "Bears and Government." Thank you, Bob Maginnis. I hope that it was read by many in the Tri-State area and beyond on the Internet.

We, as citizens of this great nation, want to be able to trust our government to have the intelligence and common sense to handle important issues that affect us all. However, we learn from time to time to our dismay that some, who are in positions of power, push agendas that are woefully counterproductive.

The issue at hand which Will so skillfully made clear, was concerning the plight of the polar bear, which the Interior Department has put on the list of endangered species.


Now this department of the U.S. Government has a track record with mistaken ideas about global climate change and what causes such change. At the present time the concern is global warming, and, as a result, the polar bears' habitat will be losing the ice formations they need in order to survive.

Back in 1975, Science Magazine reported "The approach of a full- blown 10,000 year ice age" according to British author Nigel Lawson's book "An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming" which Will referred to in "Bears and Government."

As far as our responsibility as stewards of planet Earth, conservation is something we can do to help, such as recycling, etc. I think the pollution of fields and streams is a mounting problem, as I understand it. Producing vehicles that are fuel-efficient is good and will lessen air pollution. But what the environmentalists say about our destruction of the ozone layer is incredibly flawed, in my judgment.

In conclusion, let me quote the last paragraph of Will's commentary as follows:

"Environmentalism is, as Lawson writes, an unlimited "license to intrude." "Ecofundamentalism," which is "the quasi-religion of green alarmism," promises "global salvationism." Onward, green soldiers, into preventive war on behalf of some bears who are simultaneously flourishing and "threatened."

Edgar M. Foltz Jr.
Greencastle, Pa.

Genetic crops will deepen food crisis

To the editor:

The Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations met recently to address the global food crisis. The United State delegation, led by USDA Secretary Ed Shafer, is proposing that the world adopt genetically engineered crops as a silver bullet solution. However, Secretary Shafer's GE solution is little more than a thinly veiled attempt at subsidizing biotech corporations and advancing the genetic contamination of organic and non-GE crops in famine stricken countries.

GE crops are untested and unwanted by the majority of the planet's population. Dozens of countries around the world currently ban the cultivation of any genetically engineered varieties as they have yet to be proven safe for the environment or for human consumption. Additionally, GE crops have not been demonstrated to significantly increase yield, but rather force farmers onto a deadly spiral of agrichemicals and corporate patent monopolies.

The root cause of hunger abroad has more to do with so-called free trade agreements and market speculation, than with crop yields and patented hybrid crops. GE crops will only deepen the global food crisis. Impoverished and famine- stricken countries need support by redeveloping their food sovereignty to avoid deepening the crisis. Global security is dependent upon long-term sustainability, not short-term corporate subsidies.

Phyllis Crawford
Gaithersburg, Md.

Why take festival off the city streets?

To the editor:

I'm writing in reference to the recent article in The Herald-Mail regarding the Downtown Live concert. I don't see why the concert would be moved from the streets, as in all other towns with similar events (i.e. Frederick In the Streets) hosting the event in the streets of the city center is the only way to go.

I personally do not want to attend a concert in a parking garage. I attended the event last year and I did not see any issues with security and felt very safe. There were families with their children as well as people of all ages enjoying this event.

The feel of the city streets is what makes this event a success. It is great to see Hagerstown coming up to speed with the times, adding new downtown businesses, restaurants, etc. Let's not take a step back here just because a select few in the City Council have their opinions. Listen to the voices of the people!

Amy Michaud

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