233;'s 'dream' deserves kudos
Bravo to Chris Honor&
233; for throwing much-needed light on what must be done if we are to avoid ecological and, therefore, social collapse. (The American Dream, Jan. 7.)
The "First World" (about one billion people) over-consumes the materials of the earth at rate that so exceeds the consumption of the bottom five billion that it is impossible for them ever to attain equality or equity &
and the human habitat will be destroyed in the attempt. The only ethical solution requires the one billion over-consumers to radically reduce their gluttonous consumption and to join in a global effort to share the necessary goods of life in a way that sustains both humanity and the natural world upon which we all depend.
It was always a profound error to equate "The American Dream" with "stuff," with materialism; that was always "The Advertiser's Dream," with consequences we see all around us in our decaying society.
233;'s fatalism may be on target
Shades of Robert Malthus. Chris Honor&
233; in "The American Dream" (Jan. 7) treats us to a modernly enhanced version of the classical economist famous for turning economics into the "dismal science." Malthus finally came to the conclusion that mankind was doomed to a future of misery, disease and starvation unless population growth was curbed by sexual restrain, (a condition he thought extremely unlikely). His thesis was simple and, at the time, unanswerable; population growth would eventually outrun the means of subsistence
Malthus, writing in the early 1800s, could not envision how technological development and capitalism would provide the economic growth that would enable England and the Western world to postpone his gloomy prognosis
233; resurrects Malthus by fleshing out some of the consequences of 200 years of experience with technological development and capitalism. He notes three developments:
1. Large scale mining, manufacturing, waste disposal and energy needs lead to severe and eventually irreversible environmental degradation of land, sea and air.
2. Economic growth has split the world into two vastly different and incompatible parts &
the developed world of — billion, where most live far above poverty, and the undeveloped world of 5.5 billion and growing, who live in perpetual poverty and misery.
3. The rise of China and India with the military and economic power and determination to catch up with the West. Honor&
233; points out that if they did catch up to the West, world consumption would increase eleven fold &
obviously utterly impossible.
What it all comes down to is that Malthus might have been right after all &
and all in all it is not a good time to be young
Harry L. Cook
BLM shows true colors
As reported by the media, the peaceful rally held Jan. 8 in front of BLM's Medford office was well attended by over a hundred people despite blinding rainstorms. For an hour, citizens expressed their concerns about the proposed Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR) with speeches, songs, and the handing over of petitions. Throughout, the attendees held the moral high ground.
Not so for the BLM. Although an official, Mary Smelcer, was present, those attending were generally viewed with suspicion. Despite the pounding rain, the building was locked allowing no access to toilets. The tour bus, that accompanied a group and had a restroom, was relegated to park at a considerable distance away. Some attendees seeking shelter under the open breezeway between BLM buildings were summarily evicted, including a representative of the press. A yellow band was erected around the breezeway to prevent further entry. BLM security and Medford police stood dry under the breezeway shelter.
The right to assemble &
especially when a public comment period is ending, like Jan.11 &
is part of American democracy. Policies that affect all of us near BLM lands should be extensively reviewed, studied, and discussed.
One might wonder if the BLM suspects that their WOPR is unpopular and seek to insulate themselves. One wonders if there is deep dysfunction affecting this public tax-supported agency.
It is my hope that future rallies can be met with more compassion for the men, women and children standing tall for democracy in torrential rains!
Letters to the editor