Way..... Out there !

Way..... Out there !
Deepest, most colorful Hubble image yet of our universe. Click for info.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Problem With the Bay — It's Us !

Years and years of bumper stickers ("Save the Bay") and cleanup days, not to mention importuning politicians have failed to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. In fact, it's getting inexorably worse. The basic problem, generally ignored until now, is addressed in an article in The Chesapeake Bay Journal written by Lara Lutz.

In the early days of the Bay cleanup efforts, public presentations about the Chesapeake often included an illustration from the comic strip "Pogo," with the character's famous saying, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

If so, the Bay has more enemies than ever. In the years since those outreach efforts took place in the mid-1980s, nearly 3 million more people have arrived in Bay's watershed. They consume forests and farmland, and generate pollution.

Now, as the human population of the Bay watershed cruises toward 17 million, author and conservationist Tom Horton is asking hard questions about the Bay's biggest long-term problem: growth.

What to do? The article has many suggestions, but may still not address the fundamental problem: there's just too many people around. And if they don't live here, where will they – and all the associated problems – live? And if we don't like the Chinese solution (one child per family, or else...), what will we do?

I hope you will read the article and ponder its implications for all of us. For it isn't somebody else's problem: it's ours.

John L.

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