Helping the Earth only helps ourselves


Ted Dubasik, I'd like to thank you. On Friday I had to get out of my comfortable bed and go to my 8 a.m. soils class. Often, I just wish I could go back to bed, but after reading your column, ("Hug people, not trees," April 26) I was reminded why I get up and bike to an early morning environmental science class three times a week.

Before we get off on the wrong foot, I'll say that I agree it is foolish and wrong for any person or group to hurt or kill people to achieve a goal. This includes everyone from environmental extremists, who would hurt people over trees, to countries waging war over natural resources or anything else.

Now for the wrong foot. Ted, I'll call you crazy. I would have called you misinformed, but there's no accounting for taste. The reason people protested the logging of dead trees is simple (logging on the whole is not a simple issue; however, I'll stick to dead trees). Dead trees are a vital part of a healthy forest. I understand you probably didn't know that, which is fine. No one knows everything, and most of us know very little. Something you might understand as an accountant is that every year more money is spent subsidizing logging operations than is made by the sale of the timber.

Enough of my opinions on healthy forests and good business sense, let's talk about fundamental facts we must accept: People live on the Earth; the Earth is our environment. That is, the Earth is the aggregate of all external and internal conditions affecting the existence, growth and welfare of all organisms. Sorry, didn't keep it simple, did I. What I mean is that humans are a living part of this earth, and by doing our part and conserving our environment we shall be lifted with it. Conservation is the art and science of using, protecting and improving a resource according to principles that will ensure its permanent productivity.

We are the stewards of the earth, we are our brothers' and sisters' keeper. Ted, may you live a long happy life here on the Earth first. Those other planets are a little short on good environments for humans.

Brian N. Decker
environmental science junior