To the editor:
The Saturday Column in the Sept. 3 Journal-World makes a fair assessment of the situational factors and some lessons to be learned from the post-hurricane disaster in New Orleans. But I find the conclusion of the commentary rather strange, "Protecting our environment is important, but it is even more important to protect our country." Where did that comment come from?
Besides being non-sequitur in context, the remark is grossly shortsighted. "Protecting our environment" is, in truth, at least as important as "protecting our country." In fact, protecting our natural environment is a necessary, integral component of protecting our nation's viability and security. The physical, mental and cohesive health of this country's citizens depends on our preserving a healthy natural environment.
Sustaining our nation's economy requires maintaining a healthy natural environment. For peaceful international relations and world stability, we must work to support a healthy global natural environment. Such environmentally protective measures as conserving energy, reducing pollution, and preserving natural habitats (for example, wetlands that mitigate on-land ocean surges) are acts of patriotism.
Please, don't promote the false notion that countering disasters and protecting the environment is an "either/or" choice. May we agree that they are but two aspects of the same goals, and we must do both? (The well-informed organization Republicans for Environmental Protection, www.repamerica.org, has some excellent commentaries on being a savvy "green" citizen.)