Rea­son for some gloom

Tampa Bay Times - - Opinion -

David Von Drehle’s col­umn honors the in­ge­nu­ity of the hu­man brain and spirit. He cer­tainly makes his point that we’ve man­aged to tackle scarcity chal­lenges faced by a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion through in­ven­tion and mass pro­duc­tion. How­ever, he does not at all ad­dress the costs in­curred, the most im­por­tant of which is the health of our planet and ecosys­tem. The amaz­ing amounts of pro­duc­tion he cites ig­nores the fact that were dump­ing car­bon into our at­mos­phere and oceans at un­prece­dented rates, re­sult­ing in ru­n­away cli­mate change, acid­i­fi­ca­tion of the ocean, and un­mit­i­gated erad­i­ca­tion of both plant and an­i­mal fauna. He men­tions China as be­ing “ham­pered” in growth be­cause of un­rea­son­able pop­u­la­tion man­age­ment poli­cies, yet for years they have had the fastest grow­ing econ­omy. It’s just too bad the peo­ple liv­ing there can’t see the sun in the sky on a cloud­less day due to air pol­lu­tion from un­con­trolled and un­reg­u­lated pro­duc­tion. (I’ve been there, and the air ac­tu­ally tastes as bad as it looks.)

Should we re­ally be op­ti­mistic in think­ing we’re on a sus­tain­able path?

Joseph Rocco, Clear­wa­ter

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