We’ve more to fear than fear itself

Robert Woods is a retired teacher who also worked for 21 years as naturalist-interpreter for Lassen National Forest. Two years ago, he was the Democratic candidate for the 3rd Assembly District.

Sustainability is a term used by organic farmers to describe growing food in a sustainable way, so that we return to the soil as much as we take. Therefore, the land can be farmed in perpetuity according to nature’s own rules.

Sustainability could also be applied to the world in general. Do we treat the earth and its flora and fauna in a way that’s sustainable for future generations? Our present course says no.

My memory goes back to the days of the Franklin Roosevelt administration. Roosevelt had first been elected in a time when the nation was paralyzed by fear and a feeling of hopelessness in the Great Depression. He told the people in his first inaugural address, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

He set about to allay those fears. He protected people’s savings by insuring their bank accounts with the federal government (as they remain today). He put people to work planting trees for the future. He put others to work building dams for flood control and hydroelectric power. The national goals centered around planning for the future. Service to the country became uppermost in the nation’s consciousness.

Current leaders have rejected such inspired goals. Conservation and service have been replaced by greed and manipulation. War and aggression have become tools to acquire more than our share of the world’s resources. Our economy is propped up with sales of armaments to the highest bidders in the world. The Middle East is aflame and threatening to engulf the planet in a third world war.

It is not too late to restore the spirit of America’s world leadership that was established during World War II. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and Lester Brown’s Plan B—Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble point the way out of our dire course. Use your power at the ballot box to save the Earth from the tragic road of the current administration.

We can again have peacemakers and statesmen as our world leaders. It is up to us to choose a world that is truly sustainable, one where we can see a bright future for coming generations.

But we must act now.