Only after the last tree has been cut down.  Only after the last river has been poisoned.  Only after the last fish has been caught.  Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

"When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof." - Wingspread Statement of the Precautionary Principle.

Luseland
Index

Letter to the Editor
Wadena News
October 9, 2003

To the Editor:

Back in Roman times, there was an exodus of people from the rural areas into the cities when their soils got depleted.  Pertinax offered to give ownership to anyone who would occupy and cultivate any abandoned land, furthermore to exempt such land from taxes for 109 years.  He had few takers.

A century later, Diocletian attempted more drastic measures.  He issued an edict that bound all free farmers and slaves to the land they were expected to cultivate.

Constantine, a generation later, made it a crime for the son of a farmer to leave the farm on which he was reared.  It didnít work.  Food supply diminished and it was the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire.  (Source:  Topsoil and Civilization).

Fast forward to 1969.  The task force on agriculture declared there were too many farmers and one third of them had to go.  With the North American Free Trade Agreement and the demise of the Crow, tearing up rail branch lines and closing elevators, getting farmers to leave the lad was a resounding success.

But from a social point of view, it is a disaster.

Our infrastructure is fast disappearing.  Schools are being closed.  Hospitals are being closed.  Churches are being closed.  Children must have longer and longer bus rides for their education.

Cities are plagued with youth gangs, prostitution, garbage disposal, homeless and food banks.  Maybe it is time for a task force on how to eliminate the food banks.

With the rise of factory farmers, raping of the soil with chemical fertilizers and poisonous pesticides and herbicides in order to maximize production, how long will it be before the organic material the organic material in the soil will be depleted and we will be to where things were in Pertinaxís time?  Will we ever learn?

J.W. Zunti,
Luseland, Sask.

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