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Wars often fought for control of resources

By Staff | Jun 5, 2009

As a handicapped Vietnam veteran, I deeply sympathize with the views expressed by Mr. Hutcheson. I also sympathize with frustrations of war expressed by Mr. Wilson.

I suggest we focus on realities rather than personalities. We all have contributions to make to the needed solutions. Wars have been fought as long as there have been competing groups, nations, and interests. At bottom, no matter what they are alleged to be about, they are always about control of land and resources. In Vietnam, the prize was the oil reserve under the South China Sea, also tin and rubber. In the current Middle East conflict, the underlying issue is oil and gas; the Persian Gulf contains two-thirds of the world oil supply.

Land and resources are finite, not infinite. The extravagant uses of both in the past will not serve in the future, as we all see. We can’t have a healthy society without a healthy environment here and elsewhere.

It appears to me that the current administration is diligently attempting to rationalize the abuses that have occurred in the past centuries. Call it economics, planning, rationing, or what you will, this boils down to national, state and local/regional planning for sustainability at every level. We can all participate in this, as one of our obligations of citizenship.

Locally and regionally, we can do planning we haven’t done in the past, for long term sustainability. In energy, we can reduce our carbon footprint by making full use of solar power; houses and businesses can be fitted for passive solar production, for example. In transportation, we can make more use of energy-efficient public transport, like rail and buses. We can all be more conservative in use of water resources; Jefferson County, for example, has some 25 different water systems, and there are many water and sewerage issues to be addressed in a sustainable way.

Planning something we all do, every day; a shopping list is a plan; a 30-year mortgage is a plan. This a long-term community necessity, a function of the whole community and of government.

Jack Snyder

Ashley Drive