Environmental Protection vs. Economic Growth

Thank you for the editorial "The Environment," Sept. 22. The comments on the need for our country to accept the social and economic costs of environmental protection are exactly correct.

Since World War II the United States has been growing economically at an almost unstoppable rate - for the most part without regard to the cost to the environment and the health of the people. We are now realizing these costs all across the nation. For those of us who treasure a safe environment for our children, the reality sounds more like a nightmare.

As the editorial states, the Republican Party's environmental platform emphasizes that environmental progress relies on economic gains. To a natural-resource manager, this position is fundamentally backwards. Isn't it time to recognize that without a stable environment we have no foundation for a healthy economy?

One has only to look at the timber industry in the Northwest to see a forest economy in decline due in part to over-consumption of the timber resource. A more graphic example is in Haiti, where its forests, soil, and water have been so depleted that rebuilding its economy rests on rebuilding its natural resources. Roger Sternberg, Chelsea, Vt.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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