Population: a problem at home, tooTodd Ballantine...

the Forum

December 03, 1991

Population: a problem at home, too

Todd Ballantine, environmentalist, noted in the Nov. 22 "Earth Matters" column that population has clear effects on the environment.

He spoke in terms of the global effects. I believe what he wrote to be quite true; however, he perhaps should have narrowed his view. That is, he, and we, should consider the United States in the global population perspective.

This country is the site of choice for most migrating peoples throughout the world. We allow several hundred thousand immigrants in legally. Another million or so come in illegally. Couple this with our rising birthrate, and our increase in population is right up there with many Third World countries.

We see the effects in the Chesapeake Bay region. We are battling to save the bay's seafood production; yet the effects of population pressures almost overcome all we do. Builders try to develop the wetlands that filter our pollutants, and we build along stream shores and in flood plains. We heavily fertilize great areas of land, both farms and lawns, and use tremendous quantities of pesticides, all of which eventually end up in the bay. We generate mountains of garbage, which we cannot dispose of in an environmentally safe manner, if indeed one exists.

Most of these things are done by people who are simply trying to maintain their existence in the area. The net effect is a terrible disaster which is rapidly enveloping us. The simple fact is, too many people live in the Chesapeake Bay area, including its total mid-Atlantic drainage.

Too many people live in the U.S. for proper conservation of its resources and its environment. We have 250 million people; we should have not more than 150 million for a good, sustainable balance. We are in trouble; it is time for the environmentalists to start beating this drum, too.

James V. McCoy

Phoenix

Egghead politics

The new plan for a Baltimore city-Baltimore County shared legislative district suggested by the state redistricting committee will certainly usher in, as Baltimore city Del. Howard Rawlings promises, "a new promised land."

The people of Baltimore County will be forced against their will and without their consent into this new regional plan. According to The Evening Sun, the benefits will be automatic "for far-reaching regional cooperation to improve government services. . . ."

Improve government services, indeed! If Baltimore County merges with the city, Howard County or Anne Arundel County, the benefits will be multifaceted: layoffs, reduction of services, angry marches on City Hall, reductions in public safety, curtailing the teaching system, the public libraries and so forth.

Yes, Baltimore County would have furloughs, angry citizens, poor services, cutbacks and marches on Towson to gain if we give up, as The Sun claims, our "posturing" and "selfish reasonsfor providing services without interruption, new schools without tax increases, more money for teachers, police and prosecutors, while at the same time not furloughing county workers or cutting back on basic services.

According to The Evening Sun, American University professo Alan Lichtman, an expert on the federal Voting Rights Act, claims that the law is really a regional planning document wherein minorities in Baltimore County can only be fairly represented if their districts encompass both city and county.

How anyone could equate fair representation with regionalism is unbelievable. According to Lichtman, Wyoming and South Dakota should be joined, and the representatives there would have to run region-wide, all in the name of racial equality. Egad, save us from the eggheads!

Michael J. Davis

Essex

Homes protected

While reading Laura Lippman's article, "Economy pushes people over edge and onto welfare" (The Evening Sun, Nov. 19), came across this disturbing sentence: "He (William C. Anderson) has filed for personal bankruptcy and expects the bank to foreclose on his home within the next few months."

I believe that someone should have caught this error. Bankruptcy cases operate to stay other judicial or administrative proceedings against the debtor. This means that the bank is stopped from foreclosing on Mr. Anderson's home.

Filing for bankruptcy may not be the answer to every homeowner's financial problems, but it will at least guarantee a roof over his/her head.

Heide U. Schulz

Abingdon

On the streets

Concerning Mark Bomster's story in The Evening Sun Nov. 11 headlined "Parents' panic," he quotes a mother as being outraged that Mayor Schmoke was planning to shut city schools for a week to help balance the budget.

"He's putting my children, literally, on the street for a week, because I won't be there to take care of them," she's quoted as saying.

Where, may I ask, is her unemployed husband, who is mentioned only once in the first graph of the story? Is he incapable of taking care of four elementary school children?

Or is this just another of The Evening Sun's tear jerkers to fortif its position in favor of higher taxes?

It does make a reader wonder.

John A. Woodfield

Forest Hill

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