Letter: Insist that local government takes the long view

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Do you love your mother? Most of us will answer yes to such a question. But some, having an honest moment, may struggle with themselves. Perhaps egos get in the way of reality. Or the need for greed. That’s often the case with some of humanity.

But I speak of the Earth as mother. She is struggling with our continued demands, our taking while never imagining a need of giving back. Let’s call that giving back conservation. Or self-preservation.

The resiliency of any community matches the resiliency of its environment. “You never miss your water ’til the well runs dry.” The well has run dry in much of the world and is running on empty in much more. Witness that through the movement of masses of millions of refugees. The catalyst of their movement is violence, but the truth of their desperation is environmental collapse. Urban economies are underwritten by rural soil and water with agrarian sweat.

Every day is Earth Day on this planet from now on. Buncombe County as a whole is actively “paving paradise to put up a parking lot.” The demands upon our elected representative government are tremendous, and those demands are chiefly in the immediacy of everyday pressures.

However, citizens with enough good sense to think forward, should, and I do believe must, insist that the commissioners and all our elected city officials grasp an active long-term view of having plentiful water, good air and rich soil as being who we are — a culture which conserves and thrives upon its ancient and resilient environmental heritage.

Dear Mother Earth, help us save ourselves from the rat race.

— Lawrence Williamson


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One thought on “Letter: Insist that local government takes the long view

  1. Robert McGee

    Our forests and rivers have always been, and remain, this area’s greatest draw. While restaurant and beer sales are measurable and vital, our true wealth lies in the intangible.

    We continue to urge the mayors and council members of Woodfin and Asheville to consider a future when they will most surely not occupy the offices they now hold. If we destroy every major forest and pollute the river for future generations, what problems are being kicked down the road? Affordable housing (not ‘treadmill’ housing), living wages, traffic/public transit, social justice, the environment: they’re all intertwined.

    I applaud those who champion a 20-year plan for our area, but I urge those in positions of influence to think decades beyond…

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