]]]]]]]]      AN ECOLOGICAL KRISTALLNACHT. LISTEN.    [[[[[[[[[[[
                       By Albert Gore Jr.

  [``Albert Gore Jr., a Democrat, is Senator from Tennessee.'']
    [From The New York Times, 19 March 1989, Sec. 4, p. 27:1]


[Kindly uploaded by Freeman 10602PANC, who writes:

Dear Dr  Beckmann: I  found the  following so  astonishing that I
cannot thing of anything to say.   The sad fact is that The Times
is not letting a crazy discredit himself by allowing him his say.
They  agree with  him!  A  good  many of  the Times'  readers are
Jewish, so that  trying to make  a parallel between environmental
`holocaust' and Hitlerian `holocaust'  is clever.  But how wrong!
What a blasphemy!  How offensive!
   You said  you wanted items  that would be  valuable five years
from  now.  That  the  most  influential  newspaper  of  the most
scientifically and  technologically advanced nation  and a member
of the  legislative body of  the most powerful  nation could hold
the points  of view  expressed in  this piece  strains credulity.
Gore proves that man is the  only creature capable of doing filth
on himself.
      O. Panczenko]


   Humankind has suddenly  entered into a  brand new relationship
with our  planet.  Unless  we quickly  and profoundly  change the
course of our civilization, we face an immediate and grave danger
of destroying the worldwide  ecological system that sustains life
as we know it.
   It is time to confront this danger.
   In 1939, as  clouds of war gathered  over Europe, many refused
to recognize what  was about to  happen.  No one  could imagine a
Holocaust, even after  shattered glass had  filled the streets on
Kristallnacht.   World leaders  waffled  and waited,  hoping that
Hitler was not what  he seemed, that world  war could be avoided.
Later,  when  aerial  photographs   revealed  death  camps,  many
pretended not  to see.  Even  now, many fail  to acknowledge that
our victory was  not only over  Nazism but also  over dark forces
deep within us.
   In 1989,  clouds of a  different sort  signal an environmental
holocaust without  precedent.  Once again,  world leaders waffle,
hoping the danger  will dissipate.  Yet today  the evidence is as
clear as the sounds of glass shattering in Berlin.
   o The earth's forests  are being destroyed at  the rate of one
football field's worth every  second, one Tennessee's worth every
   o An enormous hole is opening in the ozone layer, reducing the
earth's  ability   to  protect   life  from   deadly  ultraviolet
   o Living species  die at such an  unprecedented rate that more
than half may disappear within our lifetimes.
   o Chemical wastes, in growing volumes, seep downward to poison
ground  water and  upward  to destroy  the  atmosphere's delicate
   o   Huge   quantities   of   carbon   dioxide,   methane   and
chlorofluorocarbons dumped  in the  atmosphere have  trapped heat
and raised global temperatures.
   o  Every  day, 37,000  children  under  the age  of  5  die of
starvation  or preventable  diseases  made worse  by  failures of
crops and politics.
   Why  are these  dramatic  changes taking  place?   Because the
human population  is surging; (it  took a million  years to reach
two billion people.   In the last 40  years, world population has
doubled.  And in  the next 40  years, the number  of people could
double   again);   because   the   industrial,   scientific   and
technological  revolutions  magnify the  environmental  impact of
these  increases,   and  because   we  tolerate  self-destructive
behavior and environmental vandalism on a global scale.
   Why, once again, do we fail  to rally our forces?  Much of the
world closed its eyes as Hitler marched because the only adequate
response  was a  horrible war  many  hoped to  avoid.  Do  we now
shrink from the  unimaginably difficult response  demanded by the
global environmental crisis,  and hope against  hope that it will
yet prove unnecessary?
   This crisis  is so different  from anything before  that it is
hard to believe  it is real.   We seize scientific uncertainties,
however  small,  as  excuses  for  inaction.   Some,  like  Prime
Minister Neville Chamberlain in Munich, would rather adapt to the
threat than confront it.  This time, they are protected not by an
umbrella but by floppy hats and sunglasses.
   Our  complacency  stems  in part  form  a  standard  of living
dependent  on rapid  consumption of  the earth's  resources.  Our
generation  has inherited  the  idea that  we  have the  right to
appropriate for  ourselves the  earth's accumulated  treasures as
quickly as we  can consume them.  We  reach back through millions
of years for the deposits that fuel our industrial civilization.
   Just as  a drug addict  needs increasing doses  to produce the
same effect, our global appetite  for the earth's abundance grows
each  year.  we  transform  the resources  of  the past  into the
pollution of the future,  telescoping time for self-indulgence in
the present.
   In 1987,  carbon monoxide  levels in  the atmosphere  began to
surge with record annual increases.  Global temperatures are also
climbing: 1987  was the second  hottest year on  record; 1988 was
the  hottest.  Scientists  now  predict our  current  course will
raise world temperatures  five degrees Celsius  in our lifetimes.
The last time there was such a shift, it was five degrees colder;
New York City  was under one  kilometer of ice.   If five degrees
colder over  thousands of years  produces an ice  age, what could
five degrees warmer produce in a lifetime?
   In a classic experiment, a frog dropped in boiling water jumps
out.  The same frog, put in the water before it is slowly boiled,
remains in  the pot.   Our environment  is at  the boiling point.
Will we react?
   The 1990's are  the decade of  decision.  Profound changes are
required.  We  must create a  new global  compact for sustainable
development   --   for   example,   trading   debts   for  shared
environmental stewardship. Our agenda must include the following:
   o A worldwide ban in  five years on chlorofluorocarbons, which
simultaneously destroy the protective ozone layer and cause up to
20 percent of global warming.
   o  Rapid  reductions  in  carbon  dioxide  emissions,  through
increased vehicle mileage  standards, increased energy efficiency
and development of alternative energy sources.
   o  A  global   halt  to  destruction   of  forests  and  swift
implementation of worldwide reforestation programs.
   o  A  ban  within  five years  on  packaging  that  is neither
recyclable  nor  naturally   degradable,  a  comprehensive  waste
minimization program and aggressive  efforts to control emissions
of methane from landfills and other sources.
   o A series of global summit meetings to seek the unprecedented
international cooperation the environmental crisis will demand.
   In  the  1940's,  as  victory  neared  over  the  dark  forces
unleashed on Kristallnacht, Gen. Omar Bradley offered advice that
is once again relevant to  the challenge that confronts humanity:
``It is time we  steered by the stars, not  by the lights of each
passing ship.''

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