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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 9:04 pm | Fair 54º


Ron Fink: Are People Destroying The Earth?

Huge volcanoes erupt every year at various places around the earth.

In 1980 when Mount Saint Helens, in Washington state erupted 1,300-feet of mountain top was blown off a dominate peak, and the rock and mud flow that followed obliterated several square miles of forest and buried tourists and residents alike.
The eruption caused 520 million tons of ash to spread from Washington state across the Great Plains and then around the world in 15 days. It destroyed everything in its path for 19 miles from west to east.

All standing trees were blown to the ground, and at the blast's outer limit, the remaining trees were thoroughly seared.

In 2004, a filmed report of the damage caused by an earthquake deep in the Indian Ocean, documented the breathtaking destruction and misery of the population that was beyond comprehension.

The tsunami that followed, created by the natural shifting of the earth, traveled some 1,000 miles in all directions to strike people dead and move entire communities off the face of the earth.

Then, last year during the flooding following the Thomas Fire more than 400 buildings were damaged or destroyed, and two-score people were killed. Some of those people still haven’t been found.

What once were buildable tracts of land simply disappeared and no trace could be found that they were ever there.

Some would argue that since the fire was caused by a man-made power line failure, then the flood was, too. But, man couldn’t and didn’t cause it to rain with the intensity that it did for a couple of hours.

Many lessons can be taken from these disasters.

The first lesson concerns the environment. Many in our community are staunch environmentalists who have frequently claimed man is “destroying the environment” by his varied activities (oil drilling, development, forest harvests, agricultural grading ...). 

Those same people claim they can save the environment if only we would stop doing whatever it is they don’t like.

These horrendous events clearly demonstrate we mere humans are amateurs when it comes to damaging the environment.

An oil spill or timber harvest is a short-lived event when compared to the earthquake in Indonesia, volcanic eruption in Washington state or floods in Montecito.

Even the poster child for local environmentalism, the 1969 oil spill from Platform A in the Santa Barbara Channel, is a transient event in history.

The lesson for the public at large is that as hard as they try, environmental activists haven’t really demonstrated a clear understanding of the complexity of the earth’s environment in general.

There is no way several generations of humans can have the same impact as nature does on our earth daily; so, quit trying to convince us otherwise.

The second lesson concerns liberal media biases in reporting. Within mere hours after major catastrophes, some began ranting about the “poor response by the government” and others initiate lawsuits.

These actions demonstrate the intellectual bankruptcy of both the press and those who don’t quite understand how the earth works and/or wish to capitalize on the resultant damage.

The fact is, these disasters were of epic proportions.

The survivors are seen trying to cope with the magnitude of these events, while some try to make them and the destruction of the environment by that evil human owned and operated industry (insert favorite target) a political issue.

So, for anyone reading this, stop and think about it. Does man or nature “destroy the earth”?

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry and has been active with Lompoc municipal government commissions and committee since 1992, including 12 years on the Lompoc Planning Commission. He is also a voting member of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Contact him at [email protected]. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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