WILL WE LEARN FROM OUR PAST MISTAKES?
- In the 1600's, the public's respect for science was in it's infancy. This was evidenced when a few scientists were widely criticized when they proclaimed that "the spawn of fish and other marine animals had been raised with the vapors from the sea, brought inland by clouds, and deposited by rain to permeate the interior of the earth and produce the fossil remains we find in the rocks today" As you know, we've learned a lot about fossils since that time.
- In 1934, a dust storm worked its way from the Midwest, obscuring the sun and leaving a thick layer of dust covering an expanse of states as it traveled to the Atlantic Ocean. The topsoil was blown and washed away leaving land unsuitable for growing crops. It wasn't until this catastrophe that we woke up and Congress realized that soil erosion truly did pose a menace to the national welfare, and which led directly to the enactment of the Soil Erosion Service in the early 1930's.
- In 1937, populations of whitetail deer in Georgia were down to 12,000 statewide. Roughly 2/two thirds of those were in 4 counties. Today we now enjoy a population of 1,400,000 deer and can shoot 12 deer per year per hunter right in Fulton County thanks to the wildlife conservation efforts which took place in the 50's and 60's.
- In 1947, DDT was considered a miracle Pesticide and safe enough to spray on children and even Eat! Click Here to watch a video! Obviously much has been learned since that time about the biological hazards and effects of DDT.
- In 1950, the Colorado River flowed freely into the Gulf of California (Pacific Ocean), and provided the most diverse desert wetland area in the world. It now dries up in the desert due to over use. Did we learn from this?
- In the 1960's, water pollution mostly from sewage and fertilizers caused the waters of the Chattahoochee and Savannah rivers to be void of fish for hundreds of miles!
|Cuyahoga River Video...Click Here|
- In 1977, wild turkey's were virtually non existent in Georgia primarily due to the destruction of their habitat. Today, we enjoy a population of over 340,000 birds due to habitat re-construction efforts.
From 2000 to 2010, Georgia grew by 18.3% (nearly 2 Million people). Georgia's population in 1900 was roughly 2.3 Million.
I WAS one of the MANY AMERICAN'S who failed to look at how we neglected wildlife and water resources and the consequences that resulted. I've since learned that it is NOW more important than EVER BEFORE to properly use our environmental laws to protect our way of life. Given our current population explosion, it wouldn't take much neglect for our Country's environmental resources to be in real trouble. Look at China's environment as an example of what happens when a government blows off protecting their natural resources in favor of "unbridled" economic growth. Neglect will catch us off guard. For Georgia's growing population, erosion prevention and sediment control is a critical issue that must be taken seriously.
We must continue to learn from our the past. We must honestly apply "real" science to our ongoing environmental challenges, and utilize our free enterprise system that empowers American ingenuity if we are to move forward as a strong nation.
To forget the damage we once caused, as well as the improvements we've made to our natural resources, would redefine stupidity.
We ALL must deepen our gratitude and appreciation for the qualities that have made our country great! Environmental laws like the Clean Water Act, if properly applied, will continue to make our country strong, both economically and environmentally!