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The Enemy Is Us

Dear Bay Weekly:

It isn’t nuclear weapons or terrorists that are the principal threat to our existence. It’s us and what we are doing to ourselves that far outweigh the dangers our leaders would have us believe to be of prime national importance. It is us, through the things we swallow, smear on our bodies, spray into the air, use to make our clothes, package our food, fuel our vehicles, wash our dishes, control the growth of our lawns, feed our pets, and on and on.

Human ingenuity and business acumen have brought humanity unbelievable marvels of health, comfort, security and entertainment. But each marvel carries a price beyond the monetary cost we incur to obtain them. Every day there are more of us than there were the day before, and every day we are befouling our environment to dangerous levels.

Lower forms of animals are our canaries in the mine. They alert us to dangers, and they are screaming their warnings if we but pay heed. While governments fight each other, we should instead be joining hands to save humanity from our self-wrought perils.

Think of this: The Potomac River, like many other rivers throughout the world, serves towns and cities along its shores both as a source of water and as a sump into which we pour our wastes, human and other. While water treatment processes filter out the usual biological hazards, new man-made chemicals and substances, both from our bodies and from our activities, pass through with ease. Stuff like estrogen and Viagra and all the other drugs and medicines we consume may already be influencing our sexual structures and processes. What contaminates nature, eventually, contaminates us.

It’s time we pay heed to the real dangers to the planet and its occupants that transcend national boundaries, politics, religions and economic considerations. We are an endangered species, and we are our own Threat Number One.

–M.C. Koblos, Cobb Island

Run for Heather Hurd and Safer Highways

Dear Bay Weekly:

If it’s predictable it is preventable. Each year, right here in Maryland we lose nearly 600 of our loved ones on our highways in traffic collisions. The loss is crushing and forever to the families affected. We must find ways to reduce these numbers.

Legislation to strengthen our drunk-driving laws must be passed. A strong ban on hand-held cell phones and stronger language on our text-messaging ban must be passed in the 2010 legislative session.

Please join us on November 21 at 8am at Harford Community College for the First Annual Heather L. Hurd 5k walk and run. This event will bring needed awareness to Maryland’s highway fatalities, and monies raised will create new Remembrance Book Scholarships at the school in honor of all who we have lost on our roads. Find more information at www.harford.edu/heather.

–Russell Hurd, Abingdon, Md.

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