Friday, April 13, 2012

A Contract with the Earth 13

For my write-up today on A Contract with the Earth, by Newt Gingrich and Terry Maple, I'll highlight a couple of points from pages 121-122.

1. On page 121, Newt and Maple refer to a TV ad from the Chesapeake Bay Program, which is "a subsidiary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency". The TV ad was talking about the disappearance of water into a storm drain and the threat that land fertilizer during the spring could end up in the Bay. The announcer says "No crab should die like this", right before he says that "they should perish in some hot, tasty melted butter!" The ad was promoting seafood as a reason to preserve the bay. By preserving the environment, we are preserving things that we love.

But what if our desires come into conflict? We want oil to power our cars, but an oil-spill can ruin the seafood business.

2. Should we preserve the environment only out of our self-interest? On page 122, Newt and Maple say that conservation efforts will be expensive and yet profitable. But they affirm that such efforts should not be motivated by profit alone, for "We will endeavor to cleanse the earth because it is the right thing to do."

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