What Do You Prefer?
GIVEN your choice, where would you prefer to live—on a garbage heap or in a gardenlike area?
We agree, the answer seems obvious. It would be hard to find a person who would say he preferred the garbage heap.
Yet many men today fear that human society is actually making that very choice!
“We get richer and richer in filthier and filthier communities, until we reach a final state of affluent misery—[rich king] Croesus on a garbage heap,” is the way former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare John W. Gardner expressed it.
Not only in the United States, but around the world the cry is going up that—like a bird that has fouled its own nest—man is fouling the only home he has, the earth. Prominent ecologist Barry Commoner stated: “We have the time—perhaps a generation—in which to save the environment from the final effects of the violence we have done to it.”
Is There Really a Choice?
Certain other scientists would allow even less time. Some hold that the “point of no return” may already have been reached.
Can it be true that the majority today are actually choosing the garbage heap over the garden? This issue of Awake! shows that, whether they realize it or not, this is the case. But it shows how you can make a different choice and why that choice is still possible. There are sound reasons for having confidence that this earth will become—not a global garbage dump—but an earth-wide park of refreshing beauty. You can live to see it.
Does that sound unrealistic? Is it optimism based on just a few cases where the ruining of the environment has been reversed? No, it is based on evidence that is more fundamental and more enduring than those temporary successes.
We need to understand clearly the real source of the problem. What is it? Most point the accusing finger at industry, technology or the population explosion. In this issue, you will see that the real cause goes much deeper and covers a far broader range.
But first, just how bad is the situation? Is it as grave as many scientists say? Can you, for example, personally solve the problem for yourself and your family by moving from a crowded city to an isolated rural area or some faraway isle?