Letter: Time to stop pollution, save agriculture

07/18/2013 6:00 AM |
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A view of Peconic Bay from Mattituck Beach.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A view of Peconic Bay from Mattituck Beach.

To the editor:

Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, spends a lot of his money running foundations that provide tremendous benefits for the less well off in our society. Clearly, he put the wellbeing of the less fortunate on the front burner rather than simply catering to his own luxury.

Then there are the activists in Congress that receive buckets of money from lobbyists and hungry businesses looking for an edge, and they vote to raise student loan rates and cut food stamps and basic benefits for those barely getting along. Here we see people with narrow, personally directed interests who consider their own wellbeing as all there is.

Here in Southold we are now at two points that test our own interest in personal luxury versus a serious concern about the travails of the less well off. We’re bordered by two very important estuaries. We must stop our polluting activities because these estuaries are part of the nursery of oceanic marine life that feeds millions of the poor and hungry. This anti-pollution effort will not be free, but it is certainly necessary.

Also, we have an agricultural community that is undamaged by drought, flood or fire, producing marvelous fresh food. With world hunger all too visible around us, we must keep this food engine running. To trade our productive agricultural land for housing or business development must no longer be an option.

From an obviously highly moral and decent point of view we must save the estuaries and save agriculture. Just like Bill Gates, we too can feel comfortable with our world view. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to join those other, personally absorbed people who continue to worsen the situation of the poor and disadvantaged?

Let’s all join together and do the right thing.

Incidentally, stopping pollution and saving agriculture will increase our tourism potential and keep Southold in the marvelous and prosperous condition that we have all grown to love. This is actually a win-win.

Howard Meinke, Laurel