Letters to the editor for Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015

Time to start caring about the planet

In the Arctic, where snow and ice are plentiful and wood is a precious commodity, live the Inuit people, who have little modern conveniences and rely mostly on traditional living skills. Because of hydroelectric dams discharging large amounts of fresh water into seawater currents, the water there now freezes much faster. This threatens feeding habits of eider ducks, which are greatly needed for food by the Inuit, as well as their ability to make warm winter clothing.

As part of their diet, these ducks dive to the bottoms of saltwater ponds and retrieve the muscles and small anemones they need to make layers of protective body fat to protect them against cold weather. But since Arctic water is freezing much faster, polynya (openings) are often too small and the currents beneath too swift, so the ducks cannot resurface to them, and are swept further under the ice and drown.

The Inuit blame this on hydroelectric dams, thus fearing the ducks could completely vanish.

But it’s not just the wildlife or Inuit people; it’s our entire plant that’s in peril by the arithmetic of progress. We’re upsetting a worldwide delicate balance which took thousands, if not millions, of years to create. There won’t be an end to it until every forest is cut down, every species is gone, and all the fresh and saltwater is completely contaminated. Just look at what we’re doing to our beautiful planet; it’s about time we start caring a little bit more about it.

Donald Paetz

Carson City


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