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Some Give a Hoot for Wildlife

July 15, 1990

Hugh Hewitt's article clearly demonstrates that he misunderstands the root of the problem, and reveals that he is the one who doesn't give a hoot about home buyers.

Take, for example, Hewitt's reference to lumber industry reports which blame April's 10% increase in lumber costs to the spotted owl controversy and Hewitt's contention that saving the owl cost 28,000 jobs. Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense. The increased cost of lumber and the termination of 28,000 jobs has nothing to do with preservation of the spotted owl, but is the legacy of years of bad planning and short-term economic thinking.

The massive cost of environmental cleanup is the cumulative result of decades of environmental impoverishment, justified in the name of progress, jobs and short-term profit. Biodiversity is not maintained to stop growth; it is maintained to ensure that growth can continue at a level of quality consistent with human dignity.

To Hewitt I say, just drive around L.A. and take a look out your car and tell me that development has occurred at a level that balances the priorities of growth with environmental protection. Where is the open space? What happened to the air?

Don't tell me that what L.A. has become is the result of the federal Endangered Species Act. L.A. is what it is because the needs of big business are completely out of line with what the Earth can sustainably yield.

Hewitt is just buying time for an industry that, to quote Lewis Mumford, is "as incapable of yielding fresh designs as a mummy is of begetting a family."

PETER NELSON

Los Angeles

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