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LETTER: Threats of disaster do not prompt action

letter to the editor
letter to the editor

Dear Editor: Your editorial Nov. 15 which suggests that, to preserve our planetary home, all or most of us must take what the candid would call heroic measures.

This prompts me to suggest what I deem a properly heroic motive for agreeing with you.

Threats of dire disaster eventually do not usually prompt heroic action immediately. Humans do what is heroic, despite great hardship at the moment, simply because it is right, because justice or honour demands it, and if someone benefits materially as a result, that is pure gravy. What justice demands with respect to mankind’s producing wealth is that the humans who produce it should have the benefit, or most of the benefit, of it. This means that those who farm or fish or hunt are the ones who most deserve to stay alive as a result of having something to eat.

Those who next deserve to stay alive are the ones who provide with their own living energy what farmers or fishers or hunters need to farm, hunt or fish or to celebrate their being able to do that and so deserve the lives they maintain thereby. Devotion, wholly voluntary, to that ideal would bring honour to those who devoted themselves to it and might incidentally preserve most forms of life in our planetary home. Nothing else is likely to do the latter except by way of rule-makers making and enforcing severe rules for mostly others to obey, so as to benefit mostly the rule-makers.


Colin Burke

Port au Port

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