Letters to the Editor for Sep 06, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
THINK OF IT AS MOTH COLOGNE
Everything is aflutter regarding the light brown apple moth, a new pest that can defoliate up to 250 kinds of plants. The idea of blanket spraying of anything has lots of people upset.
Pheromones are not insecticides. They are equivalent to perfumes people use as sex attractants. Female smells good, male comes to her. Spray the perfume hither and yon, and the male doesn’t know where to go. This is a much more environmentally friendly tactic than applying pesticides.
Insect populations can expand very rapidly. Laying this issue aside for public debate is like debating whether to let helicopters spray fire retardant on a newly discovered brush fire, or to let it become a raging inferno.
When I graduated in entomology I worked on testing housefly pheromones. The pheromones, natural and synthetic, could entice male flies to copulate with black shoelace knots, but they did nothing to affect my libido. —Bruce Cowan | Pacific Grove
FARR OFF BASE WITH ‘CRACKDOWN’
Zachary Stahl’s coverage of the “crackdown” on illegal immigrants and their employers in “Border Battles” [Aug. 30-Sept. 5] is an eye-opener. Farr’s lap-dog support for Big Ag’s corrupt hiring practices could leave a reader with only one conclusion: It’s OK to break federal law, as long as the local economy keeps churning.
Apparently, enforcing those laws is too punitive. Enforcement becomes a “crackdown.” It’s money making that counts most.
If Stahl had read between the lines, he would’ve noted that Farr is flagrantly disregarding the law as though American citizens—who live by the law and expect enforcement of those laws—take a back seat to the needs of Big Ag. Do we hear anything from Farr demanding that growers pay a living wage, provide health insurance, improve farmworker health, safety and housing, employ sustainable irrigation to slowdown aquifer depletion, and limit pesticides? No, that would piss off his favorite constituents.
Farr’s predictable focus has been on legalizing cheap ag labor with no guarantee workers will remain in ag since conditions and wages are detestable. —Jim Safranek | Aromas
BRING ON THE SNARK
You had no reason to apologize to Doc [Letters, Aug. 23-29]. Edward Ricketts was not a fictional character; he was very much a live human being (whose bust is along the Rec Trail, near where he met his demise in 1948). He was fictionalized, but by no means fictional—even if he didn’t answer to “Doc” or even like everything about Steinbeck’s character. Western Biological Laboratories was actually Pacific Biological Laboratories, Doc’s real-life enterprise. The “new” building housed Ricketts’ enterprises, just as the one that burned down did.
Although technically correct, I think the letter’s author was a somewhat over-zealous reader who did more to obfuscate than to elucidate. I just thought I’d throw in “obfuscate” and “elucidate” to be snarky. —Elaine Giuliano | Salinas
THE TRUTH ABOUT 11TH HOUR
Unlike Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth that focused too much on CO2 and way too much on Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio’s 11th Hour is not about DiCaprio and it takes a holistic approach to the very complex crisis of global degradation.
11th Hour draws from dozens of experts in fields as seemingly unconnected as physics, biology, architecture, ecology, philosophy, religion, Native-American perspectives and so forth to merge them into an eclectic and coherent oneness of realization about the dire state of our planet’s health.
The one statement in 11th Hour that touched me the most, that literally gave me goose pimples and caused my eyes to water, is when, towards the end of this must-see film, someone said the solution to the damage we humans are causing to earth is that we all must “love exactly where we live.” Not simply love where we live because of the houses or golf courses or shopping malls, but really deeply love where we each live so much so that we all work to bring the environments where we each live back to health. By doing this on a community-by-community basis all around the world, a shock wave of global health will sweep the earth. It’s so simple a concept.
But as long as we allow the oil companies and corporations to run our governments—especially here in America where we’ve lost our collective soul to consumeristic greed—we will continue to spiral out of control towards a very grim future. We truly are in the 11th hour of human tenure on this planet, and I do not mean that in some religious sense. —Jeffrey Van Middlebrook | Pacific Grove