horrors of September 11, 2001, are just a little more than 48
hours old as I write this. The surreal images of that day will
live with us forever; the heartbreak that comes with the countless
lives that were lost, the far-reaching and tragic consequences
that come with the devastation and ruin of a city, the threat
to our national and personal securitywe are truly a people
whose spirit has changed forever.
Daily tasks suddenly seem so very insignificant. So we sit glued
to our televisions, and we pour over our newspapers. And we wonder,
over and over again: What could have been done to prevent this?
What can be done to prevent it from happening again?
The events of September 11 cannot help but hit home to all in the
environmental community who strive to prevent another tragedy of
tremendous proportions, one our senior columnist Carl Frankel describes
as the environmental catastrophe that awaits us. For
indeed, the gradual degradation of our environment is exactly thata
global catastrophe in the making. A catastrophe that also can be
measured in lives lost, in the ruin of cities and in the menace
to our peace and security. It also can be measured in the endangerment
of animal and wildlife species and in the increase in poverty and
human sufferingindeed, in the elimination of precious natural
resources that are the very source for all life forms.
So, when we ask ourselves what could have been done to change that
nightmarish Tuesday morning, lets also ask what can be done
to prevent this other tragedy as well, for we have it in our power
to do just that. Hatred and prejudicethe sources behind the
evil acts of September 11are elusive enemies that are hard
to battle. In our fight to save the planet, lets try not be
our own worst enemies.