President Nixon has announced that we will continue to spend $3.5 billion a year to explore outer space. Space goals for the 1970s include a “grand tour” of the outer planets and the launching of a nuclear-powered rocket late in the decade. I think this is a very good idea. After all – we’re going to need some place else to live by the end of this decade!
You see, we’ve worn out this old planet. Scientists tell us that if we continue to pollute the air and water at the rate we have been, the human race could come to an end by the year 2000 – in 30 years. They tell us that there won’t be enough air to breathe – that our smog-covered world will get colder as the sun’s rays are blocked, and another ice age will begin.
And at the same time, this old world is being asked to provide breathing air for more people. The population of the earth, now about 3 billion, will be 4 billion by 1975 and 7 billion by the year 2000!
Scientists have been telling us this for years, but we haven’t believed them – probably because we haven’t wanted to. We’re getting a little excited about it now. We’re studying the problem, the newspapers tell us, but we’re spending as much money to save our lives as we are to explore space, or to fight wars, or to build more highways to drive more cars on – to add more pollution to the air!
Many believe that we’ve gone too far – that it’s too late to save humanity. Maybe they’re right. Are you ready for the drastic measures that will be necessary to be able to breathe 20 years from now? Would you willingly limit your car driving to two or three hours a week until a cleaner automobile is on the market? Would you quit smoking (you’re polluting the air, you know, besides hurting your lungs)? Would you be willing to cut down on the use of electricity, steel, and all manufactured products that cause heavy pollution when they are produced?
The average individual is going to fight against such change. They’re going to cry, “It can’t happen here! We’re worrying about nothing!” But the same brains that predicted a trip to the moon, atomic energy, and the great industrial advances that we have achieved (and they were right then) are telling us we’ve gone too far – that we’ve got to try to correct our greedy mistakes! And we had better believe them! It’s time to get excited.
No man ever gets very far pacing the floor.
The “co-editor,” my wife, spent four days in the hospital last week. I bit her, and since she hadn’t had her rabies shot, she acquired an infection that turned into blood poisoning. When I told her how much we missed her here at the shop, she demanded a raise! So I doubled her salary. Two times nothing is nothing, so I think I can afford it.
I think she sort of enjoyed the rest away from home, and it looked like she might make Community Mercy her home until I told her we were getting along fine. I explained that the stain we made on the carpet probably won’t show much if we move the davenport to the middle of the room to cover it, that we found a way to avoid washing dishes, that we decided not to change the beds – just leave them unmade to air out during the day, and that the refrigerator was running out of everything.
She’s home now, and she must be well. She’s just as ornery as ever.