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We need controlled growth now

POSTED: April 22, 2012 6:30 a.m.

We have the Savannah River listed as one of the top five dirtiest rivers in the USA. We have the Ogeechee River fish kill.

We have the tri-color glossy pamplets produced by none other than the Georgia Department of Natural Resources itself, warning people not to eat this or that out of waters around Brunswick.

We have the absolutely insane attitude of the DNR regarding the positioning of wastewater treatment plants such as the recent attempt to poison the waters of the Medway river in Liberty and Bryan counties.

We have the deepening of the Savannah River channel with the blessings of the governor and our representation in the Congress when the controlling party, the Corp of Engineers, has clearly stated that it will not affect the percentage of growth of the port itself at all!

It will, however, destroy the last vestige of the wildlife refuge across the river due to increased salinity levels. What was once 25,000 acres of vital ecosystem has been reduced to 8,000 due to previous deepenings, and now the final blow will come with no one gaining from it other than the stockholders in NYC.

It basically cost the same thing to move a vessel 1,200 feet long across the ocean as it does to move one that is 600 feet long. The cargo on the larger vessel comes cheaper to the owner, sells for the same price and grows the protfolio of the investor and the stockholder. The longshoremen, stevedors and citizens of Savannah get the short end of the stick with a publically funded relocation of the city’s water supply due to salt intrusion resulting from the deepening of the channel.

The list is long as to why such a project should not be put into action. It doesn’t matter, because of the power of the few who will benefit and the gullibility of those who believe everything they are told.

Enough already! Build a deep water port!

Consider the fact that the current port will do just nicely and continue to provide a profit and a growing job market for many generations to come.

The strongest lobby in this country is the coal industry. When they spread their message about “clean coal,” do you really believe it? If you do, you need to take a hard look at the scientific facts. Scrubbing the stacks and discharging the mercury into the land and water is not “clean coal.” Particulate polution is ever existent. You don’t see the results of breathing the stuff for several decades so it’s hard to finger the culprit, but the fact that it exists and is doing us harm is real.

What’s wrong with natural gas and nuclear power?

Political leaders can’t be expected to be scientists, too, or be all-knowing about every subject that comes before them, but why does the state of Georgia politically shackle the DNR and the EPD and ignore the warnings of learned scientists from the private sector?

The answer is the never ending search for power and greed, and it will make Georgia another dirty place where, like the Northeast, everyone will be looking for a way out at the earliest moment possible.

Georgia has a reputation of opening arms to environmentally damaging industries and commerce if it means big bucks to a few, and never mind those pesky environmentalists and the quality of life for the rest of the millions of us who call Georgia our home.

We are selling out our birthright one piece at a time in the name of greed. It was Jefferson Davis who warned us about “stacking ourselves up on each other.”

Somebody has to step up and say “No more.” We have to have controlled growth, or we are going to squeeze our quality of life right out of the picture.

Hubbard writes an occasional column for the Bryan County News. He is a former Green Beret and a long-time environmental activist who lives in Richmond Hill.

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