Our letters section and your opportunity to weigh in and be heard. Send us your thoughts and profundities. You can contact us here.

Sheahan boosts Telegraph to California glory
I read your first two editions of your paper and enjoyed every word! I’m from the Durango area and vacation there a couple times a year. I really enjoyed the column written by Mike Sheahan. This will be a useful tool for planning our trips to your area.
This column was great, and I feel you should include a photo of Mike with each article. Reading these articles was a pleasure, and they will be passed along to others in the Bay Area as well as northern California. Again, congratulations to you and your staff and a special thanks to Mike Sheahan. `85 YOU MADE MY DAY!

- Gary Decker
Via e-mail

Editor’s note: We appreciate your appreciation of Mike Sheahan. However, we must decline your request to print his photo with his column. Sheahan was the victim of a bizarre gardening accident and left him horribly disfigured, dashing his dreams of hosting his own E! talk show solidifying his career in print and radio.

Dangerous environmentalism
Dear Editor,
Today’s environmental movement is comprised of mainly special interest groups seeking political power, simply using the environment as a vote-getting device. Their strategy is to convince us that their opinions are indeed facts that we must respond to or suffer dire consequences. Close examination reveals they are indifferent as to the truth of their assertions or whether their goals are derived from sound science. That their claims can only be fulfilled by regulating important fundamental principles of a society of free individuals should be taken as a sign that something wrong is afoot.

Sure, modern ecology includes scientific research. Unfortunately, much of that is misleading or inconclusive when subjected to critical analysis. More and more the current state of the environmental movement borders on hysteria, without regard to sound scientific inquiry. And when sound science is employed, it usually winds up being condemned if it disputes the movement’s view, being demonized as serving some “evil” anti-environmental entity.

Consequently, most environmentalism is sentimental and “dangerous.” The eco-movement’s beliefs consist of artificial assertions made primarily by those who do not make their living from cultivating nature or scientifically understanding it. These subjective beliefs not only distort the relationship of humans to nature but condemn the very technological liberation we enjoy from the harsh realities of wresting sustenance from a recalcitrant and destructive natural world. To propagate these artificial assertions, the ecos must project human values and concerns onto an amoral, nonhuman material world. It should be obvious that nature cannot develop any values for humans; only human social practices and culture can develop them. Our relationship to the natural world must be defined not in nature’s terms but in ours. Thus, if we are degrading the environment, we should correct that practice because of the human needs, not due to nature’s.
The idealization of nature ignores nature’s inhuman destructiveness and emphasizes instead only the view of nature’s beauty, spiritual significance and harmony with humans. But nature is neither benevolent nor malevolent. Nature’s order is actually quite inhuman, for it is an order in which the suffering and deaths of not just individuals but whole species are matters of utter indifference. The errant eco philosophy, to establish and expand itself, must even resort to intellectual dishonesty, which not only ignores the spectacular failures of its own predictions but also the load of facts, proof and evidence that contradict its beliefs.
The eco-movement must position man as basically destructive to the environment, especially as compared to nature. It must assume a grossly inflated estimation of human destructive power and an equally severe underestimation of nature’s power and resiliency. These human actions are pinpricks compared to forces of the magnitude nature is accustomed to resisting. Compared to nature’s bombardment of the Earth with meteors and asteroids, the “greenhouse” effect caused by volcanic activity, ice ages, tectonic plate movements, periodic changes in the Earth’s orbit and polarity reversal in the Earth’s magnetic field, the few centuries of human environmental depredations are a mere brief rash. Even wholesale destruction can be described as nature’s modus operandus. According to estimates, 99 percent of all species of life that ever existed on Earth are extinct, from nature, not humans. In fact, humans exist only because of the last mass extinction on this planet.

The intent here isn’t to imply that everything is just fine, so pollute away. Quite the opposite! However, how best to provide an environment conducive to human flourishing and well-being will depend on the best scientific information and technology available, which includes a philosophical discussion about what human flourishing is. Nature won’t tell us that because nature doesn’t care.
We must stop indulging in the myth of a lost paradise freed from civilization as a solution. We most stop promoting self-gratifying eco-utopian fantasies. Instead we must start making clear-headed decisions about human needs within nature. Those solutions will not be found in the quasi-religious, unscientific mantras of today’s eco-movement.

- Kim Rogalin,


Marines celebrate milestone
Dear Editor:
Durango area Marines (past and present) celebrated an important milestone recently during a dinner at the Strater Hotel. The San Juan Mountain Detachment, comprising former and present-day Marines from the greater Durango area, received its official charter from Marine Corps League officials. Visiting dignitaries also initiated new members into the League and installed the officers elected to lead the new detachment.

Officiating at the ceremonies were Installing Officer Robert Cowan, Commandant, Dept. of Colorado; and Presiding Officer, National Vice Commandant, John Cleveland, representing the National Commandant and the Rocky Mountain Division. Accepting the charter on behalf of area Marines was the Detachment’s first Commandant, Ed Andersson, of Durango. Other local officers installed were: Vice Commandant Bob Carra Sr.; Judge Advocate Bill Morris; Adjutant/ Paymaster Pete Woods; Sgt-at-Arms Rey Martinez; and Chaplin George Maier Jr. Vice Commandant Dr. Roger King was unable to attend.

Twenty-nine local Marines, comprising veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm, were recognized as “charter members” and will have their names permanently affixed to the new Charter.

The new detachment is organizing activities for a Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, the Marine Corps Birthday Ball on Nov. 9, Memorial Day and The USMC Toys for Tots Program.

We welcome all eligible veterans and members of the Armed Forces to join us. Membership in the League is open to all honorably discharged Marines, active-duty Marines and Reservists, and former and present-day U.S. Navy Corpsmen assigned to the Fleet Marine Force. For more information, contact Pete Woods at 247-5093 or Ed Andersson at 259-4295.

- Very truly yours,
Edmund P. Andersson, Commandant,
San Juan Mountain Detachment,
Dept. of Colorado, Marine Corps League





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