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Saving the Earth’s Environment: ‘Planet in Trouble’ and U.S. Aid

Yes, The Times is absolutely correct, the curbing of environmental pollution around the world, the degradation of the planet, can and should come from the cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union.

What other choice is there? As advanced industrial powers, they contribute to the problem; as advanced technically, they can provide the solutions. What can the small countries do for such a tremendous undertaking? Very little, considering their resources.

And our resources--with over $350 billion going into a military budget--what can be left to fight such a threat to mankind? What is the difference in dying from a gas disaster as in Bhopal, India, or cancer-producing toxins seeping into the Earth, or some contaminant some day poisoning the water and killing thousands or even millions than dying from a nuclear explosion?

Sooner or later, the choice must be made. Either reduce the amount of money spent on weapons of destruction or await, in due time, environmental destruction. One cannot be done without the other.

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Of course, The Times is right in asserting it will serve the interests of both countries. Working together to preserve the environment would “add not only to their own national security but to that of the planet as well.”

However, there is a fly in the ointment! How can one curb environmental pollution, without curbing the appetite of the munition makers who would prefer their profit, rather than a clean planet? Perhaps they would like both. But is that possible? Their pocketbook conflicts with the reality of the moment: They will not be immune from the consequences of a pollution disaster. It’s a judgment call. It is up to all of us to see that they make the right one!

JERRY ATINSKY

Los Angeles

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