The environmental disaster “Waiting to Happen in Haiti” (by Jean-Michel Cousteau, May 7) is not waiting--it has happened.
Once the “garden of Eden” of the Caribbean with lush forests and rich farms, Haiti has been ravaged by a population explosion, exploitation, civil tyranny and now deforestation and environmental degradation. Ninety-five percent of the forests are gone. That trend all over the world is sending millions of people across borders to escape from poverty, starvation and oppression. The United Nations’ World Commission on Environment and Development has warned that population growth is outstripping food, agricultural and forest resources, water and health and energy supplies.
Our giant population centers--Los Angeles included--are becoming wastelands of pollution, traffic, people, crime and poverty. The Bush Administration and Congress act as though none of this is happening here or anywhere else. Haiti, one of our neighbors, is sending us a message for herself and others: “Help!”