The story in the Aug. 27 newspaper, which praised researchers for placing a dollar sign on the value of the Belgrade Lakes, should be read by everyone. It is also my hope that half of those reading it realize that placing a monetary value on any freshwater lake, or land or air mass, is pure folly. All parts of this natural Earth are priceless, Belgrade included.

As the article said, by placing a dollar value on our lakes, we put them in competition for dollars with the likes of the military, which is already taking 65 percent of our nation’s discretionary funds. If we were keeping a score, as in sports, the score would be military, 65, everybody else, 35. Sounds like we’re losing to me. If you then say, “but the military is protecting us,” I say, “from what?” Our true protection is from Mother Earth. If we destroy that, what do we have?

The article also mentioned that the Belgrade Lakes needed a dollar value to compete for jobs. Here’s a news flash: If we destroy our natural resources, we will all have jobs. Those jobs will be scratching what little healthy soil we have left and hauling water by hand to grow just a few vegetables to feed our families. In the meantime, refugees from the cities will be trying to drive us even from what little we have. Don’t believe me? Just ask the native people of this great land. Just ask any Palestinian. Just ask the Roma people or any other indigenous people from all of the world you were purposely not told about and who were inconveniently in the way of money-oriented progress.

Peter P. Sirois


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