College Station Needs a Healthy Ecosystem

My letter to editor.

The subject of growth in College Station is a question of what is more important: proving we are right, or solving the problem.

Clearly we do have a problem, and the problem has at least four parts to it, each of which is true and each of which requires a different sort of solution. The first part is our personal desires, relative to our human values. The second is the long-term health of College Station, relative to our communal values. The third part is the ecosystem, which requires internal balance to stay healthy and doesn’t care about human values. The fourth is the “corpo-system,” which requires short-term profits at any cost and doesn’t care about human values.

The problem is how best to give our grandchildren a healthy life, while fulfilling their survival needs now. In other words, the question is about which need is more important to the future, and how to balance all the needs.

College Station cannot survive without a healthy living ecosystem to survive in, and neither can we nor our grandchildren. Therefore, the real question is if we would prefer to have College Station grow, which clearly is good for College Station developers now, and makes the corpo-system salivate, but is also causing measurable damage to the balance of the living ecosystem.

Or if we are willing to take a little less materialism now, and put our resources into the effort to nourish the welfare of the whole world ecosystem for our children and grandchildren. And for College Station.


You know what I think is silly? I think it’s silly to separate everything under different labels. For example, if you take the time to learn the basic underlying meaning of Karma, it sure sounds to me like the universal natural law of cause and effect, expressed in an analytical setting that was useful for the people who were doing the analyzing, and helped them to avoid getting into trouble in their lives, just as a street light, for example, helps us not to crash into each other. If you go flying through a red light, then the effect of your action is likely to be unpleasant, so it’s a useful bit of knowledge that red lights are there to help you avoid pain. But the law of cause and effect is not limited to Buddhism. It’s universal. We can all learn from the reality of the law, even if we don’t necessarily connect with the cultural details of how it is explained to us by a Buddhist. And if we don’t — if we are determined that we know better than 2500 years of life experience — well then we will make a lot of mistakes and some of them are likely to be quite unpleasant.

A gorgeous 12-point buck deer ran in front of my car yesterday as I drove into town. Life is beautiful.
No picture of course; the best pictures always get away.