Letters – September 6, 2019

The Community Center had a close call last month and we are so grateful to all of the personnel whose fast actions prevented further damage to the grounds. We owe a debt of gratitude to Gary Jensen from Jensen Water Trucks who installed the water hydrant at the TCC when he served as Vice President of Maintenance. We also are very fortunate to have Henry Simer serve as an integral part of the maintenance team. His expertise in brush clearing for fire safety and hard labor is commendable. A special thank you to the dependable members who are always ready and willing to volunteer to clear brush. We are grateful for your contributions!

—Kelly Rockwell, Board President of TCC


Kait Leonard is a smart writer, and her intelligence shines through in her prose. The words “far left shenanigans” was both humorous and delightful. And her observations on the relationship between what we eat and the health of our planet are timely and cogent. Part of what I like about this article is the tone of the argument is calm and rational. While she is clear about what would help, she doesn’t push so hard as to alienate readers who may not share her point of view. I came away from this latest article with more to think about in terms of my own diet.

I’m glad she’s getting published, and I’m glad that her perspective has a forum on M’Online.

Milton Clark


White House May Not Care About Mass Extinction, But California Does

Sudan, the last male white rhino, died last year. His daughter and granddaughter are the two last surviving northern white rhinos on Earth. They won’t be the last to be the last of their kind— over the next two decades, if nothing changes, millions of species will vanish forever.

The Trump Administration does not seem to care or even acknowledge that our species, Homo sapiens, is the primary cause of this disturbing trend.

The UN report on the biodiversity crisis released in May notes that because of climate change and a number of other manmade stressors like poaching and plastic pollution, biodiversity is “declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.”

The damage starts in our backyards. In March, one of the last mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains, P-47, died after ingesting anticoagulant rodenticide, commonly known as rat poison. Ocean acidification is at its highest level in 14 million years, threatening California’s $45 billion ocean-based economy and our calcifying animals, like coral and oysters, which remain essential to the natural beauty of the Pacific coastline.

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration is burying its head in the sand. Last year, the administration rolled back protections under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cut safeguards for threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Abroad, the story is even more dire. In recent decades, we’ve lost hundreds of thousands of Savanna elephants and seen a steep decline in the African lion and black rhino populations— and yet, the Trump administration, led by a ‘wildlife protection panel’ full of trophy hunters, overturned the federal ban on big-game trophies imported from six African countries in March.

Feeling hopeless yet? Don’t. In California, the first bill of the year introduced in the Senate was SB 1, our version of Trump Insurance for the environment. The bill would lock in the current federal clean air, climate, clean water, worker safety, endangered species and trophy hunting standards left by the Obama Administration and make them enforceable under state law, even if weakened by Washington.

As the LA Times Editorial Board noted in its endorsement of the bill, since SB 1’s previous introduction, “the danger of Trump rollbacks has only grown.” The UN’s report only serves to underscore the urgency of the task at hand; with extinction threatening over 1 million species of plants and animals, now is no time to move backward.

As Homo sapiens, we are culturally compelled toward dominion over nature. At this rate, we will win this lonely war against all other species, achieving a harrowing solitude on this inherited earth. We still have the option to choose a different path. SB 1 is a small but important step in a new direction.

By Henry Stern


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