The message in a beetle
By Rosemary Donaldson
Over the years, my early reverence for our third president has somewhat dimmed as evidence of his various trespasses has come to light. When I read about the plight of the Puritan tiger beetle in Maryland [“Cliff residents losing out to beetles on the brink; Endangered species depends on erosion that threatens Calvert County homes,” Metro, Jan. 25], however, I recalled the following words penned by Thomas Jefferson:
“For if one link in nature’s chain be lost, another might be lost, until the whole of things will vanish by piecemeal.” These are remarkable words, given the scope of 18th-century knowledge and understanding.
I feel very sorry for the residents of Chesapeake Ranch Estates; it is most unfortunate that the cliff they call home turns out to be one of the last remaining habitats of an endangered species. But this issue is not about the importance of humans over that of a dwindling beetle population (eerily similar to the fate of that hapless toad once alluded to by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.). It is that we stand at a crossroads, and we can decide to live in such a way that reduces our footprints on Earth — or not. Declining animal populations throughout the world have hinted at the likely catastrophic results of continuing as we have been going.
Perhaps, in this case, the beetle will not survive the hue and cry that will surely follow over the prospect of losing residential structures, but this should be a clarion call to county planning commissions to take a hard look at the development proposals for their areas, lest Jefferson prove a seer indeed.
| January 28, 2010; 8:30 PM ET
Categories: Chesapeake Bay, HotTopic, Maryland, environment
Save & Share: Previous: The real cure for Maryland's budget disease
Next: Good trees after bad
Posted by: BigD55 | January 29, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Serp | February 2, 2010 6:03 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.