Sustainability First

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Dear Editor:

Rumors abounded around the Hernandez campaign; that he was from California and sent here by a wealthy  “environmentalist, socialist.”

He, in fact, was born and raised in Hampton Roads, won a scholarship to William and Mary, studied at Oxford and attended law school in California. He does have an understanding of and concern for the problems we face like sea rise and the need to improve our schools.
I would have voted for any real environmentalist and supported, therefore, Ms. Riggs for supervisor given her intelligent approach to our futures.  Those of us who are in favor of the “New Green Deal” believe the planet may be doomed without it and not just in the long term.  Mighty Earth which worked here to stem the impacts of the poultry industry, cited studies which show our soil at the rate of manure production/application from the meat industry, will be unproductive within 60 years. No food for us or for animals.

It is for this reason I’m concerned with our senators’ (Warner and Kaine) enthusiasm for China’s desire for our poultry.  China has had problems with the bird flu which has mutated strains that infect humans. There have been outbreaks here, too. We and our land cannot afford to export meat and China has, also, suffered the loss of millions of pigs from disease.

If our senators support the NGD, they need, with all due respect, to understand more of the factors influencing sustainability.  While trade with China may be desirable, importing the issues which would undermine our sustainability is not.

People need to eat and many of us are not and don’t care to be vegetarians even though being so might help save us. Meanwhile, if the way meat is raised threatens our water, air, aqua culture, soil, etc., it should be revised.  There are inexpensive ways to immediately reduce damage.

The Chinese scientist at VIMS last year indicated the best plants (grasses) to plant near CAFO fans and ammonia scrubbers, required in Europe, can be made, according to a board member, in a DIY manner as has been done by one “farmer,” anyway.  If the water from the many acres of chicken “house” roofing can be captured (and reused!), it would stem the runoff endangering our water and waters.

Meanwhile, there should be no industry wells for poultry from our deep, threatened aquifer when the Columbia is so, relatively, abundant. It seems there is no ready solution for the excessive, huge amount of manure produced here save reducing the numbers from about 3 billion chicks per annum to something significantly less.

Ann Violi, Harborton