To the Editor,
The drumbeat has begun — déjà vu all over again, as the lust for rainforest wood by the boardwalk merchants has begun in earnest.
This time, instead of the Amazon, the proposed wood will come from an equally fragile and unsustainable rainforest in Guyana. Lipstick on a pig! Is it not time for our elected officials and administration to step to the plate and pass an ordinance, once and for all, never to use taxpayers’ money to purchase wood from endangered forests.
It is shocking that we will even entertain the notion of having a nonbinding referendum to let the public decide if the 1 percent of the citizens of Ocean City should have the 99 percent of us pay for the front decks on their boardwalk businesses. Instead of the Amazon being plundered, this time the merchants’ sights are set on Guyana.
Former Councilman Ron Denny’s words best explain the mindset that can totally disregard the environmental and human rights issues: “The only issue that matters is Ocean City, not the world.”
Every primary school student knows what is happening with greenhouse gases and global warming. Maybe Ocean City will be the only place on the planet that will not be affected.
Never mind that in the past 20 years more than 1,600 defenders of the Amazon rainforest, including the American Catholic nun Dorothy Stang, have been murdered in cold blood for protecting what is left of the great forests. This should resonate in our community, which is well aware of the answer to: “What would Jesus say?”
Aside from the science and the morality of contributing to the destruction of rainforests with our taxpayers money, there is the issue of our “brand” name. What a public relations nightmare for Ocean City, and what another divisive and polarizing action this would be for our community.
This latest move by the boardwalk merchants can be motivated only by selfishness and ignorance. At what price the boardwalk, surely not the price of our soul! Shame, Shame Shame!
Steven Fenichel, M.D.,