Pay it Forward

By Montecito Journal   |   April 5, 2022

I’ve been reading some excellent opinions in the Journal. Writers are challenging the Montecito Creek Water Company’s claim to the wonderful life-giving Montecito Hot Springs. These writers are right, we need to unite for the Earth, everywhere we can. I figure, if we’re taking on one water user, we’re taking on all water users. For simplicity, let’s consider all the private parties using groundwater and surface water for private, non-agricultural purposes. Let’s get some historical perspective first.

In old times, people could get water from public wells. Cities provided fountains and other publicly available water. Like food, air, and housing, water should be a public good, universally available to those who wish to be civilized. That’s always been the way of the Earth. It was only relatively recently in our species’ history that humans granted themselves carte blanche to terrestrial resources and claimed the habitats of all species for humankind to repurpose.

If our homeworld is going to survive the scourge that humans have become, it won’t be by continuing that shameful history. This suggests a more honorable context from which to view questions of land use and resource allocation. Humans are wrecking Earth by taking more than our fair share. It’s nigh impossible to live here in Santa Barbara without doing so. We need to rethink our fundamental strategy and redirect ourselves from “human progress” to planetary survival.

In this light, we need to engage a long process of giving back. Our species has been taking from the Earth for millennia, and it’s going to take a long time to begin to settle our accounts. Returning water to the creek beds is one place we can do this work here at home. The health of our local creeks has improved, but streamflows are still pitiful compared to the 1960s. We should return the waters of the Montecito Hot Springs to the creek that is their home. Ceasing to use well water will be another major improvement. This is our local duty, and it will help turn the tide on the resource extraction mindset that has the world staring down a long dry future of water bankruptcy. Let’s join together and learn to be good stewards!

Leo Raabe

Putin and Minions

Isn’t it about time Americans understand how Putin invaded Ukraine so easily? Russians follow his orders because Putin has his hands on the means of communication (news and education agencies) and also on the means of force (the regular police, and the secret police).

When Putin says, “Ukrainians started this,” his political minions put it out as truth and the people believe it. We have many adult children in America today who follow their leaders to the edge of dangerous cliffs every day.

Putin also talked his country into allowing him to stay in power for 22 years. In a real democracy, there are always short-term limits that are enforced like the nation’s life depends on it. Not in Russia or China.

Our Representatives and Senators are not telling this story because they are well along the path of accumulating corrupt lifetime power themselves. America is already partially Putinized.

True democracies put government into the hands of a constitutional law decided upon by all of the people. The people only know what to put into that law when they have thoroughly versed themselves in their own history and the history of other nations.

We have already disarmed our minds, so our liberties are quickly melting away. 

Kimball Shinkoskey

Balance in Time

Ms. Thorn complains about the alleged liberal bias of the Montecito Journal “under new ownership.” Apparently, she was more than satisfied with the extreme right-wing bias under the previous owner, James Buckley. Does she remember Mr. Buckley’s annoying habit of personally responding to every letter that challenged his or the Journal’s previous extremist, far-right agenda?

Mr. Buckley has found a new home at the local daily paper. He is joined by Andy Caldwell, Bonnie Donovan, John Stossel, Brent Zepke, Heinz Schulte, Michelle Malkin, and Josh Hammer. No doubt, Ms. Thorn considers this fair and balanced. This might be true if one considers providing a public forum to the far-right, extreme far-right, and neo-fascist far-right as balanced. Fortunately, the Montecito Journal provides a balance to their nonsense. Thanks.

Robert Baruch  


You might also be interested in...