While the author of the above quote was writing about the religious conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina I found it apropos in describing the situation in Erie County. The failed leadership in the County Executives office and the failure of the County Legislature to enact any meaningful reform to ensure the viability of this community borders on the criminal and shows that the present political economy is morally bankrupt.

One after the other we hear from the creators of the crisis in our midst as they proclaim their intention not to stand for elective office in the future as they flounder about in a sea of red ink.

There is only one way out of this mess and it is to face reality and that reality is that we must impose a county property tax increase that will adequately fund all the necessary functions of government. The imposition of a sales tax increase does not adequately address the problem and poses an undue burden on the lower income residents of our community whom are already struggling to provide food, clothing and shelter for themselves and their families.

By addressing the present financial crisis with a commitment to finance the operation of county government both present and future elected leaders could then work to forge a different and sustainable political economy. A political economy that would address the needs of the community against the wants of an elite cadre of political cohorts that live parasitically off their political host and usually contribute only another burden onto the backs of the average working women and men of our community.

The histories and failures of past civilizations should give us ample evidence too reflect on the causes of how they brought about their own self destruction and how we may be heading down the same dark road to our own eventual demise.

We have an opportunity now to change and recognize that the choices we make today will influence our chances for survival and sustainability for our children and our children’s children. Why not let this area, this region, lead by making the right choices of how we want to be governed and how by working together the burdens of our problems are shared equally and solved equitably.

Our present problems with county government will pale in comparison to what awaits us in the not so distant future and promises a far greater threat to and for sustainability in this and other regions of the world. Anyone seeking public office should be well aware of the problems that lie strewn randomly in the minefield of the future and have at the very least a sense of the planning that will be needed to handle the looming inevitability of the threats to our economy, our community, and our very survivability.

G-d may reign supreme in the heavens of your religious choice; but man is responsible in providing for the stewardship of our earthly home. For the most part we, and that is a collective we, have shown that our choices through the ages have led us into a state where we find life threatened by the very forces of nature that we have corrupted in such a cavalier manner.

For those not attuned to the effects of Global Warming on our environment I refer you to the internet and the reports emanating from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab which you can access at www.whole-systems.org/weather.html.

“The first question that may arise: Is there any point in talking about weather 25 years from now when the accuracy of predictions two days ahead is questionable? The answer is yes, because on average we can make some valid predictions. We know a few facts, one, at higher temperatures there is more heat energy in the atmosphere which will find its expression in weather phenomenon. There will be more energy available for severe storms, category one hurricanes for instance could become stronger, or more frequent, or both. Extremes of weather both hot and cold, wet and dry will become more common since there will be more energy to power the oscillations of pressure as they move across the globe.”

Oil production throughout the world reached its peak in the early 70’s and is now in decline although consumption continues to increase around the globe. China and India are now forging economies based on our American model although most expert opinion holds that oil reserves are in steep decline and that in less than 40 years it will be gone at the present rate of consumption, and much more quickly if the Asian countries increase their demand for petroleum.

The impact on the environment from burning fossil fuels exacerbates the assault on world climate change along with further polluting the air we depend on to breathe. Clean water is another pressing problem that we must look at now before we go into crisis mode and we should not be lulled into thinking that our proximity to the Great Lakes will assure us of clean pure water.

Another looming problem on the horizon is the failure of agriculture to sustain the population of a world horribly afflicted with the effects of climate change. Marie Antoinette is famously known for her line “That if they have not bread let them eat cake,” but unfortunately the future may not allow us the luxury of eating cake because there may not be enough grain to make the flour to even bake a cake.

You may ask what all this has to do with the crisis that exists today in the County of Erie and my answer is that in our not so distant past we ignored the problems of the present and compounded the problems of the future. Let us act responsibly now and address the present crisis and look to the future to re-establish a system of government that recognizes our commonality so that when we forge new political economies we will assure our descendants a world that is far better than the one we left. by Bill Logal

You would probably expect to find the leader of the community pumping up the fervor so that every member of this community would join the battle and ensure the survival of the community Slavica Jakelic

While the author of the above quote was writing about the religious conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina I found it apropos in describing the situation in Erie County. The failed leadership in the County Executives office and the failure of the County Legislature to enact any meaningful reform to ensure the viability of this community borders on the criminal and shows that the present political economy is morally bankrupt.