Letters to the Editor

Heed ye these environmental lessons from the Book of Vern

In response to the sentiments expressed by Charles Carver (Letters to Editor, Journal of the San Juan Islands, Aug. 19) and others, I offer the following:

And thus, in the fullness of time, there appeared on Earth the Great Environmental Leader, descended from the Omnipotent Environmental God, to save the Earth from the multitude.

As the Great Environmental Leader journeyed from village to village, he preached the Word of the Omnipotent Environmental God, chastising the developers and other abusers of the land. The Great Environmental Leader called upon the masses to imagine an Earth free of all abuse and degradation, exploitation, run-off, landfills, and, yes, free of all human habitation.

When, upon conclusion of his sermon, the Great Environmental Leader called upon those who could imagine such an Earth to come forward and commit to this "great imagining," the thousands in attendance, enraptured by the image of an Earth as pristine as the day before Adam first appeared thereon, streamed forward to be enlisted as True Believers into the Army of the Omnipotent Environmental God.

But among the multitudes were naysayers, doubters, owners of waterfront property, realtors, their lawyers, and even some in the governments whose revenues were derived from the desecration of the Earth. They questioned the Great Environmental Leader about his lack of Best Available Science and disregard for property rights and other quaintly archaic constitutional notions. To which the Great Environmental Leader would respond, "Oh ye of little environmental consciousness, thou art truly the scourge of the Earth; get thee behind me or thou shalt perish."

When the naysayers, in awe of the Great Environmental Leader and his prophecy of the coming Environmental Doomsday, asked whether ridding the Earth of all human habitation will cause all of humanity to perish anyway, the Leader proclaimed, "Oh ye of little environmental consciousness, thou art truly the scourge of the Earth ..."

The Leader journeyed far and wide and in his wake left disciples anointed by him to carry out the "great imagining." These disciples embarked upon persuading the inhabitants of villages and towns, farms and other rural habitations, to leave their idyllic existences and remove themselves to the designated Doomed Cities, there to live out their days amidst increasing crime and squalor resulting from the denser populations, starvation and other deprivations. For the Word required that all mines and farms be abandoned, all dams be blown up and electric power plants (except those on wind and solar) be destroyed, and all commerce to cease.

Thus it came to pass that the Great Environmental Leader journeyed to the Town of Friday Harbor. And an amphitheater was erected on the site of a great environmental desecration from which gravel was extracted and used to pave roads and make structures that mightily damaged the Earth. And all the inhabitants of the County of San Juan and all the part-time residents from the waterfront homes gathered to hear the Word as proclaimed by the Leader.

The Leader began by taking note of the Critical Areas Ordinance, saying it was much debated and of great controversy. He excoriated the crowd, and, in particular, he excoriated the Friends of the San Juans, a principal sponsor of the Great Environmental Leader's appearance, and other proponents of the CAO for making bargains with the Great Environmental Satan and not doing all that must be done to Save the Earth, exclaiming that buffers and all such pernicious compromises would doom them to Perdition.

When the Great Environmental Leader issued The Call, all of the assembled multitudes came forward — the developers, the Friends of the San Juans, the government employees who depend upon property taxes to pay their salaries, the waterfront property owners — to take the Great Oath of Commitment to Rid the Earth of all Human Habitation and Return It to Its Pre-Adam Condition.

And thus it came to pass one day in January 2012, the last Washington state ferry (the rusty "Kaleetan") departed the once thriving Town of Friday Harbor with the last 52 inhabitants thereof, all others having previously departed, abandoning their homes and farms, from the waterfront to the hilltops (for it was from those hilltop homes that the run-off repeatedly occurred as a result of the deluges with which those hilltops were daily afflicted, gathering force and all manner of pestilential substances as it cascaded down the slopes and over the waterfront property and into the sea, and which the CAO only partially sought to mitigate by requiring all waterfront homes to move to the other side of the waterfront roads the government had in decades past decreed be built to provide habitation on the waterfront and thus enlarge the tax base to educate the children and provide for the general health and welfare), their employment, businesses, gardens and crabpots, and indeed their very lives in the Paradise of the Island of San Juan.

And these 52 souls traveled to Seattle, joining the Great Migration to one of the designated Doomed Cities, there to live out Humanity's few remaining days in the Hell that the Great Environmental Leader foretold would befall Man/Womankind who failed to convert to the Word.

Vern Vander Weide
Golf Course Road
San Juan Island

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