wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Should Congress deal with the immigration crisis -- tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors at the border -- before its August recess?

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share
Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 01/10/2012

Sanity alert!

Just when you least expected one. The great question regarding human proliferation and alteration of the planet is whether our rapaciousness will be caught and checked by our thoughtfulness. The debate rages, under the spooky gaze of the pursed-lipped statues on a deforested and depopulated Easter Island.

It’s hard to think of a clearer example of the debate than overfishing. This is not a hard one to understand. If you fish a certain amount, you get lots of fish to eat, forever. If you fish too much, you get more fish for a little while, then you exterminate the fish and have: nothing. So why is this even debated? Well there’s that rapaciousness thing.

But sometimes, thoughtfulness wins. Not only did thoughtfulness win, but it won in A BIPARTISAN WAY! This offers hope, for a sane US politics, a sane environmental policy, a sane understanding that sometimes a government is required to protect the commons, and hope that we can turn the corner to act this way to protect the rest of the planet, now that the crazy fantasy that we are all going to escape to a NEW planet has mercifully subsided. To be continued.

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 01/10/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company