SI Vault
May 08, 1972
ECOLOGYSirs:Every once in a while an article appears that is simply amazing in its stupidity. Gospel of False Prophets (April 24) by Mr. Bil Gilbert is such a masterpiece.
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May 08, 1972

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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Every once in a while an article appears that is simply amazing in its stupidity. Gospel of False Prophets (April 24) by Mr. Bil Gilbert is such a masterpiece.

Most students of junior high school biology know that there will always be an ecology of some kind. What some of us are trying to avoid is the ecology that would be associated with a world of 50 billion people, concrete and cockroaches.

Man's frantic efforts had better matter more than a whit. Personally, I prefer this world to that of Mr. Gilbert.
West Palm Beach, Fla.

Bil Gilbert's trite exercise in semantics is unfortunate insofar as it casts doubt upon the validity of the "ecology" movement. Granted, the original meaning of ecology has been severely bastardized with usage. It has been exploited by many groups and has become somewhat ambiguous as a result. What Mr. Gilbert fails to understand is that words, like ecosystems, also undergo evolutionary change. Ecology has come to symbolize man's concern for his world.

According to Gilbert, the ecology movement consists of nothing more than a bunch of pop ecologists who believe whooping cranes arc good and people vile. Whooping cranes, polluted waters and disappearing open space have indeed become rallying points of environmental concern. These are symptoms of man's effect on his world. It is absurd to say that anyone (excepting the most naive) believes that the extinction of the whooping crane "will leave an irreparable rent in the ecological web of life." The survival of the human species is the real issue. Let us hope that not everyone is as fatalistic as Mr. Gilbert.
Logan, Utah

I hope you can find this letter among the avalanche of boos you are bound to get from members of the Sierra Club and others who call themselves conservationists. They'll take a dim view of Gilbert's gospel.

Having spent 35 years in an industry vitally interested in our forests' yield, I was dazed when the word ecology came into vogue. Dictionaries failed to clarify what most were talking about. Thanks for an amusing, enlightening explanation.
Chairman of the Board
Corley Manufacturing Company
Chattanooga, Tenn.

My eternal gratitude to Bil Gilbert for his truly outstanding piece on ecology. It is high time the pestiferous preachings of the "ecologists" have been identified as precisely what they are: the mouthing of personal esthetic preferences and prejudices.

This article should be made required reading for Senator Proxmire, his admirers and the various organizations which are energetically striving to bring about the economic destruction of Alaska (not to mention the rest of the world) in the name of ecology.

My congratulations also to SI for having the integrity to print an article stating a position which is not in accord with popular feeling.
Westfield, N.J.

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