To the editors:

While much of what he says has merit, it’s only a nice dream of Jesse Jackson’s to “export . . . medicine and tractors to 400 million customers” in Latin America [“Jackson and Simon in Iowa,” February 5]. What happens when, for want of information, the recipients start hoarding the pills? Or taking them on the wrong schedule? Or sharing with others, “more” needy–who might have adverse reactions? When the donated machinery needs gas, or new parts, or regular maintenance, who pays for the equipment and sees it reaches who it’s intended for? Who rebuilds the soil if the tractors aren’t used properly and the environment is further degraded?

Apparently Jackson is like many people on both ends of the political spectrum in seeming to believe that more resources are the answer to the world’s ills (read: throw money at the problem to make it go away). In bygone days this might’ve worked; however, the planet is ill suited for the number of humans we have forced it to sustain as it is. What is needed is not only better distribution of scarce resources, but understanding how they came to be so dear, and what to do about it. It’s high time we followed our great-grandparents’ maxim: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

The other solution is easy access for all to (1) contraceptives, and (2) reliable, nonjudgmental information on the mechanics of sex and the responsibilities of Earth’s billions not to further aggravate the situation.

M. Wiesinger

Earth First!