Change or get left behind

September 24, 2013 

Of course coal miners in Southern Illinois are upset about government plans to control pollution from it. But this is not new. This has been going on for 40-plus years. It is even worse in the Appalachians (Tennessee to West Virginia). There is may be the only resource to use a large amount of unskilled labor.

But the blame should fall to the companies that have failed to seek an alternative to a finite resource that will diminish constantly. The companies have not served their employees nor the stockholders nor the public by trying to squeeze the last lump out of the ground. But the government has a responsibility to everyone in the United States to provide an environment with clean air and water. This is also not news. The key factor in human survival and growth has been our ability to adapt to change, not to keep complaining about it.

My family was in the flour milling business for more than 100 years. My grandfather passed on an opportunity to produce "box cakes." He declined. He simply could not grasp the concept that people would not use flour for bread and cakes. Big mistake. But time marches on and those who don't keep up will always be endangered.

Joseph M. Reichert


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