The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, September 11, 1992, Image 7

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    nber 11,1!
Friday, September 11,1992
The Battalion
Page 7
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Environmental hype
Making mountains out of molehills
According to the shared beliefs of
environmental media experts and
doomsayers, the next century
should see our earth flooded,
parched, barren and populated by
cancer ravaged citizens. Environ
mental pressure groups insist that
drastic action be taken now, because
yesterday was too late.
However, dissension has devel
oped among the scientific commu
nity of late, and formerly accepted
claims are being widely questioned.
As a result, the great
majority of con
cerned citizens who
receive information
through press re
leases are left to
wonder what is true
and what is hype.
Some proponents
of the the most fa
talistic environmen
tal forecast theories
argue that it is inex
cusable for any sci
entists to point out
the uncertainties of many of the
worst case scenarios. This insulting
mind set is partly based on the as
sumption that people will not take
the situation seriously, and nothing
will be done, unless they are fright
ened into action.
In 1991 a survey was sent to 120
atmospheric scientists, of whom the
majority had contributed to a report
by the United Nations-sponsored
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change. This report was widely
touted as being a "scientific consen
sus" on the imminent danger of
global warming. Over 50 scientists
responded, of which 23 complained
that the summary of the report was
an unfair representation of its con
Nearly every scientist who re
sponded indicated that they were
quite skeptical about the accuracy of
the global climate models that are
to predict the rate of global
No thinking per
son can claim that
industrial societies
have not damaged
our environment or
that action is not
necessary to rectify
past mistakes.
There are real prob
lems that deserve
attention and great
However, envi
ronmental groups
with axes to grind for business and
industry risk a "boy who cried
wolf" effect with their ceaseless
warnings of impending planetary
There's nothing wrong with a ra
tional, healthy concern for our air,
water, and land. But environmental
hypochondria and the stifling re
strictions on our businesses and ac
tivities that its adherents propose
threaten the welfare of us all.
Right-wing fundamentalism
part of the LoBaido cliff hanger
Again Antho
ny LoBaido
stuns us all with
his supernatural
insight. I can
only describe his
columns as
ed amusement
park rides which
exhilarate and
nauseate in one
fell swoop. His
political analysis
of the situation
in South Africa
is well thought
out and generally right on the money.
The communist reality of the ANC is
something few Americans know
about. Each fact that he sets out in
print raises the rollercoaster up a
clanking notch. I was thoroughly en
grossed in this intelligent column un
til four words signalled the beginning
of the ride proper: "enemy of the
Cross." Yes, he sure took us for a
With the sickening sensation of be
ing poised on the edge of a lofty
precipice, I realized that his column
was not about the plight of the black
man in South Africa at all — It is Chris
tian fundamentalist rhetoric decrying
"mankind's rebellion against God.
Now I understand why he fears the
liberal (that is, broad-minded and free
thinking) media —he realizes that any
man capable of rational thought will
possibly disagree with his twdsted, ul
tra right-wing, un-American philoso
phy and that makes him feel threat
ened more than anything else. If only
people wouldn't think for themselves,
eh? Perhaps he reels when I call his
crusading mentality un-American:
how can something as central as the
ism be un-patriotic? I am no patriot
myself—I need no weak-kneed lying
morality to sanction my views. How
ever, by proving him un-American
(meaningless though it is), I cut off the
last refuge of his sort. Time for some
history, kids.
Since the fall of the Roman Empire,
Christianity flourished and soon be
came the supreme political and social
power in the Western world. The au
thority of the Church was unques
tioned and universal. The scientific
philosophy of Aristotle and Galen as
well as the works of many of the great
ancient minds was submerged by the
Church. The tradition of rational
thought slumbered in the care of a
few monks who preserved the classic
philosophies through the Dark Ages
until they could be rediscovered by
the scholars of the Enlightenment.
This is the very scientific tradition we
enjoy the fruits of today.
Under the empire of God, igno
rance, superstition and corruption
were the hallmarks of civilization.
The mentally ill were diagnosed as
possessed by devils or as witches and
killed by methods which gradually
evolved in horror and complexity un
der the auspices of the Holy Inquisi
tion. Under the feudal system, serfs
were bound to the land and became
effectively slaves, much as the black
man in America is still economically
imprisoned today. Proponents of new
thought were persecuted as heretical
and enemies of the Church, stagnat
ing intellectual growth. Religion is
fond of wistfully seeking the King
dom of God. Face facts, man, it has
already happened. We've seen the
Kingdom of God and its glories — cor
ruption of the clergy, suppression of
free thought, racist crusades, et cetera.
Eventually, the fog lifted enough
for the Protestant Reformation to chal
lenge Clergy authority. A period of
intellectual rebirth followed and the
Western world began to think again
after centuries of religious stupor.
The Protestants took freedom to new
levels, but not far enough for some. A
handful of liberal Calvinists and Puri
tans fled persecution to settle on the
shores of modem day America. Here
they shaped a new nation based on
personal liberty and toleration. It is
noteworthy that the revolutionaries
who threw off the English Imperial
yoke were for the most part. Deists.
The Deists believed in God as the first
mover, the divine architect who set
the universe in motion and then
stepped back to watch the show. Per
haps the most liberal expression of
philosophy. Deism rejected supersti
tion and ritual and embraced science
and Nature's god. America was
founded by people who thought for
themselves, not the narrow-minded
dupes of religious indoctrination who
perpetuated bigotry and hate.
To those who still await the King
dom of God (a return to the Dark
Ages) and a return to family values
(Nazi Germany was a good example),
I will say this: Will you stand up for
the outdated structures of an unseen
god that uses the Pope, Oral Roberts,
and any number of other charlatans as
his mouthpieces, or do you support
the "inalienable rights" of man which
his Creator endowed him with? They
are in opposition and you must
choose a side. I, for one, humbly
throw in my lot with Locke and Jeffer
son against those who would take
from me my freedom to think and
choose. If you value the freedom that
true patriots died for, I urge you to
join me.
What Fish Camp didn't teach you
Seniors learn some unusual lessons in campus life
A h, the sweat-soaked sticky of our autumn air when
the hallowed halls of our alma mater ring true with
the stampede of students' feet — stumbling about,
fee slips in hand, dazed and confused and asking the in
evitable, "What class is this?"
But it's not the Fightin' Class of '96 you hear uttering
those embarassing words — no, they already figured that ■
out when their beloved discussion group leaders walked
them through their classes two weeks ago. No, the voices
you hear are those of a more vintage age, an age of rings
and things that go "WHOOP!" and people who get good
football tickets.
The confused ones that are hanging around in the halls
and running into the light poles are none other than the
classes of '93, '92 — and maybe even '91. You gotta' re
member, it's been a long time since we've been to Fish
But that's not to say we haven't learned anythin);. In
fact, though our brains may pickle from the inundation of
alcohol heaped upon them by one too many nights at
Dudd's or the Chicken, we've learned a lot of things that
they never told us in Fish Camp, which I just thought I
might pass along — before I pass out of this existence and
into graduate school.
Stacy's Key List of Things They Never Told You at Fish
Camp, or Everything I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned in
College (Robert Fulgham lied!).
He who said "Everything I ever needed to know, I
learned in kindergarten" obviously never came to A&M.
For he forgot a few key essentials that they don't teach you
in Fingerpainting 101 — or in cutting, glueing and naptime.
Okay, well naptime is universal, especially in college. But
we never got to beer-goggling in Mrs. Burnley's K-5 at the
Little Red School House, Church of Christ Concentration
Camp that I attended.
Avoid the following letters: PTTS, TABC, MIP, DWI, F,
D, t.u.
Eat a't least one good meal a day — pizza rolls contain all
the basic food groups (especially if coupled with ranch
dressing) and you can live off a dozen during finals for at
least 2 days.
Road trip early and often.
Study now so you can play on the weekend. Don't drink
and drive. Practice safe sex.
Comfort your mother — or in some cases your father
(my mom was glad to get rid of Kelly and me; in fact she
and my dad moved and refuse to give us the code to the se
curity alarm system on the new house).
Sit up all night and talk to complete strangers about
gods, higher intelligences, and supreme beings one night
during your stay (It happens to the best of us, and I have
yet to meet a college student who didn't do this).
Brown nose. Say "Howdy." Pad your resume often and
early. Vote. Learn to handwash underwear or always have
emergency money on hand to buy more. Don't wash the
colors with the whites. Save your quarters instead of buy
ing that Coke in Blocker between classes.
Start your conversations with "What's your major?
Where are you from?" — everyone else does, no need to
break tradition.
Speaking of traditions, go to Silver Taps. Go to Yell
Practice. Lose your voice at the games — even though
yelling effectively is difficult up where the air is thin. Go to
Muster: one day your name will be on that list. Treehug-
gers aside, build the hell outta Bonfire.
Learn to two-step — though I don't endorse this type of
behavior (or that kind of music). Two-stepping however is
a necessary social skill here in the heartland of honkytonks,
harmony and belt-buckles that double as satellite dishes. If
you really want to make a splash, dazzle your friends with
advanced jitterbug skills. You'll be the hit of any party or
dance floor.
Always remember to take your sunglasses and sun
screen to the football games. And stay in school so you can
get your Aggie Ring.
And as Mrs. Burnley told us at the neo-nazi, fascist death
camp kindergarten, "You'll do it, and you'll like it." Then
you'll forget it all and run into the light poles with the rest
of us.
Feducia is a senior English and history major
J?Lnd upon Judgment (Day, the Lamh opened the
eighth seaC, disgorging the environmentaCists
upon the earth.
—(But this zoos determined too harsh a judgment.
It takes students
to keep tradition
I've got some very bad bull to talk
about, Ags.
I was in the MSC Monday afternoon
when an old Ag approached me and
asked me a few questions. He asked if
the building he was in was Still the
MSC. I told him that it was. He then
asked if it was still a war memorial and
I gave him an affirmative answer. Then
he said, "What's the deal with the hats?
I've seen about a dozen or so since I've
been in here."
I felt lower than one of Bevo's cow-
piles. Here was an old Ag stopping me,
a junior in the Corps, and asking why
people are covered up in the MSC. I
felt really bad about it because I didn't
have my head pulled out enough to
catch it myself. The MSC, for those of
you that still don't know, is dedicated
as a memorial to those Aggies who
gave their lives in defense of our coun
try since World War II. That's why you
take off your hat upon entering the
building and stay off the grass. But the
shock from that old Ag got me started
thinking, and I'd like to refresh all Ags
on the traditions that we have.
What makes this university great is
the size of the student population, the
academic prestige that we have, and the
winning tradition that we have in the
sports arena. But that's not what makes
Texas A&M unique. There are larger
schools, better departments at other
universities, and football teams with
better winning averages. What makes
this school unique is the traditions that
we have. It's these traditions that dis
tinguish us from any other school in the
world, no matter how big we are or
how many national championships we
win or how much money we spend on
research and teaching.
It's not up to the old Ags or the
Corps or the Traditions Council to keep
the traditions of Texas A&M . It's up to
the student body as a whole. Don't de
pend on the old Ags. If we don't keep
the traditions now we probably won't
as former students. Don't depend on
the Traditions council. It takes more
than some T-shirts, Howdy Week and
Muster to keep the traditions. And
don't depend on the Corps of Cadets.
Even though the Corps is still a strong
influence on the campus, we're only
2,000 or less out of more than 40,000
students. Keeping the traditions is up
to the entire student body, whether
you're Corps or non-reg, Greek or not,
American or international.
Jason Johnston
Class of'94
I just wanted to say I was impressed
at the turnout for Silver Taps Tuesday
night. Recently, my father passed
away. He, too, stood in front of Sul
Ross honoring Aggies before him. In
the corps, he blew taps on his trumpet
his senior year. Now I stand there for
him. Someday, somebody who is not
even bornyet will stand there for me.
This is truly an Aggie Spirit that will
never die. Bonfire, Aggie rings, and
whooping at football games sre fun but
Silver Taps is an Aggie Spirit from the
heart. I welcome all Ags, past, present,
and future into my family for I have
discovered a whole new meaning to the
phrase "I bleed maroon and white."
Keep up the good work, Ags, to pre
serve such a lasting tradition.
Donnie Bilancich
Class of '93
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