The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 26, 2001


Carlisle Comments Generosity, Philanthropy, Empathy

Recent Mosquito articles have highlighted townspeople's acts of generosity, philanthropy and empathy. The examples I am referring to are Joe Gardner's generosity in helping Karen and Paul Lamoreaux solve their housing dilemma, Laura Snowdon and Affordable Housing, Inc's efforts to bring about housing options for moderate income households, and Ben Benfield's grant of another tract of land for conservation.

My hope is that as a town, we can support Laura and Affordable Housing, Inc. to develop a plan to provide housing options for people like Karen and Paul as well as life-long Carlisle residents who retire, and need smaller, lower cost housing options. Upon retirement, some life-long Carlisle residents become priced out of the housing market in Carlisle; today they have no other choice than to move to another town. I'm sure this is not their first choice.

Maintaining land's health will always be important to everyone who comes to live in Carlisle. Equally important is our land-use plan that will manage the unforeseen consequences of actions some refer to as growth, progress and development.

Let's acknowledge that we are fortunate in Carlisle to manage such disturbances, as humanity's impact on land can be inordinate. An article in the July 1997 issue of Science quantified some aspects of this impact. Between one-third and one-half of the earth's land surface has been transformed by human action. The carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased by nearly 30 percent since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, more atmospheric nitrogen is fixed by humanity than by all natural terrestrial sources combined, more than half of all accessible surface fresh water is put to use by humanity, and about one-quarter of the bird species on earth have been driven to extinction.

Certainly consumption of the very life of the land is not an American institution, it is the habit of civilization. Thanks to the generosity of Ben Benfield and a strong sense of land-use within the town, this tract of land, in a word, will remain a protected paradise for everyone's enjoyment. The next time you see Joe Gardner, Laura Snowdon and Ben Benfield thank them for the wonderful and caring things they are doing for our community.

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito