Your Views: Tired of environmental hypocrisy

Your Views: Tired of environmental hypocrisy
A 150-year-old oak tree on the property of T.C. Williams High School. (Photo/Missy Schrott)

To the editor:

It is said that the definition of a hypocrite is one who cuts down a magnificent tree and then uses the stump to stand on to make a speech about conservation. When it comes to environmental issues, the “Eco City” of Alexandria stands out as a prominent practitioner of hypocrisy at its worst.

The city is currently pushing for a “restoration” of Taylor Run which will result in disruption or destruction of native plants and a unique wetlands area. They also plan to destroy more than 200 trees in the process. While the city pushes for this destructive plan, Alexandria for many years has been dumping 11.3 million gallons of raw sewage each year into the Potomac River. Obviously, this sewage pollutes not only the river but also the Chesapeake Bay into which the Potomac flows.

Ironically, the city claims it needs to restore Taylor Run in order to comply with Chesapeake Bay regulations. If it is truly concerned about the health of the Bay, it should make an urgent effort to address the raw sewage problem rather than to engage in the Taylor Run project which will destroy a precious ecological jewel in Alexandria.

Perhaps city officials need to be reminded that trees put oxygen into the air, thus playing an important role in fighting climate change. With each tree that is cut down, the effects of climate change are exacerbated.

The city must choose whether it prefers to remain on a tree stump, mouthing platitudes about the environment – perhaps the T.C. Williams High School tree stump – or to go out on a limb and become a true Eco City. Alexandria’s elected officials, it is up to you.

We voters are tired of your hypocrisy.

-Mary Zoeter, Alexandria