The article in the October 2012 edition of the magazine AOPA Pilot prompted me to write this letter to the organization, of which I am a long-time member:
Editor, AOPA Pilot
421 Aviation Way
Frederick, Maryland 21701
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Your October 2012 article “Resources at Risk” by Rick Durden is based upon faulty economics and even more faulty ethics. Simply consider the irony of Mr. David S. Smith, founder and president of the conservation group CAVU, employing the apogee of a modern industrial economy–the airplane–to lobby in favor of the dubious goal of preventing developing countries from taking advantage of their natural resources to climb the first rung of the development ladder. Surely this is a decision that should be made by the Panamanians and Columbians themselves.
Your article further glorifies primitive tribes as living in harmony with a supposedly pristine environment, when neither Mr. Smith nor the author would consider changing places with them in a million years.
In order to prevent plunder of the valuable resources from criminal gangs, as described in your article, Panama and Columbia should sell the land in the Darien Gap to private owners, who will capitalize their investment for the long term.
AOPA number 01166673