Hope for the future
In an editorial last year, we used the increase in the number of phone customers in Morgan County as a way of showing the area's dramatic growth in the last 30 years.
Later we came across a 1926 directory from the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company that listed only about 60 phones in Berkeley Springs, more than a third of them belonging to businesses. We also found a 1907 phone book for
Hancock that only listed about 60 numbers — some of them Berkeley Springs commercial customers.
Of course, most people simply didn't have a telephone in those "Good Old Days" — just as we didn't have TVs, computers, stereos, air conditioners, microwaves or even efficient refrigeration, for that matter.
We can curse the modern world all we like, but most of us don't want to go back in time. That's why people are so rarely moved by environmental preaching. Large numbers of folks are not suddenly going to turn off their televisions and computers and sell their vehicles.
The challenge of the future is really about finding less polluting ways to fuel our lives and homes. While conservation and recycling are clearly big parts of the formula, this nation's top priority should be to find a clean and viable substitute for our oil habit. If we can do that, we can help prevent global warming and bid farewell to political entanglements with our "friends" in Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East at the same time.