Scouting, Volume 38, Number 10, December 1950 Page: 20
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Photos: Top, L. S. Ordeman; Bottom, U. S. Forest Service.
More and more Americans are coming to
realize that the security and future of democ-
racy depend on our water and soil, forests, and
grasslands. For one basic cause of the spread of
communism is hunger. Hungry people seek first for
food, then for security. They even sacrifice personal
liberty if they are made to believe that any pro-
posed scheme will offer food and protection. Hun-
ger and misery create dictatorships. Order and
abundance maintain democracy and human free-
The old adage "An army travels on its stomach,"
may be logically paraphrased to read "A democracy
survives on its stomach." In that word, "stomach,"
is the key to strong external defense and civilian
security. It is a key that is in the hands of every
American. For only as long as we produce health-
giving food, adequate clothing, and the products
of industry that make for a strong army and a high
standard of living at home, will America survive as
we know it today. Moreover, we must produce a
sufficient surplus to ship abroad to help fight anti-
democratic ideologies with concrete evidence that
a free democracy is the best way of life.
But food and industrial products all come di-
rectly or indirectly from our good earth. It is easy
to trace a loaf of bread, a glass of milk, or a T-bone
steak to the soil, but not so obvious a relationship
exists with a suit of clothes, a General Sherman
tank, or a new car. Yet it requires a ton of water
to finish the woolens for a three piece suit, and
fifty tons of water to make a ton of steel. That
necessary water is available only as long as the
soil is in suitable condition to soak up rain and
store it in underground reservoirs for future use.
It takes only a few minutes of thought to realize
that all necessities of life come from natural re-
sources. Only as long as those resources are produc-
tive will America have the opportunity to remain
free. But America has been a wasteful nation, not
deliberately perhaps, but never-the-less careless
with its natural resources.
Everyone knows of the millions of tons of top
soil that have blown away or washed into the sea
— soil rich in the elements that are necessary for
nutritious food, soil that is needed now to produce
food for the world. And more soil is being lost
Nearly everyone knows also of industrial plants
that cannot operate at full efficiency because of a
lack of adequate water supplies. And water still
runs off the uplands down to the ocean, when it
could be running into underground reservoirs in-
Every year newspaper headlines announce the
destruction by fire of thousands of acres of forest
land — trees going up in smoke that could be pro-
ducing homes, plastics, paper, or gunpowder.
Hope for the Future
It is not all a black picture. Americans are wak-
ing up. A tremendous mobilization of forces is at
work helping in the wise management of water and
soil, forests and grasslands, so that those resources
BOY SCOUT SECTION
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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 38, Number 10, December 1950, periodical, December 1950; New York, New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth313169/m1/22/: accessed August 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.