APRIL 22, 1947
HYDE PARK, Monday—There were two articles in Sunday's New York Herald-Tribune which were of great interest to me.
One was headlined: "Solution of World Problems Seen Easy If Scientists Are Called In." The gist of the article was that the troubles confronting the world were problems of migration, as they had been in the past. Originally, migration proceeded westward from somewhere around Afghanistan, but during the last 300 years, a push back has begun.
The group that might be described as the remnants of the Celtic and Roman world first pushed the Turkish surge back into Asia, and then destroyed German civilization. The next step, according to this article, will be the destruction of the Slavic and Tartar elements in Europe, represented by the Soviet Union, unless the scientists, who see the human race as a whole, can be allowed to work out for the world a state of equilibrium in which all can progress rapidly "to a common level of civilization."
The writer, John J. O'Neill, seemed to consider this a possible achievement. And since it certainly is highly to be desired, I cannot understand why our politicians do not at once call upon the scientists, through the medium of the United Nations, to draw up such a plan! I cannot help wondering if the gentleman who wrote the article is not a little over-optimistic, but in any case, we should make the effort to find out what science has to contribute toward the peaceful solution of world problems.
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The other article, by Robert S. Bird, was of purely regional interest, but to me it was extremely stimulating. It told how in West Virginia, in the Fairmont area of the Monongahela Valley, businessmen had finally discovered that, if they helped the farmers, the returns to business would be tangible. So a cooperative movement has developed whereby better farming is being financed jointly by businessmen and farmers, with good financial results to both.
If this works so well in West Virginia in an area which has been blighted, it might also be tried out in other areas. The great difficulty which most farmers labor under is lack of capital and the slow progress made when circumstances require waiting for each improvement until the farm itself can pay for it.
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When we came up to the country Friday night, we found that during the week there had been very little progress toward spring. I hope that, at least, we will not suffer this year from what has happened in the last few years, when warm weather in March brought out the buds and then frost in April or May ruined them.
They tell me we had a frost on Saturday night, but I doubt if it did any harm, for our fruit trees are not yet in blossom. Even the lilacs are only barely showing little swollen buds. The maple tree on my lawn is just beginning to show red. A little warm weather, and, in a week, everything will burst into flower. But I would rather see it come slowly and I hope there will be no killing frosts to ruin our fruit crops.