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DENIAL OF EARTH’S PLIGHT IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

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DEAR ABBY: Starvation, pollution and discrimination run rampant in our society as well as in the societies of others. They continue to be ignored by millions of people. Only a small percentage is willing to fight for changes.

The following article appeared in our April Fools' edition of the St. Cloud State University (Minn.) Chronicle. (The author is unknown.) The paper was crammed with fictitious articles except one, titled "Reality." If you think it's worthy of being published in your column, here it is:"Everyone needs a break from monotony now and again. That is what this parody edition is all about. But some things do not disappear simply by virtue of momentary laughter.

"Hundreds upon thousands of men, women and children die anonymously each and every day in heaps of bloated stomachs and brittle bones for want of food. Laugh that off, loud enough, so they will hear you in Ethiopia!

"The industrialized nations continue to belch noxious filth into the air and waters of Mother Earth. The rain forests are dying. The oceans are dying. The planet is dying. Laugh that off, because our children, who will inherit this planet, most certainly will not.

"Ethnic, racial and class discrimination are still rolling merrily along throughout the world. The unending cycle of perverse hatred remains largely unchecked. Laugh that off, and watch our children do the same.

"And through it all, a great majority of the `haves' continue to ignore the humiliation and degradation of the `have-nots.' Apathy is leading us all down a dark and terrible road. Laugh that off.

"Laugh loud and laugh often, for because of our lack of courage and foresight, we are creating a world for our children that will be anything but funny."

Well, Abby, do you have any comment? I didn't. It is the reality and truth of this commentary that hurts. Let's hope people will open their eyes and think not only of themselves, but of what our destruction will do to future generations. - A ST. CLOUD STATE UNDERGRADUATE

DEAR UNDERGRADUATE: The stark truth of that sobering message evokes no laughter - only tears.

How unfortunate that the message appeared on April Fools' Day. It was clearly no joke. For if we fail to cooperate in a last-ditch effort to save our environment, the "joke" will be on us.

DEAR ABBY: "Tim" is 35. "Sally" is 41. Sally was recently divorced. Tim has been married twice before. Tim and Sally want to marry after knowing each other only three months!

Tim is also an alcoholic and drug abuser, in addition to being a womanizer. He has no respect for women - he only uses them.

I should know. I am Wife No. 2. I stayed with him for as long as I could - a total of eight years, during which I was ignored, neglected and emotionally abused.

Tim has never been able to truly commit to any relationship. My question: Should I, a former spouse, inform the prospective bride about the dark side of the man she plans to marry? Or should I just put blinders on and let them hang themselves with their own rope? - SAD IN KENTUCKY

DEAR SAD: In my view, the best way to answer your question is with another question: If you were in Sally's shoes, wouldn't YOU want to know?

To order Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know," send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054.