Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Preserve the Spectacular Places!

Skimming a back issue of National Geographic in which parks were featured I noticed that no one addressed the questions begged when a particular place is designated as officially much more special than others.

It's wonderful to create a sanctuary to preserve a spectacular landscape in a particular place, so future generations can enjoy it. But that really does nothing to encourage people to treat the rest of the landscape less like crap. And by creating a facility for visitors, we create a host of problems right in the spectacular place itself.

If anything, those who profit from treating the rest of the landscape like crap can point to the expensive and showy park as evidence that they really do care. While you stare in awe at the view, they can nip around back and strip mine and drill the stuffing out of the very similar landscape nearby, not designated for preservation. And in your own sprawling suburban habitat you can look up at light-polluted skies and listen to the motors and musical tastes of your million neighbors while you try to save the money to go with another millon of them to the preserved park of your choice.

Oooh. Aaaaah. Lovely. Now back on the bus! Your turn is over.

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