Our Protected Heritage

King’s book really outlined a topic unfamiliar to me, and he explained his case pretty bluntly: something needs to change in the way sites are preserved and kept from developers. His experience, over 40 years apparently, with lawmaking for the environment, makes him very qualified to make the statements he does, especially about the various administrations which helped ruin environmental protection. The Bush administration, although I am not surprised, was treated quite harshly by King. However, I cannot blame him especially for the policies which ignored environmental protection (21). I don’t understand why environmental issues are tagged with negativity by certain people. These lands are important to us, this is the world we live in and if we don’t take care of it, how is that going to help future generations? I think it is a very selfish thing to only concern oneself with the present and not the future. I think King showed that level of selfishness when talking about the sponsors who only care about money, not what you can do for the environment. Like he said with that caption “Your project means the world to us!”, does it really? I have a hard time trusting lots of companies and administration because it seems their target is profit and taking advantage of people, when it really should be helping and making a difference.

But the one thing I really came away with from the book was how hard it is to get anyone to listen to you, if you are small time. If big companies want to do something, it is really hard to stop them. As seen from the situation in Abo Pass and Buckland, it’s difficult to stop development from occurring when they have the ear of the government. King pointed out that the system is corrupt, and I couldn’t agree more. However, corruption is pretty much everywhere, so it didn’t surprise me. I think he made a good point though on page 44, that they’ve grown so accustomed to corruption that they don’t even notice it. I think that is true at a lot of levels in historical protection and preservation. There is corruption both from the government in the sense that is the money really going to the project? And there is corruption with how they deal with developers. But with such a bleak outlook in stopping corruption, King makes it hard to feel like one can make a difference. I think if more of the public in America became involved, it could make a difference, but it’s hard for the little communities who are trying to stop developers from coming in to make a difference.


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