Our unprotected heritage

Our Unprotected Heritage book argues the point that the government in the public view acts that it is protecting our heritage and lands from being destroyed by industry. Thomas King is trying to wake Americans up to the fact that money is what makes the world go around. If the government needs to run pipelines or railways through a cultural or heritage site in the United States the government would allow it. If it will allow for the government to get more money than areas that are protected can be used if needed. Since this book was written during the administration of George W. Bush when they were talking about drilling in Alaska in the reserve for oil instead of relying on OPEC. Thomas King shows how the American people think that these National Parks and heritage places are protected by laws but that we don’t necessary read the whole law with its different stipulations on how or when the government can use the land if needed. “The failure of the heritage laws has several aspects, several parts, that interact with and reinforce one another. These are: The analyst as proponent: The people analyzing a project’s impact on the natural and cultural environment act as agents for the project’s sponsors. Agencies and project planners are disinclined ever to rethink their plans in response to public objections, and are inclined, as a result, to find ways to reject and bury such concerns, even if it requires twisting or ignoring facts.”[1] I tend to think that Thomas King is correct in one sense that the government is not protecting out national parks or heritage sites, but on the other hand feel that people will not allow the government to destroy or take away our most prized heritage places. I don’t think people are as naïve as this author thinks. I have worked for the government and yes, they put loop holes to help themselves out later in case they need to put something on the land.  On the other hand, people elect these people into office and people can get them to change their views hence why we have lobbyists. This book had some interesting viewpoints but they were few and far between making it tedious to read.

[1] Thomas F King. Our unprotected heritage: Whitewashing the destruction of our cultural and natural environment. Left Coast Press, 2012. Pg. 27.


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