Protecting Heritage

This in general, is a very important topic that I never have really considered. While reading Our Unprotected Heritage I kept wondering why I had never considered this to be an important topic before. Why do I assume that important laws like National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act are perfect and do their job? Have people simply become complacent in regards to fighting this kind of advantageous system? Is there nothing that is actually pure??

Terrifyingly enough, the first chapter of Our Unprotected Heritage explains each protection law and how the Bush administration has weakened their effect. Since this book was written in 2009, I am curious about how Thomas King views the Trump administration’s recent actions towards (or against) the environment. I feel like people in my generation especially take these laws for granted. We never had to live in an era where factories could dump chemicals into the water. But the terrifying part is that we have these magnificent laws in place, but they still don’t fully guarantee the protection of anything (examples being: Flint, Michigan’s water crisis, the Dakota Access Pipeline and pipelines like it). With these protections and laws being ignored more and more, we might as well continue to the point of humans being wiped out so Mother Earth can start over again without us.

The final chapter of this book is very important (I am always glad when author’s put in chapters actually calling for change).  While I tried to read this chapter optimistically, because of the current political climate, I was ultimately skeptical. Americans can try to make environmental and cultural protections important for everyone. We can try and make our politicians care about these issues. We can try and amend the Constitution. But how will any of that happen when money is awaiting the people who choose to ignore or manipulate the laws? How can we achieve anything when our own President sees the utmost importance in deregulating business to a point where businesses will once again be able to dump chemicals into lakes and build upon sacred cultural areas? I wonder if Thomas King has any answers for us now.

In regards to the book review of The Future of Heritage as Climates Change: Loss, Adaption Creativity, I am extremely sad at their main argument. I don’t want to believe that we have reached a point of no return but when it comes to climate change and the damages we have done to the Earth, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

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