Unprotected Heritage

King’s book seems like a good introduction to the issues involved with the different protection agencies and rules within the US. If I wanted to be scared away from getting a job working with, as, or against these different agencies then this would be the perfect book! He had me running scared when he compared workers to the Nazis that took Anne Frank. Like most thinly veiled insults in the book he quickly laughed off his words, but Godwin would certainly be pleased.

King’s book seemed to be constantly at odds with itself. Albeit, his topic is complex and obviously not easily solved as years of governmental attempts have proven. In his first chapter he points the preverbal finger at Bush and his administrations lack of legislative action on environmental issues and then a few paragraphs later observes that putting the federal government in charge of these laws “…put foxes in charge of guarding the henhouse…”(I don’t know how to post footnotes for Kindle books…). Each and every example showed what was wrong with the system and the dastardly people who got in the way of progress. He did of course put a disclaimer that the people within the system most likely weren’t purposefully clogging the system, but the disclaimer was often very little and then quite late. I have to agree with Zach that his tone comes across like that of a conspiracy theorist. I find that quite unfortunate because I think he may have had something worthwhile to say when he wasn’t blaming the Bush administration for the world’s problems.

The Constitutional Amendment, likely to most people surprise, is probably my favorite solution provided. The rest seem overly optimistic (i.e. asking Pres. Obama to tell everyone to do better at their jobs) and I fear the public won’t be quite as helpful should their attention be brought to the matter. Amending the Constitution on and providing a firm foundation for the “right to a clean, safe, and sustainable environment” would be the most functional solution. I personally error on the side of a smaller federal government, but perserving the natural beauties of Montana while protecting the citizen’s rights and livelihoods does appeal to me.

I certainly believe that preservation of our land’s natural beauty and heritage is a worthwhile cause or else I wouldn’t be aiming for the career I am. However, the consequences of our actions and and prospective of our decisions do need to keep in mind current people too. King’s examples were worrisome and (as he admits in his “A last word about Objectivity”) biased chosen to prove his points. I will be interested to hear what everyone else thought of the book and their different (and likely passionate) positions on the issues and solutions presented.

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