We did it to Ourselves

After reflecting on heritage protection laws, the only thing I can see when I close my eyes are the never-ending news articles on my Facebook wall detailing which government organizations the current administration is hell-bent on defunding. Is BigCorp going to buildĀ the thing at the place you love? Is that thing going to have a negative impact on the environment there? Too bad, we got rid of the EPA and all the other regulatory organizations, there’s no one left to do the evaluations you requested! Hope you like a little toxic waste with your childhood memories and cultural significance! At least these laws are consistent. Like our tax laws, they are nigh incomprehensible to someone that does not have years to figure out how they are actually supposed to work.

I agree with the author that just because a place has significance for one person does not mean that it is significant for the whole nation. “Progress” (whatever that is) should not be completely derailed for everyone as a whole just to save a tiny patch of land that is not important to more than one person. But I cannot help but think we could do better than this. Wilderness areas are important. National Parks are important. Conservation of our disappearing species is important. The newest installment of that big-box store? That one seam of dirty fossil fuel that cannot hope to save a dying industry dead in the middle of that sacred mountain? One developer’s pocket book? I cannot call these things significant on the same level.

I know I’m too sentimental for today’s economic realities. I really thought that I had a comprehensive list of things that I should be angry at congress about. We have got to do more or there will not be much of these types of sites left to bulldoze and build over.

3 thoughts on “We did it to Ourselves”

  1. I like to think that we can do better as well. But because of everything the government contends with, history and the environment get pushed aside and that makes me so very sad. I guess I’m too sentimental as well. I suppose that’s why more historians and scientists need to go into government- but seeing what they have to deal with, I most certainly don’t want that job and I can see why other don’t also.

  2. I would like to believe that having more people in government who know what they’re doing is the solution. Unfortunately, when many think government employees, scientists, teachers, college graduates, etc. are elitists to be treated with disdain and mistrust having more in government may not solve the problem. In the current environment I am reminded to the killing fields of Cambodia and the Cultural Revolution in China where the intelligentsia were dragged away to be either re-educated or murdered. I sincerely believe we won’t follow that path. It took a generation to get to this point and may take one or more to restore faith and trust in those who have the education, training and experience to know what they are doing.

  3. Yes! We can do better! But how do we make National Parks and Wilderness areas important to the whole nation? We’ve been a little too spoiled with our protected areas I feel.

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