Monday, September 04, 2006
We live in a world of contradictions.
At any moment on the earth there are different people putting equal effort into saving or taking life. Millions of dollars are spent on research, drugs and medical techniques aimed at prolonging and improving life. Simultaneously someone , somewhere puts the finishing touch to a "weapon of mass destruction".
Environmentally the same thing happens. One group fights to save the kilometre square habitat of a tiny frog, while half a world away huge forests are clear felled to make toothpicks and chop sticks.
Consider for instance the creek near my home which adjoins an area which is being carefully re-generated after over 30 years of use as a garbage tip. What had once been a natural wetland full of waterfowl and fish had been turned into great mound of garbage. The enormous task of reclaiming this area has involved barriers to prevent domestic litter being washed into the creek and the river it flows into, and massive replantings of local plants and trees. The area is still polluted and far from pristine but the birds are gradually returning.
We continue to be obsessed with human history. We reinact it, read about it and archaeologists are forever trying to dig it up. Why don't we ever seem to really learn anything from it. Thirty years ago it was probably a local council who saw a "swamp", deemed it worthless and began to dump on it. Now we are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to re-establish this little piece of natural environment so casually destroyed.
Why do we continue to make the same mistake over and over again to varying degrees all over the planet, when history gives us so many past scenarios to learn from.