Saturday, 15 October 2011

Paradise Abused

As I wander I have realised many times that we should live in paradise. Within the natural world we have all we need, but sadly it seems we do not have all that everyone wants. Many of the places I pass by show the scars of industry and mining, some are still active, some have been closed for decades and nature is beginning its reclamation of these areas. But within the landscape the ruts are there to be seen and below our feet sits the unwanted wastes in concentrations way in excess of the natural order of things.

This week fellow outdoors folk over the other side of the Atlantic have raised my awareness of the proposed mining extraction at Bristol Bay. I was staggered by the size of the proposals and the sensitive location. Over the last few years we have had horrific damage caused to the environment by developments such as tar-sands and the spill in the gulf, but here we are once more, still looking at highly destructive development.

I find myself wondering how we came to be in such a situation yet again. For my thinking it is partly down to the way developers and investors see land purely as a commodity and partly because money is perceived as the main security for the future. Perhaps one of the awkward issues is the realisation of smaller involvements, how we save and invest small sums of money for pensions, savings or bonds without questioning how the banks will give you the promised rate of return. Maybe it is time to take out some finance to get that new car, after all how are you going to know what the companies you transact with will invest their profits and what commodities they will work with. I must admit I have been guilty of both of these in the past, but I am determined not to repeat my mistakes.

Until we look carefully at our own dealings and truly question the effect we have, there is always the chance of money being invested in one country causing huge problems for others elsewhere. If that is of little concern, perhaps it is worth remembering that money invested overseas could cause hardship on your own doorstep.

For me the lands and seas are not commodities, they are an integral part of our very existence. We should always harvest carefully and treat them with respect. Below is the link to raise awareness of the goings on at Bristol Bay.


  1. I like your thinking, and had planned on posting a quote from a Native American with some criticisms of how we conduct ourselves in regards to the environment. I may get that out later this week.

    Here's to trying to get better -

  2. Many thanks Casey, I will keep an eye open for your quote.
    I will also try and put together some future blog posts on how I am doing things to try and make for a better future, this way I can progress from this post. Taking it from "we shouldn't be doing this" to "this is what I am doing about it & this is how it is working"

  3. I very much support your "personal responsibility" point of view. And it can be in ways that one rarely consider -- such as your point on where your pension fund is invested.

  4. Thanks for your comment & for taking the time to read Steve.

    It would be very interesting to know how many people really grasp how their hard earned money is being invested. Perhaps they find themselves objecting to schemes from companies they have indirectly & unknowingly financed & funded in the first place. Somehow I doubt such information is easily available!