October 07, 2009

Natural Paradox

I don't consider myself much of a conservationist in the strict sense of the term.  I guess I do a few things to help out.  I put stuff in our recycling bin, but that's only because the trash collectors provided one and Jan gets mad at me if I throw cans or paper into the regular trash bin.  I also vote for funds for the county forest preserve when the issue comes up in a referendum.  I say I do it because we need more open land in this area, but I really do it because I've already got a home and don't want anyone else to build around me.  A sort of "I got mine, now stay out" thing.

I haven't voiced any opinions about the "green" movement since it started decades ago.  Certainly to say anything against it appears, at least to me, to be an act of high social treason.  So, I just keep my opinions to myself, because I know in the end that Nature is going to win out.  The human race will eventually die out, or evolve into something else, and the earth will go on.  The green movement just helps this evolution come that much quicker, because Nature finds a way to overcome all obstacles.

In the last 24 hours, I've read and watched two things that caused me to think about the whole subject of conservation and how ridiculous it can become.

The first was an episode of "Dirty Jobs", which focused on a salvage company collecting abandoned pleasure boats from the swamps around the Miami area.  The State of Florida pays the salvage company to collect the boats because they are eyesores and pose a possible threat of leaking fuel into the water.  Yet the State sends patrols along with the salvage crew and heavily fines them if they spill any of the fuel from the boats or even break a branch from the thousands of Cypress trees that line the waterways where the boats are left to rot.  At one point in the episode, one of the abandoned boats was caught in the mud at low tide 200 feet from the salvage barge, yet the crew couldn't drag it the remaining distance, and had to wait for high tide because the boat might have made a small furrow in the mud of the channel, upsetting its ecological balance until the current could smooth things out again.

The second was a newspaper article from a small coastal town in Massachusetts.  The town's island community is trying to deal with beach erosion and is trying to strike a deal with the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge a nearby river and move the material to the quickly eroding beach.   However, the ACE will not do the work unless all of the homeowners along the beach grant them permanent easement of the beach side of their properties.  Several of the homeowners are refusing to grant the easement because the ACE will quarantine their beach for 3 months in the Spring to allow some endangered bird called a Piping Plover to nest and mate.

It's all very complicated, but the basic fact is that the topography of the entire island itself is constantly in flux. Homes now sit where there was once ocean and ocean now occupies what was once land.  Experts say that in 100 years, the island may be completely gone.  Meaning that moving a couple of thousand cubic yards of sand around isn't going to make a bit of difference, the houses will be reclaimed by the ocean, and the fucking birds will have to go someplace else to nest.

In both cases, Nature wins.  Man squabbles about being green while the Cypress swamps triumph and the ocean goes anywhere it damn pleases.

And I'll just let it do its thing and keep pitching my soda cans in the recycling bin.  Nature doesn't really need my help, but it makes me feel better about myself.

Update 10/10/09: I don't normally go back and read my posts, and after looking at this mess, I can see I have good reason for it.  If I were awarding myself a "Badly Written Drivel Of Month" award, this one would win hands down.  I'll leave it up just to remind myself that I have a long way to go. 

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