Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Problem with Deep Ecology

I read this wonderful article in an ecology magazine about this man, Doug Tompkins, who sold is Multinational Corporation and purchased land in Chile, and started this wonderful park, Pumalin Park. He spent a huge amount of money trying to preserve this area. It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful places in South American and worthy of preservation. Tompkins and his wife are to be commended for what they have been able to do with their wealth in terms of trying to preserve the environment.

Much to my dismay, I read in the New York Times on Sunday that they are now having fight big electric companies who want to build a dam for electricy and bury much of the land he has fought to preserve. Now, instead of investing in his goal of land preservation, he's going to have to invest a fortune in fighting off the electric multinational companies. If he is successful, it will only hold them at bay for a while, until he dies, or until the money runs out. It's a never ending battle and it seems like we always lose in the end. People want electricity and are willing to sacrifice what ever it takes to get it.

I'm not going to condemn these people, because I prefer not to do without electricity myself. But it would seem to make sense to invest in alternative sources of energy so that we would not have to bury in water, some of the most beautiful natural places in the world. In my humble opinion, it is the government's responsibility to get the ball rolling. Once it is "profitable" then the markets will jump in and take it from there. But there needs to be leadership in order to make that happen.

I hope Tompkins can win, for now....

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