Nature Needs Tough Love

Just so there’s no misunderstanding, I’m every bit as committed to preserving the wilderness as the next person. It’s just that the wilderness is, well, so large. And untidy. A quick glance at any atlas will quickly confirm the fact that the wilderness takes up huge portions of our planet’s total surface area, and yet it generates little or no real value for our species. The Himalayas, for instance, are far more sprawling than they need to be, strictly speaking. And don’t even get me started on the Sahara desert.

Even in our own relatively organized North America, it is clear that the wilderness poses a serious impediment to our progress as a species. Take a look, for instance, at the vast stretches of temperate rainforest spread like a blight across the Pacific Northwest. This space, to put it bluntly, is very poorly arranged and under utilized. Many of you will be surprised to hear, for instance, that the majority of it remains unlogged, unpaved and inaccessible right up to the present day, and therefore completely devoid of big box retailers, and even Starbucks outlets.

Besides the fact that so-called pristine wilderness contributes little or nothing to our economy, it presents a very significant health risk. To say that these barren wastelands don’t lend themselves to cleaning is putting it mildly and overall conditions tend to be extremely unsanitary. Furthermore, these poorly lit, treacherous stretches are filled with all manner of diseased and potentially violent animals, unsafe walking areas, and a myriad of varieties of poisonous fungi.

Yet, despite all of this, there seems to be an alarming lack of political will to step in and make a real difference. Despite the proliferation of effective and inexpensive defoliants that are available to us, we allow many old growth trees to grow unchecked. Tax dollars that could be used in the funding of public/private partnerships devoted to wilderness pest control services are instead squandered on health care and education. Many rivers and lakes are undammed and undiverted, and tragically remain under government control, instead of being in the hands of multinational corporations owned by people such as you and me. I can tell you that there are quite a few of my good friends south of the border who would be generous enough to help us out financially up here by taking some of this worthless water off our hands, thus giving a real boost to our economy and providing us with the wherewithal to purchase more sanitary bottled water and other refreshing beverages from the Coca Cola Corporation.

So when will things change? When will the wilderness be finally brought into reasonable check? When will irresponsible, subversive enviro-loudmouths, such as David Suzuki and the thugs at Greenpeace, be silenced at long last? It will only happen when all of us, speaking with one determined voice, force our politicians to take action. It is up to each and every one of us to make the world a safer, more convenient, and more profitable place by bringing nature firmly under control.