Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stay In The City More. Or, Get Out Of The City More. You Choose.

Here’s a story of what can happen when you use the outdoors:

On a pleasant spring day, two young men enjoyed some fishing near Concord and cooked up some chowder in a nearby pine stump. The wind spread their fire to the nearby dry grass, …By the time the sylvan inferno ended, more than 300 prime acres of Concord woodland had been destroyed.

The inadvertent tree-burner was Henry David Thoreau. Today, he is a secular saint of environmentalism, but his contemporaries understandably saw the forest destroyer as a ‘damned rascal’’ and “flibbertigibbet.’’ It is hard to imagine any Bostonian shopkeeper or merchant who harmed the environment as much as Thoreau.”

That happened 167 years ago, and it’s bound to happen whenever people use the outdoors. People are rascals. This author makes quite a case that in order to be green, you should stay in the city. It’s way greener to live cheek to jowl to your neighbors and walk/bus/train to wherever you’re going. OK. I buy that. And as soon as they build a 600’ high tower like this, I won’t have to leave the city so I can climb.

File:Devils Tower CROP.jpg 

Or, they could just deepen some of the potholes until they look like this LOOKING NORTH ACROSS THE GRAND CANYON AT THE NORTH RIM. GRAND CANYON N.P. NPS PHOTOand then I wouldn’t have to go to the Grand Canyon to kayak or hike.




But, the story gets murky. Here’s a report that says we need to be outdoors more. Outside the city. We need to make federal lands easier to use. The report is sponsored by the Outdoor Industry, so that might be part of the reason why they think we should go outdoors more. (I bet they wouldn’t be offended if we bought some more outdoor gear.) And, it’s sponsored by the Federal Government. The report recommends we need more federal jobs in the outdoors. (Hmmm, wonder why they would say that?)

There is an entire separate report on youth and the outdoors. That seems to suggest you grab a kid and throw him/her outside. (In the past, I have tried grabbing kids and, in general, their parents object. So I won’t be helping out with that idea.)

Now,as far as I am concerned, the more people outdoors the better. As long as they don’t go to the parks I use. I have noticed that many outdoor places I would like to go, are packed with people. So I skip those areas. (It’s very mysterious how so many people seem to know that I like to visit National Parks in the summer. And, no matter what time I get there, they are always ahead of me in line.)

Hmmmm, just spitballing here - maybe I should find a report by the video gaming association recommending that people stay indoors and play video games and give that report to the people waiting to get into the National Parks. The ones that are ahead of me in line.

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