Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Mother Nature Apologizes

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The following is an email from Tom Holz an ecological engineer in Washigton (state)


Mother Nature wishes to convey a deep and heart-felt apology.   She is very sorry that her science is so unrelenting and thus so inconvenient for humans.  She has mandated that clearing of forests will cause damage to stream channels.  We have noted that clearing even as little as one-third of a watershed causes her to retaliate by destabilizing and eroding stream beds regardless of how grumpy that makes us.

She has ordained that even minute amounts of impervious area in a watershed will seriously harm aquatic life.  If only 5% of a watershed is paved and the pavement is connected to the stream, half of the health of the stream is lost regardless of our screams of how unfair it all is.

She requires that for her systems to continue to provide mankind with benefits, mankind cannot disturb them as much as is needed to maximize profits.  She understands that we believe that every watershed must be 100% developed and turned to the purposes of providing habitat for autos and plastic flamingos.  As reasonable as these aspirations are, She apologizes, but remains stubbornly attached to her constraints, unrealistic as they clearly are.

“Has the Woman not attended the stakeholders’ meetings?”, the stakeholders may shout.  “Has She no reverence whatever for developers’ profit margins?” the agencies in charge of stream protection lament. “Does She care not a whit for the educated opinion of the councils’ campaign contributors?” our elected officials cry.  “She makes it exceedingly difficult to continue to deny facts” bemoans the Hearings Examiner.  “My program for issuing DNSs for the orderly destruction of the environment is in total disarray” grouses the Environmental Officer.

Mother wishes us to know that she feels our pain.  However She wishes to point out that the rules were established well before we were born, and we were warned about them many times.  She points out that children are eventually supposed to grow up and stop rebelling against their parents’ rules.  And She reiterates her standing admonishment that if you continue to whine over things you cannot change, She will give you something truly worthy of whining about.

On behalf of Mother Nature,

Tom Holz

Hat tip to Pamela Zevit for passing that along

Written by Stephen Rees

November 26, 2008 at 10:01 am

Posted in Environment

One Response

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  1. What happens if 90% is already paved and they want to essentially pave the rest? Might as well add this to the Gateway category…


    November 26, 2008 at 9:52 pm

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