Albert Park &c

Subject: Albert Park &c
From: (John Leonard)
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 09:19:17 +1000
I was interested by Russell's comments on Albert Park and certainly agree
with him about what a worrying precedent the specific legislation to put
aside the environmental safeguards is.

However I think we ought to think more carefully about the wider context of
environmental protection. We should not be very confident that any
safeguards are that safe. Modernity, in contradistinction to traditional
paradigms which often contrive to use natural resources in such a way that
biological diversity is not impaired across the whole environment, just
consumes the majority of the environment in unsustainable agriculture,
logging, mining &c and saves small proportion, very much less than is
required to sustain biodiversity, as "wilderness", which nobody can do
anything with. This remnant is saved in the first place beacause the land is
too poor, or remote, or whatever to do anything with, and secondly erected
into National Parks for middle-class recreational use.

But it is important to remember that the capitalist (which also includes
socialist and communist) modernistic paradigm has so far enjoyed the good
times: economic growth has always been growing (even in the middle of the
Great Depression growth never became neagtive). What happens when the bad
times come? when there are no more forests, no more croplands, no more
frontiers, no more resources to steal from indigenous people? Well, we're
all in the shit, but I bet before that happens economic necessity will be
seen as a sufficient justification for decomissioning National Parks,
appropriating nature reserves, logging the last stands, repealing
environmental protection legislation...... We've all seen recently in the
Woodchipping Debacle how government cannot be seen to abandon commercial
interests, even when these are completely neglible. Economic growth will be
the last dogma to be abandoned when modernity comes to an end.
John Leonard

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