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Message #1590 of 2187  *NEW*
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Robert Jones  
Was the American West won or lost???
2/12/06, 4:03pm
Someone was reviewing my photographs the other day and they commented that they were basically blind to the nature that is all around them. My comment was that I see it all of the time and have always seen it. It has not been until my interest in photography came about that I have been able to capture what I witnessed and share it with others.

It was mentioned that my perspective on nature was like that of an artist. Like a sculpturer sees a block of marble. The sculpurer can vision a statue and details within the yet untouched block of marble. I can see a block of land and see the nature within. The intrinsic details and relationships that exist within. My friend commented that when he saw the same block of land that he could see dollar potential and development possibilities.

We started talking about habitat and land. I mentioned about all of the pockets of wild areas that are being over-run with development....about all of the construction and building that is going on and how many natural areas are ceasing to exist. He talked about how all of the construction projects were good for economics, providing jobs, creating growth and promoting.

I told him that I felt that we were loosing wonders that could never be replaced. He commented that it was nonsense that if you were to go up in an airplane that there were miles and miles of woodlands all around and that the possibilities for development were endless.

I enjoyed the debate and it was peaceful. In the end we agreed that we would disagree. We reached no middle ground other than gaining a vision into each other's perspective.

I have been reading an incredible book lately called "The Only Kayak" by Kim Heacox. Mr. Heacox and I share similar views of the world. A question was posed in the book that I thought was very profound and I will ask it here.

Do you think the American West was won or lost?

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Message #1595 of 2187  *NEW*
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Robert Jones
BestLight
Re: Was the American West won or lost???
2/13/06, 8:00am
I teach Economics. The thing most people don't understand is that everything is a trade-off -- we want the elusive win/win situation.

But because we have unlimited wants and limited resources, we are continually forced to prioritize.

What is a win to some is a loss to others.

What is a loss to some is a win to others.

When a community decides that open space is a priority (like Boulder, CO), developers are losers and the environment wins. Playing out the scenario, because housing is limited, affordability becomes a problem and homelessness grows.

You could take the scenario the opposite direction, too. Urban density for convenience ==> congestion ==> pollution and crime.

The key is to be aware that there ARE trade-offs and make them consciously.

Just MHO.

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Message #1596 of 2187  *NEW*
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Robert Jones  
Re: Was the American West won or lost???
2/13/06, 4:00pm
Thanks for your reply Lori,

In my view, one occasion is a trade off...many occasions becomes a whittling away. Many resources are finite. Habitat, to me, is a finite resource. When we continue to make trade offs on a small scale the larger whole becomes smaller.

I just don't think our environment can sustain unchecked population growth. I think the totality of the environment takes a huge hit in ways that we cannot even fathom the toll that we as a population take on our world habitat.

I think that we will at some point have to take a serious look at a population cap. I think it will eventually become a necessity for a healthy and happy population. My thoughts are that it will have to be done through controlling birth rates.

This would fly in the face of many religious and personal beliefs. We will have to grow beyond our differences and current squabbles and in many cases our own beliefs to achieve what may become a necessity.

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