No Forests Are Ever Truly Protected
Listen to this commentary in MP3 format or through Podcast
From Mining, Logging, Capitalism and Population Growth
Coveting of protected natural forest for logging, mining and drilling ? both legal and illegal ? never really diminishes. Several recent stories regarding mining in “protected” forests clearly illustrates that no forests are every truly preserved. The story is pretty much the same in Indonesia, India and the Philippines – in the face of unlimited human demands, any forest or other bit of nature could be lost at any time.
National Parks, conservation easements, state and local parks ? all will come down in the face of unchecked procreation and unsustainable consumption expectations. This does not mean that protected areas are not important. What it means is we need to work more on meeting development and ecosystem needs from managed and restored forests ? and defending protected areas from outside industrial intruders. It is clear that without population controls, improvements in efficiency, and adoption of simpler lifestyles; we can forget about operable forest ecosystems and intact forest biodiversity in the not too distant future.
Capitalism depends upon ever more growth ? impossible in a finite world with scarce resources. There is nothing sacrosanct about capitalism ? it has lifted many out of poverty but at tremendous costs to communities and ecosystems. In order not to devour the Earth, capitalism must continue to be reformed – including truly and wholly including external environmental costs into pricing, promoting sustainable and indeed restorative use of natural capital, banning particularly egregious Earth destroying industrial processes, limiting destabilizing financial flows and closing the gap between the super rich and billions with nothing. These ideas have been paid lip service for years but are not widely and uniformly implemented.
Either capitalism will change in order to not undermine ecosystems including forests and the climate upon which it and all life depends (and soon), or it must and will be overthrown. I would prefer the former, but the latter may be necessary for planetary ecological survival. Failure in either regard will see capitalism and human societies collapsing under their own excess and putrid waste.