Praemonitus, Praemunitus –
Ryan the Cat made me do it
Ryan the Cat is 15. He has simple needs. He communicates them clearly. He is easily satisfied – most of the time. When he is satisfied, he sleeps. When his needs go unsatisfied – rarely the case – he sleeps.
I write these posts in advance. Usually, I have three to five of them finished and in the can awaiting transmission on the deadline day each week. This one is different. And Ryan the Cat made me do it.
I usually get up around four. This morning – and it has happened before – I got up a few hours earlier. These early-early mornings are always because Ryan the Cat is expressing his needs. This morning – Friday, if it matters – he was clawing at the door. Usually, a few words from me while I’m rolling over will get him to stop. This morning, that didn’t work. Enough. I got up and made coffee and had a look at ODN to see what the people had to say. Ryan the Cat made me do that.
There were a lot of National Park comments. I have avoided the debate until now mostly because I have found no compelling argument on either side. Ryan the Cat is to blame for my foray into the morass.
The way I see the park debate is the way I see a lot of the current debates. For or against, everybody seems driven to keep the world the way it is – or was. And, when I get that thought stuck in my head, I end up thinking about creationism versus evolution as an analogy. That may be a stretch for you but at this time of the morning it comes easily to me. I also think about archaeology – because my degree is in archaeology.
Trained as a scientist, specialized in archaeometry, and experienced in archaeological field and lab work, I have a learned (not ‘learn-ed’ in two syllables but ‘learnd’ in one syllable) approach to problem solving. As an archaeologist, the mission is to examine the evidence and reconstruct the past. This involves digging from the top down, which happens to be from now to back then. In some digs you can pass 10,000 years in 10 centimetres; in others, you pass 4,000 years in 4 metres. You take meticulous records while digging and then spend the winter off-season doing the analysis. When you write up the results there really is nobody around to say you are right or wrong. When I worked as an archaeologist, politics did not interfere. It does now.
Back to the point: What the land was…. is more a matter of opinion than fact. What people did is more a matter of opinion than fact. So, if you have a creationist-like approach you will make the facts fit your bible. And, if you have an evolutionist-like approach you make your theory fit the facts.
Most of what I read about the National Park comes from a creationist-like approach and the variety of positions is easily explained by the variety of bibles. All y’all got your scripts and you’re not going to change. Every group of like-minded has their own bible.
If your position is that you want to preserve the land to be used as it has always been used by the people who have always used it and who are now gone then you’re as wrong as those who take the position that the land can be preserved in its current state and you can tell people not yet born how they are allowed to use it.
All of these arguments about the process, the expectations, the short-list of stakeholders, the lack of detail, the ignorance of the outsiders and the insiders, the economics, the outcomes (good and bad), the role of those who live here or don’t live here, and who gets to manage it will have no effect on the fact that what was and what is will not be what will be. Park or no park will not preserve the past or guarantee the future.
Over time, the land will change. Over time, the climate will change. Over time, the flora and fauna will change. Over time, how people use the land will change. Over time, what is now a particular ecology will change. Drawing a box on a map will not stop the inevitable.
Ryan the Cat is sleeping. Satisfied or not, he sleeps.
Satisfied or not, everybody go back to bed. Satisfied or not, anybody who does not live here, go sleep in your own bed. Let the land live. Let the people – not yet born – do their thing. Stop writing scripts for the future when the future will not be what was or what is or what you want. Stop writing scripts to govern the actions of people who will be here when you’re gone.
Everybody go home
Publisher: Stuart and I had a great back and forth debate on this.. the salient points he makes are simple, concise and need no amplification:
1. the economics, the outcomes (good and bad), the role of those who live here or don’t live here, and who gets to manage it will have no effect on the fact that what was and what is will not be what will be. Park or no park – that will not preserve the past or guarantee the future.
2. satisfied or not, anybody who does not live here, go sleep in your own bed. Let the land live. Let the people – not yet born – do their thing. Stop writing scripts for the future when the future will not be what was or what is or what you want. Stop writing scripts to govern the actions of people who will be here when you’re gone.
3. everyone go home. Go to sleep – reflect.