Thursday 24 August 2017

Environmental values and the, "new barbarism" - Review of National Monuments in the USA

Giant Sequoia
 33 groves of the world's largest trees under threat in California
Tomorrow (25th August) the review of National Monuments by the US Secretary of the Interior will decide which if any National Monuments are "too big" (over 100,000 acres).I just tried to insert a link here to the National Geographic news site where there are maps and brief descriptions of the sites under review. Mysteriously, this is not possible., but you can get there by googling," national monuments review maps".

This could be the prelude to a nationwide programme of mindless environmental vandalism by the Trump administration, national parks, public lands, marine sanctuaries and of course national monuments could all be under threat.

Potentially there is danger in this for the UK. Our right wing conservative politicians get their ideas and some finance (dark money), second hand from the US like the good poodles that they are. Our own protected areas, rewilding proposals and environmental protection could all be under threat. We could be entering an era of environmenttal barbarism.

There was a time when the US led the world in environmental thinking, ethics and policy. It was an environmentalism underpinned by the values and ideas of "thinkers", remember them? ; Thoreau, Whitman, Muir, Leopold, Abbey..... the list is long and the ideas were good.

The response to Trump's executive order and the review has been enormous 450 organisations on behalf of millions of Americans sent an open letter to the White House saying that a majority of citizens wanted more protection for public lands and wild places, not less! So there is some hope.

Public reaction stopped the sell off of national woodland assets

The UK government tried to sell off 637,00 acres our own public lands and forests owned by the Forestry Commission five years ago.   Public reaction was overwhelmingly against and the plans were abandoned.

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