Doom! Doom!

  The (May 12) issue of High Country News is just pure fodder for cultural criticism of the New West. "Boom! Boom!" posits a clash of distinct economies without even acknowledging the direct link between the two, and suggests the amenities economy is somehow better for the environment. Go back and read your Dec. 25, 2006, cover story, "Confessions of a Methane Floozy" by Hannah Nordhaus, and get real. My town of Flagstaff could be the poster child for the amenities economy, with none of the gas wells, and besides having all the same economic woes, we've lost our clear view of the mountain just outside of town. Yeah, that's right, loss of air quality caused by more and more people and by climate change, in turn caused by more and more people. Why do rational people have such a hard time admitting that?

Add to that the desperate ideas of environmental law professor Mary C. Wood in "Climate Revolutionary," who hopes that our legal system, itself a reflection of our values that consistently elevate private interests over those of the public, could somehow change who we are overnight. What a fabulous example of the death of environmentalism. I've got news for the professionals: Global warming is a moral issue, not a legal one.

How about the effectiveness of Ron Gillett, who wants all the wolves removed from Idaho? Human economic and recreational values are once again trumping nature, this time because the urban political base of wolf reintroduction has no credibility in the real wild.

And finally, Shane Bondi's essay, "Coffeepots and climate," shows educated, urban sensibility (like mine), also desperate, hoping to "sever some of the ties (we) have to global warming" with wind power. Do the math on how many square miles of wind farms it would take to power all of us. I'll remember that issue better as "Doom! Doom!"

Doug Meyer
Flagstaff, Arizona
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