My hometown is nestled on a hillside which is also home to a number of wetlands and marshes. These unsightly lands provide a number of interesting ecosystem services to our city free of charge – like erosion control and natural water filtration. It’s an ecologist’s dream come true to see them preserved in such large numbers just on the edge of town.
But “nothing gold can stay”.
I used to be proud of our city’s wetland preservation efforts – we have a large portion of our watershed designated as a park area, and an even larger portion of land that’s owned and protected by the university.
Unfortunately, urban development has been at an all time high these past few years, leaving our wetlands to be deemed unworthy of protection at an alarming rate. When I first started to notice this, I wondered who would promote something so environmentally destructive and short-sighted?
Here’s the funny part – after 6 months of job searching, I’m beginning to understand the dark side of biology. I can understand why someone would give the ok to destroy a valuable piece of an ecosystem.
It comes down to one simple truth: our economy will pay more for destruction than preservation. And aren’t we all innately driven by money? I know that I would love to move into a house of my own with all the comforts of modern life… but is it really worth trading in my ecological morals?
Maybe I’m over reacting on the hometown scale, but I can assure you that ecological destruction is taking place on the large-scale right before our eyes. Look at the Albertan oil-sands! Now there’s an environmental disaster! Yet you see those”biologists” on the promotional commercials giving it the big old thumbs up. [I am assuming that they aren’t actors, although biologists rarely appear so enthused]
I’m beginning to understand the dark side.
And I’m afraid that I might have to become a supporter of ecosystem destruction if our country continues to ignore the value of ecosystem preservation.