New technology, same uninhibited ambition
You had better watch this, now and from now on. The land grabbers are on the loose again and they can be stopped only as they were before, by the effective marshaling of public opinion. Your property is in danger of being alienated, your interests and those of your children are being threatened[…]
Two-Gun Desmond is Back ~ 1951
They say history repeats itself. At nearly every point in the history of western colonization there was an industry that was all the uproar among the well-intentioned. Europeans moved West and trapped away the beaver, mined, laid claim to the land with homestead, sheep and cattle – don’t forget the logging. That was no problem, the resource was infinite back then. We did the impossible in harnessing rivers with dams and harvesting its inertia as our own, bringing power to cities and agricultural production to a western arid landscape that would not support such dense human habitation otherwise. Hydroelectric dams were supposed to be the next perfect, “clean” source of power – remember ?
At each point in this history, calls for restraint, even timid caution against the unforeseeable consequences of the next great, faultless enterprise were brushed aside – dismissed as ‘nay-saying’ and the personalities behind the calls were labeled enemies of progress by even the most forward thinking and well-intentioned voices leading the charge. The allure of human ambition has always enjoyed more volume than the practice of restraint. ‘The land is infinite’ ~ ‘we’ve found the perfect technology, the perfect innovation’ ~ ‘we just need to make sure there’s good housekeeping’ ~ ‘you can’t stop progess’.
But, unfortunately – it seems to me, depending on how one looks at it, “progress” keeps happening over and over again in the same way as before.
Renewable energy sparks a probe of a modern-day land rush – The Los Angeles Times
A rush to stake claims for renewable energy projects in the California desert has triggered a federal investigation and prompted calls for reforms to prevent public lands from being exposed to private profiteering and environmental degradation.