Monday, February 22, 2010

Chpter 3 Principles of Conservation

Conservation started in the late 1890's and early 1900's. Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946) was a one of the founders. In 1902 he was called upon by president Roosevelt to help protect forest and water resources that were being ravaged by lumbering and mining and agriculture. In 1905 Roosevelt the Bureau of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture helping to enhance Pinchot's abilities to defend public lands against destructive private interest plans. Pinchot established Yale's School of Forestry and was the leader of the Progressive Party and Governor of Pennsylvania from 1923-27 to 1931-35. His goals was to maximize the value of resources for humans exploitation rather than to preserve wilderness.

The chapter is composed of a forestry worker discussing the three main values of conservation. He starts off by mentioning that no other movement has achieved so much on so little time as conservation. He is proud to know that conservation began with forestry, his profession. In 1907 few people knew what conservation was, but now it is a household word.

The first fact about conservation mentioned is that it stands for development. This sounds really odd at first but then the author explains that conservation involves recognising that the current generation has the right to the "fullest necessary use of all the resources with which this country is so abundantly blessed". While he is talking about Canada in this sentence he also refers to the world sharing that right to the Earth's resources. The author then talks about how we have a limited supply of coal, but if through development we can prolong the life of all coal mines to ensure the current generations needs are met and in turn the needs of future generations as well.

The second idea behind conservation is the prevention of waste. Here the author describes how mankind used to events such as forest fires were acts of God and beyond control. Today we see differently, and today we combat forest fires and control them to preserve forests for both natural and economic needs.

The third principle is "The natural resources must be developed and preserved for the benefit of the many, and not merely the profit of the few." Essentially, this principle states the main idea behind conservation, which is "the greatest good to the greatest number for the longest time." The main point the author tries to drive how here is that conservation is about foresight, prudence and thrift as well as intelligence when dealing with public and private matters. It demands using "common-sense to the common problems for the common good."

To sum it all up, people have to learn to do the best we can when managing our resources we have currently, but also ensure we think of the people who will inherit said resources after our time. Politicians and developers and the public must work togather to ensure we maximize the usefullness of the world we live in without running it into the ground, and help keep the world so for future peoples. In other words, follow the golden rule: Do unto other as you would have other do unto you.

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