The "developed" nations had given to the "free market" the status of a god, and were sacrificing to it their farmers, farmlands, and communities, their forests, wetlands, and prairies, their ecosystems and watersheds. They had accepted universal pollution and global warming as normal costs of doing business.
The number of people displaced by dams is estimated at between 40 million and 80 million, most of them in China and India. The costs of dams were on average 50% above their original estimate. Some designed to reduce flooding made it worse, and there were many unexpected environmental disadvantages, including the extinction of fish and bird species. Half the world's wetlands had been lost because of dams.
This affects our friends in the states of Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. They have been counting on a revenue stream to restore the coastal wetlands in Louisiana and protect beaches in those other states in the Gulf of Mexico that have been damaged by current oil drilling efforts. There's nothing in the bill to restore coastal areas in those states.
For human beings to destroy the biological diversity of God's creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth's waters, its land, its air, and its life - these are sins.
I have read that long ago there was a land of glass castles that sank beneath the sea. It was not called Atlantis, but Lyonesse. This happened before history and across the ocean, but when I was little I wondered about that place, how it could be so beautiful and so lost. Sometimes it seemed that the land around my New England home was like that flooded country, with mud where the streets of gold should be and mayflies swarming where there should be lovely fishes, but here and there a shard of crystal to call the heart to beauty. -"Wetlands, " in Phoebe.
A scientist with a poet's command of language, Cristina Eisenberg writes with precision and passion . . . takes her reader on a breathtaking, sometimes heartbreaking tour of the planet from the Gulf of Maine to the Amazonian rain forests, the tropical coral reefs to old growth forests of the Northwest as well as rivers, lakes, and wetlands. I found the wealth of information not only accessible but riveting . . . Eisenberg's powerful, beautifully written book . . . has the potential to open many people's eyes, minds, and hearts.
I look at it this way... For centuries now, man has done everything he can to destroy, defile, and interfere with nature: clear-cutting forests, strip-mining mountains, poisoning the atmosphere, over-fishing the oceans, polluting the rivers and lakes, destroying wetlands and aquifers... so when nature strikes back, and smacks him on the head and kicks him in the nuts, I enjoy that. I have absolutely no sympathy for human beings whatsoever. None. And no matter what kind of problem humans are facing, whether it's natural or man-made, I always hope it gets worse.