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[at-l] The world a viewshed

> Mother nature is infinitely more powerful than us and will repair our 
> atrocities on the planet.

Sitting through a long winded and madatory CLE I chanced to walk outside to
the man-made garden surrounding the swimming pool at a local hotel. For
some reason I wondered to myself what the place would look like 2 mellenia
hence and from there I wondered what NYC would look like. As an amature
archaeologist while a kid in the Indus valley, I had plenty of opportuntiy
to view man-made remains varying in age from a few hundred years to a few
mellenia. The "repair" takes a good deal longer than human history so far
achieved: you can identify cultural archaeological sites from the shape of
a hill on an other wise flat plain from Norh Africa across through India.
Most of these "tels" have not not been excavated. During picnic lunches we
could and did dig into the sides of these hills and find clay bracelets,
figurines, bricks, etc. My point, though, are the "hills" or "tels" which
themselves are the result often of thousands of years of human habitation,
each generation building upon the ruins of the last, followed by another
mellenia or two in which human kind forgot about these sites. Now these
villages and towns and cities were made mostly from mud and clay and fired
clay. I think it would take a remarkably long time, certainly a lot more
than two or three mellinia, an more likely some kind of geological time
frame, to actually erase any evidence of human habitation in Atlanta
Georgia, or in NYC, or in any modern urban area.

> Let me cast my wild and foolish vote that the whole planet be named a 
> viewshed and all further development cease!  I'll not let my dreams be 
> shackled by practical considerations.  I'd rather hike to a different
> drummer.

For some reason civilization seems to move toward urbanization, leaving
behind in its wake "Nature" to reclaim the unused landscapes. I've read
somewhere that Americans on the East Coast now enjoy a larger forest canopy
than existed in 1776 ... after the colonies had largely denuded the land of
trees to satisfy their own and European demands for wood. The great,
old-growth trees exist no longer. Bison used to range on the piedmont.
Human population hasn't really suffered any great decline towards their
estimated populations of 2,000, 4,000, or even 5,000 years ago and barring
some catastrophe I don't expect to see any decline in my life time. So
while I may dream of an earth largely empty of homo sapiens, I don't expect
it to happen, but I do hope that we can, through technology and renewable
energy sources, begin to repair some of the timeless damage we've already
inflicted. I'd like to see something so simple as putting all the power,
telephone, and cable lines underground ... Imagine the scenery then: and
imagine how easily such hidden eye-sores would survive tornados and
hurricanes. Electric and pipeline right of ways don't look any better than
the gashes left on a mountain side for down hill skiiers (I don't have
anything against skiiers, mind you ... I just wish they'd leave the forests
alone and go above the tree line for unimpeded down hill experiences. I
think swimming and surfing must be the most ecologically friendly sports
around. Hikers, canoeists, and kyakers, even when following LNT ideal,
damage the forest floor in one way or another.

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