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Re: [at-l] The world a viewshed

"David F. Addleton" wrote:

> > Pretty grim dream,  and which homo sapiens should be killed off en-masse
> by
> > disease or catastrophe to yield this "dream-like" environment?  Should it
> just
> > be the urbanites in Manhattan, London, Paris, Atlanta, Chicago,
> Stuttgard,
> > Frankfurt, Berlin, Madrid, Tokyo, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Hong Kong,
> Beijing,
> > Ho Chi Mihn City, Mexico City, etc.?  Or should it be all those who are
> unable
> > to properly respect nature?
> I think it's meant as another way of saying that I enjoy solitude, and is
> not meant as plea for nukes, catastrophe, etc. It's also intended, I think,
> with the same intent behind your queries, the implications of which I would
> not advocate. Although I have my own, probably eccentric, opinions about
> how to "properly" respect nature, I don't think I'm one to make that
> judgment for anyone else.
> > Not a bad idea, but only cosmetic really.  They would be better
> protected, but
> > eventually they would need replacement and maintenance, and digging them
> up to
> > do so would definitely cause and visual impact.
> Yes, digging can create an eyesore ... we've been living with such in the
> northern reaches of hotlanta while MARTA puts in a new rail line requiring
> a tunnel or two.
> I think that with appropriate attention to the neceesity of maintenance and
> replacement, engineers could create ducts crisscrossing North America to
> replace most of the right of ways. I know they could do it in town. I also
> know that if they did, hurricanes, tornados, ice storms, etc. wouldn't
> create the havoc they do now, and our view to the horizon, whether urban or
> not, would improve substantially.
> > Even if they were placed underground (and many of the gas pipelines are)
> the
> > gashes would have to remain...why?  So the pipelines could be maintained
> for
> > one, and two, if they were allowed to reforest, either by neglect or
> design,
> > the pipelines and wire conduits would be destroyed by tree roots (which
> do a
> > nice job of shattering stone over time.) The cuts would still have to be
> made
> > in order for the pipelines and powerlines to be laid underground as well.
> Put them deeper?

Hardwood root systems can grow as deep and wide as the tree grows high.  Your
average Maple at maturity is 60 feet tall, oaks are about the same.  The
majority of their root system will be within the first 15-20 feet of the soil,
but there will be roots much deeper than that.

What do you do about ledge if you are going for a 30 foot deep bury...you will
hit it... often?  I'll tell you what they will have to do; they'll have to
blast it away, putting fissures through that rock for hundreds of feet around.
Ground water would be another problem.

Unless they figure out how to beam power around without transmission cables,
there is just no way to get around the need for utility line cuts. And beaming
power would present its own problems such as additional radio frequency or
microwave frequency radiation in the atmosphere.

Rest assured that more and more powerlines will go underground, or will be
surface routed through surface conduit, but there are problems that need to be
overcome such as how to manage the heat.  Transmission lines are warm, they
lose a certain amount of energy over distance.  By stringing them at a
reasonable distance from one another, that heat is safely shed without damaging
insulators and the insulation of the wires themselves, but if those power
cables are bundled up together or packed together into an insulated space like
a conduit, they are unable to shed heat faster than it is built up and
eventually the insulation on the individual cables will melt and scorch, then
you have a short and a fire.

> > As far as skiing is concerned.
> Since I'm no skiier, I appreciated reading your comments ...
> > Yup, there is no way to avoid impacting any system you interact with in
> > any way.  Even in observing a system you inevitably alter it by your mere
> > presence.  Why don't we just all commit suicide and put us out of the >
> planet's misery?  Ridiculous right?
> Yes, ridiculous ... which takes me to one of my eccentric opinions: since I
> think homo sapiens are as much a part of nature as are lichens, aemeboe,
> bears, trees, and dirt, I'm not as adverse to human development as my post
> may have suggested to you. I don't think the distinction between "man made"
> and "natural" really makes much fundamental sense in a valueless and
> objective inquiry about ecology and I'm not certain it has any role to play
> developing a "scientific" approach to "ecologically sound" development.

I don't think that it is possible to make a "valueless" inquiry, humans, by our
nature and our very involvement in the system are prejudiced in our views of
it, attitudes toward it and even the way we perceive it.  Our concpet of a
viewshed for instance, might be meaningless to someone whose vision is oriented
within a different spectrum, say up into the IR spectrum or down into the UV
spectrum.  Viewshed matters little to an Elk or Moose, all they really care
about is "is it safe" and "is there food?"  Regenerating clear cuts with all
their new growth, and utility cuts, are very popular grazing areas for wildlife
such as deer, bears, turkeys and others.  Berries grow plentifully in these
areas and there is plenty of fresh browse available for the critters.  Wildlife
agencies frequently plan cuts with forestry companies and agencies in order to
provide habitat diversity for these animals.   Your average urban
environmentalist types whose interaction with the woods is limited to a hike
here and there and a subscription to the Sierra Club's newsletter, and who make
up the vast majority of that organization's membership, simply do not have the
comprehensive knowledge to see the truth, instead they believe everything
Sierra Club and World Wildlife Fund tell them without question and without even
looking for other independent research.  What you end up with is good hearted,
well intentioned efforts to vest chimpanzees and dolphins with civil rights,
and emotionally unstable extremists who drive spikes into trees to kill and
maim lumberjacks.  It's one thing to listen to your heart, it's another to
ignore your head.

> > Neither swimming of surfing are environmentally
> > neutral since swimmers wear sunblock which gets into the water ...
> > I could go on, but I hope you get the picture.
> My query concerned which out door sport was closest to neutral ... I don't
> think I tried to make the case that swimming and surfing were 100% neutral.
> But I'm not sure what "environmentally neutral" really means since it seems
> to me based on the natural/artificial distinction which I am constantly
> questioning.
> > Iceman

No-one is environmentally neutral.


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