'/> Uncommon Hours: Hurricane W hasn't blown through yet!
Blogging on culture, politics, and the environment since 2008.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hurricane W hasn't blown through yet!

George W. Bush seems determined to leave behind as much wreckage as possible, and he’s got more in mind than just removing the O’s from the West Wing computer keyboards. He appeared gracious when the Obamas arrived at the White House, and most of the media lapped up that story, but meanwhile he’s been quietly dismantling as much of our ever-shrinking wilderness heritage as possible before Inauguration Day. In Utah, the Interior Department is planning to lease over 3 million acres for drilling. Some of this land is near Canyonlands National Park, where I’ve rafted the Colorado River. It is a fragile, pristine, and beautiful place. I slept alongside the river and stared up into the infinity of stars in the night sky, which soon may be crowded out by the glow of gas and oil rig lights and incessant noise just over the horizon. But Bush and company have even bigger—one might say grander—plans downstream that include uranium mining near Grand Canyon, the very symbol of our nation’s outdoor heritage. And if that’s not enough, they’d be just as happy to see visitors to the national parks packing heat instead of backpacks, perhaps while they zoom through Yellowstone on noisy and smelly snowmobiles. If America were Easter Island and but one tree remained, W would be sharpening his hatchet.

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