Thursday, April 29, 2010

One Man's Scenic Route is Another Man's Deathtrap

Repost from my now defunct Myspace blog:

One Man's Scenic Route is Another Man's Deathtrap
June 24, 2007

I work at a job where they are tearing up the hillside, but at least they have good reason, right?  I realize that the work will straighten a winding road where too many accidents occur - is that really worth destroying so much nature?

My first impulse was to remember how radically I once believe in saving nature above everything else.  And here I am working for people destroying a small chunk of it.  I can justify it by the importance of my job (archaeologist) and what could potentially be found in the hillside, but does that really make it ok?

My second thought was that even though the work is being done with good intentions by the client, the ultimate problem is within the individual drivers who (in my experience) tend to be impatient, careless and egocentric.  With winding roads in particular, I've noticed too many people driving faster than I felt it was safe to drive.

So I wonder if changing the landscape to straighten a road is really saying more about human psychology than I first thought.  Changing the road means people will continue driving unsafely.  Instead of encouraging drivers to adapt to their environment, they've adapted the environment to the unsafe driver, which reinforces people's egocentrism on the road.

So not only am I party to destroying nature and releasing toxins from construction, but also encouraging a contaminated view of humanity's place in the universe.

I need to find a new job.

No comments: