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Murder The Forest (1 Viewer)

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Walking along the gravel-covered track that surrounds the tranquil pond, I hear the ducks nearby. The fish can be seen swimming patterns near the top of the water and the crickets wail their night song. With the southerly breeze, I can smell the country air as it fills my lungs. The inviting bench lures me to take a respite from my midnight stroll, and the calm summer night at the waters edge seems to be far enough away from the city to forget all of the hustle and bustle. Like all things seemingly perfect, this wonderful taste of the outdoors has its downfall; it is in the middle of Tulsa. The Park is comfortably placed on the southern side of a major street. It is surrounded by light commercial and moderately heavy residential buildings and homes, and is only minutes away from mini-malls and corporate offices. The park is only a prostetic device used to fill the growing divide between man and nature.
Throughout time, Americans have grown to become more centralized and urban. Hundreds of years ago, America had tribes of migrant Indians and small villages of English settlers. Now the small villages have taken shape to metropolises, and the time for moving cross-country in search of food has turned to a short drive to the local grocery store. Tulsa is no different a place than that of early settlers, and has become a machine of urbanization powered by consumers who need reminding of a time when nature was at their doorstep and not a ten minute drive down the super-highway.
The city-locked park was once a small field near the edge of a growing town. As the city has grown and stretched further into the country, concrete jungles consumed the field. It was created by heavy machinery which dug into the Earth to create a pond and the track was machined. The borders of the pond are tapered to round corners so that it has a more natural look, and the half-mile track lazily curves around the water so that it does not boast the appearance of being man-made. Just beyond the borders of the pond lay a housing addition of million-dollar homes, and an upscale apartment complex of young professionals. Adjacent to these homes is a strip-mall for the convenience of its local city faring consumers. All day and into the night, people walk and run along the track and sit near the waters edge feeding the ducks. They use this place for exercise and to escape the pressures of the city life. The small man-made taste of nature brings most a since of peace, but is no less a structure of a growing society as the skyscraper that you can see over the top of the surrounding tree line. A glimpse of nature, which the parks developers considered this park, is not what the park is to us as a society. It is more a place where we can be reminded of our forgetfulness of our true purpose.
As we continue to grow into a world of less nature and more development, we are growing further apart from our roots as hunters and gatherers. With every generation, the correlation between society and our place in nature is becoming less apparent. The place we have in nature is not clearly defined; however, that does not mean we should put so much distance between society and nature. Scary is the thought of the only country side that the next generation of Americans will see is that which we have decided to build. We are doomed to see the rainforests and grass covered plains replaced with Super Wal-Marts and big enough parking spaces to not have to worry about door-dings on all the oversized vehicles that drain the Earths natural resources by 20 gallons everyday. The only lions and horse we will see will be the stuffed carcasses at the local wildlife exhibit showing all the exotic mammals which we have pushed out of this world for the sake of corporate mergers and a global economy. The only reflection of society that this park has is that we are beginning to forget the importance of wildlife and things of nature, and the park is only a vestige of our ancestral pursuit of purpose.
 

greggb

Senior Member
Hi. There's one thing this essay is lacking, and that's a point. I can tell you that you're perturbed about human expansion into natural areas, but what exactly are you trying to tell us? That we're "doomed"? If we're "doomed" then there's no point in us worrying about this, and there's really no point in you even writing about it.

That's a brief critique of your essay. I think you need to ask yourself, "What point do I want to make to the reader?" Sit down and think of a point you can make to your readers that will stick with them, and cause a change in their attitude--one that will make them more concerned about the problem you're addressing.

Something else: you need to do more than simply identify a problem. I'm going to tell you that 90% of the people in the US are aware of the fact that our natural areas are diminishing due to human encroachment. So rather than tell us something we already know, tell us what we can do to mitigate this problem. Offer a solution to the problem; don't just gripe about it.

On that note, how do you deal with human expansion into natural areas? Our population is increasing rapidly (not as fast as some countries, but still, pretty fast), and all those new bodies need to go somewhere. Where do they go? You can only fit so many people in a house or apartment. You can only fit so many houses or apartments on a street, and so on. Urban expansion must occur in order to keep up with the increase in population; simple physics tells us that.

My point is that the problem you’re addressing doesn’t have a simple solution. So you better think about it long and hard, or find a new issue to be concerned about.

BTW, I don’t think that “corporate mergers” have a huge effect on urban expansion.

Gregg
 
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so you didnt like it huh? To be completely honest I wrote this for my composition class, and I do not actually have this veiw on urban expansion. I wrote this essay from an invironmentalists point of veiw and not my own. I AM NO ACTIVIST! I personally thought that the point was pretty clear though, if we do not start taking care of the planet by searching for alternatives to the way we consume the earth than we are "doomed." Thanks for the critic!!!!! When I have more time I will read some of your stuff.
 

greggb

Senior Member
Hi. I wasn't really saying that I don't like it. I was trying to give you a critique on the basic mechanics of your essay. I was saying that your essay needs to have a little more organization to get your point across. Along with that, you need to have more of a specific point; the point I saw in your essay was pretty general.

On the topic of environmental activism, one of the problems I have with the majority of activists is that all they do is gripe about the problem, never proposing a solution. The issue of urban expansion is a great example. A lot of people will tell you how terrible urban expansion is, and how much they’d like for it to stop, but they don’t address the issue of an increasing population, and what we should do about it.

A think a lot of activists are hypocrites, too. Here’s a good example:

They walk down the streets with cardboard signs that say, “Don’t log the Biscuit Fire”. They go home to their (wooden) house and print up 300 copies of fliers containing anti-logging propaganda, on Quill printer paper. They use wood products to protest the harvesting of wood.

You show me a group of logging protestors who live in adobe houses, who pack around sticks (not wooden sticks, either) so they can scratch something they need to remember in the dirt, rather than on a piece of paper, and I’ll say “Protest the harvesting of wood all you want”. But the high majority of people who protest logging (the harvesting of wood) depend on wood products as much as the next person. They essentially say, “Yeah, we rely on wood products, but we don’t want anyone else to harvest wood to make the products we need”.

Honestly, there are alternatives to logging for the production of many wood products. For example, pulp-wood (which can be used to make paper) can be grown in crop fashion, the same way wheat or potatoes would be grown. But in order to produce lumber, you need to harvest trees, and there’s no other word for that but “logging”. Lumber is absolutely essential to the progress of the human race, and consequently so is logging, whether you like it or not.

“But we don’t like logging. Let’s do everything we can to halt logging in the United States”. OK, let’s stop logging in the United States. Then Canada, Russia, etc. will up their logging so they can supply our country with the wood products we need. I guess if it makes you feel better that trees are being cut somewhere else, rather here in the U.S., we should stop logging in the U.S. But as long as there’s a demand for lumber, you can rest assured that somewhere on this planet, trees will be cut to supply that demand.

I guess the biggest problem I have with environmental activism, like any type of activism, is that the high majority of those who participate in it are ignorant about the issues they protest. Most people who protest logging know very little, if anything, about forest management. All they know is that “logging is bad”, because that’s the only information they’ve been able to gather by watching t.v. or skimming newspaper articles, or reading an occasional article, written by someone with a biased opinion. Very few activists make an effort to educate themselves on both sides of the issues they protest. Instead they just jump on the bandwagon, not knowing exactly where it’s going, or what they’re doing.

It’s human nature to have a need for a ‘cause’, and environmentalism is a ‘cause’ for a lot of people. It gives people a feeling of significance, and creates an identity for those who don’t have much of one. “Environmentalist” has a better ring than “Ordinary person with a boring life”, if you know what I mean. Just my opinion.

Anyways, I grew up in a small cattle and logging town, where most peoples' livelihood depended on (and still does depend on) using/harvesting natural resources. Because of that I’m naturally inclined to support the harvesting of natural resources. On the other hand, I’m very educated about the issue. Not so much because I’ve made an effort to educate myself… more because an education comes naturally when you grow up in the area I grew up in.

I’m getting off of my soapbox now.
 
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