Once a cornerstone of our ecology, now long in decline, the native longleaf pine requires fire to reproduce. Modern forest resource "management" has prevented most forest fires so we can produce more pulp wood and make more money, resulting in fewer longleaf pines and more kudzu and privet, both highly invasive species rapidly destroying our native habitat.
For many years our economy has been based on some ideas that have turned out to be equally destructive: More is better. Resources are expendable. The fast buck is more important than visualizing, planning, and investing for the long haul.
Perhaps, in the words of activist and author Lester Brown, it is "time to throw out the throwaway economy". Perhaps it is time to invest in our great-great grandchildren's future. Perhaps we can do this, and at the same time, enhance our own quality of life.
The built environment for this new economy will be quite different: Buildings will enhance health rather than contribute to asthma and cancer. Land planning professionals will treat rain water as a resource rather than as a liability.
Many buildings will produce more energy than they use. There will be no need for landfills because everything will be designed to be reused or recycled. And, in the end, all stakeholders will benefit.
Many will say this change isn't possible, but most of them own stock in oil and chemical companies.
What do you think?