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Nothing’s Irrevocable


From a reader:

You quoted a fellow who wrote “Environmentalists claim that wilderness should take precedence over parking because a decision to pave is “irrevocable.” Of course they are right.”

Seeing the writer blithely concede that point tickled a long exposed nerve of mine.

A decision to pave is not irrevocable, just as a decision to dam the Colorado River is neither irrevocable nor likely to be expecially long lasting in the context of the lifetime of the Grand Canyon and the evolution of the life within it.

As a matter of fact, similar “irrevocable” decisions made in colonial times to dam the Skippack Creek near my home are now being reversed by removal of the old dams scarcely 200 years after they were built and about 75 years after they were no longer economically worth using. Similarly, many fields which were “irrevocably” cleared 200 years ago are well on their way to reversion to forest.

It’s unlikely that the writer’s paved parking space will last as long.


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