national parks, episode 2

Second night into the series, and I am feeling a mix of wonder and
gratitude. It is just so very, very good.

Two thoughts:

One: OK, where the hell did they find this park ranger? This Shelton
Johnson fellow? Wow, is he ever a sympathetic character. He speaks so
lyrically, based both on what appears to be encyclopedic knowledge and
unbridled passion, about the parks. Of why and how they came to be,
what they continue to mean, who they reveal we who seek them out to
be.

Two: It’s significant to be reminded that “environmentalism” at its
very roots is borne out of a tension between preservation and
conservation. Critics of environmentalism have been keen to cast us as
a monolithic lot. Environmentalism has never been anything of the
sort. The tension between preservation for its own sake (forged in a
very singular moral kiln) and conservation (having and eating the
cake, if you will) has been part and parcel of environmentalism since
before the word “environmentalism” had even been coined. I appreciated
that reminder.

So far, really, a very lovely piece of work. The visuals are about as
good as I’ve ever known television to cough up, and the content so far
has been fluid and compelling.

Parting thought: the damming of the Hetch Hetchy basically killed John
Muir. I already knew that, but have to say that the presentation of
how the last few years of Muir’s life unfolded was informative, and
deeply moving.

Posted via email from dmboisterous

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About dave bois

Freelance writer with a strong pull towards environmental matters (water issues especially) that remains fueled by my study of and early-career practice in geology and hydrology. Music, food, dogs, current/political events, and visual arts combine to command much of the portion of attention not ceded to ecological concerns. Also Monty Python. I've sold a few pieces of original art and have made cab fare home playing saxophone. Native Mainah

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