Friday, October 29, 2010

When We Were Fishers on Puget Sound

Puget Sound used to have a viable fishery. Farms dominated the landscape between Seattle and the towns and villages outside the city.  The city of Bellevue had farms near Bellevue Square.  There were many dairies near Snohomish and Monroe.

Mt. Vernon and Burlington had very few auto dealers and RV sale lots.

Marysville, Arlington, Smokey Point, Puyallup's south hill, North Bend had few if any strip malls or big box stores. Bellingham, Ferndale, Blaine, Lynden had distinct, seperate identities and personalities.

Progress happens.  But has anyone noticed that it appears that every major intersection and exit on our interstate system in the Salish Sea watershed is becoming more and more the same? And the general response is that this is good because it is so convenient for us to go shopping and spend.

Build, build, build and over build even tho it lowers property values for everyone.

Spending as a Pavlovian response to the barrage of marketing and advertising that hits us in every form of communication. And that there are Pavlovian responses to buzz words that are thrown at us in these forms of communication  - freedom, constitutional rights, safety, liberty, over regulation?

Has anyone noticed that anytime anyone wants to try and preserve, to conserve, to protect wetlands, small tracts of forests, watersheds or areas of immense beauty the immediate response by well organized and funded opponents are buzz words that elicit an almost pavlovian response and opposition, even if it goes against these individuals own best interests in the long run.

Has anyone noticed that civil discourse seldom takes place anymore that any public discussion is almost always dominated by emotionally charged citizens saying these same buzz words over and over and over and little discussion takes place on what really matters most to us as individuals?

Are we all becoming puppets to marketeers and PR firms hired by well funded special interest groups?

We spend millions trying to restore salmon habitat and those efforts are negated by huge mudslides and poor corporate forestry practices and small governments that allow building in historic flood plains but there is no government or corporate accountability and we as individuals pay in the form of subsidies or taxes or higher insurance fees?

What will this area look like in 30 years?  Will there be small tracts of land like the Chuckanuts available for clean water, salmon habitat, clean air, recreation, a place to be alone.  Or will there be a Pavlovian opposition even when its against one's own best interests?

Has anyone even noticed?

When We Were Fishers on Puget Sound  - 1979    ©Paul Anderson

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