Saturday, January 26, 2008

Our eroded past

Climate change presents many urgent challenges. Sorting out which one are most urgent demands careful thought, and the answers are rarely obvious and noncontroversial. We'll probably need to make sacrifices. This story from the JournalLive (UK -- Newcastle and Tyne) prompted these thoughts, since it deals with impact of climate change on various ancient sites in the northeast of England.

What does it mean to abandon the past to the consequences of our actions? There's even a question as to whether we should heed the past that much at all. Years ago, an Egyptian economist pointed out that if his government simply took the most basic efforts to identify and do a few simple protections for all the ancient sites they new about, the effort would cost many times the gross national project of Egypt. In England, the National Trust and others are considering similar issues for the Giant's Causeway, Lindisfarne Castle, and other sites exposed to intensified winds and waves.

Photo of Lindisfarne Castle by Monkeyatlarge.

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