Electric Jugs, Plasma TVs, Eels, Dams and Stuff
This morning I get out of bed, walk up the hall, switch the light on in the kitchen, and put the electric jug on to make a cup of tea. If it had been a cooler morning, then the heat pump would have automatically come on at 6 am.
Taking a container of milk from the fridge I add some to the cup of tea, and with that now in hand, I walk past the 42” Plasma TV and stereo system, through the house to my home office, hit the light switch and turn the computer on.
A similar scene will have taken place in many, many other homes, offices and places of work.
Crash! Another Hundreds or Years Old Forest Giant Falls to Earth
The bulldozers topple the centuries old trees, explosives rip into the rock faces, everywhere is noise and dust, mechanical activity, as the foundations are readied.
The ground trembles with the impact of man and machinery.
The Need to Get Functional
After checking for anything urgent that may have come in overnight, and glancing at a couple of news websites, I think a hot shower might be what I need to get myself fully functional this morning.
The hot water cylinder has kept the water at a good temperature overnight, and the jets of warm water feel great against my skin.
Confusion at the Face of the Great Wall
A great wall of concrete now crosses the valley, obstructing the natural pathways of millennia. Native eels are confused that they can no longer get to the sea, and start their journey that will take them half way across the Pacific Ocean to spawning grounds off the coast of Tonga.
The great runs of whitebait coming up the river, mill aimlessly at the base of the concrete wall. No matter, now that their natural life cycle has been broken, the great runs of this juvenile form of our native fish won’t happen again.
Ah! Time for Breakfast
Breakfast time. Heating up one of the elements, I go to place some bacon in a frying pan. Damn, there is no bacon in the fridge, so I will have to defrost some from the freezer. Placing a pack in the microwave I set it to do its thing.
All is ready now. I place some bacon in the frying pan. Once that is cooked enough, it is followed with sliced peppers and tomatoes, and finally eggs. I put the jug on again for another cup of tea.
Looking at the newspaper I happen upon an article about electric cars. The take of the article is that they will be much more friendly to the environment than our present vehicles. It feels good to know that progress is being made on addressing some environmental issues.
Water, Water Everywhere
Water now laps around the bases of centuries old trees, insects, small animals and even birds, scramble to higher, and yet higher branches, as they desperately seek to escape the slowly rising lake of water.
After placing my dishes in the dishwasher, it is now time to get some real work done. Back to the computer, printer on, remote hard drive on. I almost forgot, my cell phone needs charging, I place that on the charger, along with a number of camera batteries.
The water has now covered most of the trees, in the end, for the small animals, flightless birds and insects, there was really nowhere to go. Only a scattering of branches from the real giants of the forest now break the surface of the new lake.
Soon the turbines will start spinning, pushing power into the national grid. They say the West Coast is desperate for power, and this development will give them energy security.
Coffee, Surround Sound and Ecosystems
I think I might go into town later. I see there is a sale of electrical appliances, and our clothes washing machine does not have any of the new features that I have seen advertised. Maybe a Cafe visit, and a good cup of coffee, would also be in order.
The promoters of the power scheme had said that the lake would develop its own ecosystem, that natural organisms would populate it, but here it is now, 25 years later, and under the surface of the water, the lake is largely lifeless, and there is a huge build up of silt at the base of the dam.
I see in the Sky TV magazine that there is a good movie on tonight. I think I might watch that. Having a surround sound system certainly brings the story more to life. I think wistfully, wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those hot tubs to soak in each evening. Maybe one day.
The Next Valley, The Earth Shakes, the Explosions Begin
In another valley, the bulldozers have arrived, they tear into the earth, creating great scars, explosives shatter rock that was formed with the dinosaurs. Lots of research has been done the Power Company says. Environmental impact will be minimal, and besides hardly anyone goes there, only a few trampers, hunters, rafters, and some of those pesky “greenies”.
Another “renewable” power scheme has been started.
Why this sort of Story?
At River Valley we are passionate about our natural environment. The effects of many developments over the years have been catastophic for communities, both human and natural.
We are not anti development, rather supporting a search to work with nature, rather than against.
This story was written by Brian Megaw, and first appeared as a Blog post in February 2011, shortly after a trip down the threatened Mokihinui River, in North Westland.
You can watch the video of this trip that drew over 100 people to spend a day drawing attention to the plight of this beautiful free flowing river, by clicking here