Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The impact of rural gentrification

Another friend of mine on this blog shares my concern about rich outlanders moving into these mountains, driving up taxes, and making it impossible for natives to afford the very land they were born on.

It's hard to write about such a topic without sounding hostile to people who have done me no harm. But here is a story at Yahoo Finance on how the process is affecting communities out west. It specifically mentions "social tensions," which is certainly a factor.

The other factor is the accompanying development, which inevitably destroys habitat for neotropical migrants and other species. I think of what's happening to Belcher Mountain in Patrick County and it almost makes me ill.

What to do? I have no idea. Maybe nothing. Personally I'm a libertarian, who believes that if you want liberty yourself, you have to allow it to the other guy.

But I confess there are days when I wake up and wonder: Will we not be satisfied until we have paved over everything and there is a Starbucks and McDonald's everywhere you look?


Anonymous said...

The sadness about this arrives again on the doorstep of our disconnect with who we are. We do not understand that by moving away from one destruction, we possibly contribute to another. Only when we understand that we ARE nature, can we recover, and only then if there is even enough time and planetary patience with this strangest of species.
My heart goes out to Wendell Berry, whose thoughtful wisdom
fastly held to the stewardship model...taking care of a place you love, which can only happen if you truly know the place.

But I understand that our current cultural ways have just been modified to an arguable migrational strategy inherent. We may be behaving just as naturally as staying put. Wherever we end up, as retirees or interlopers, we should respect those that are already there.


bill said...

I guess the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway was an earlier form of rural gentrification.

Cliff said...

Time creates the butterfly and then takes it away. It makes possible the expertise to play an instrument, but then takes away the moment in which a beautiful composition is played.

When your mind applies the dimension of time to all that we know, you begin to cope with the resultant changes that effect everything day to day. So now we join the generations before us that later in their lives longed for the "good old days". Time is the dimension that fuels the anniversary and birthday card industry. It made millions for Ponds Cold Cream, Max Factor, Elisabeth Arden and the Mary Kaye sales people, who can thank the ravages of time for their pink Cadillacs. It also effects those who want to hold on to their own slice of Eden, once others have cast their eyes on that same piece of Paradise.

Time is the train and we are on the tracks. Run as we might to delay the impact, once it hits us, we end up six feet under the rails.