> Wearing two hats, archaeologist and Friends of the Earth, I am
> increasingly concerned that the two are becoming more distant, with
> heritage curators not worrying about the environmental impacts of
> conservation policies, and I know which I (and probably many other
> people and even Governments) think is more important.
You may as well ask why we have an environmental policy that is
unsustainable (sustainability means a balance between environment, society
AND economy and our renewable policy does nothing to create jobs in rural
economies and indeed destroys them by impacting tourism - we literally have
an unsustainable renewable energy policy!)
So, why should archaeologists be sustainable when Friends of the Earth's
> Unless we can work, as the National Trust has shown is possible, to
> intergrate the two, when oil starts to run out, heritage conservation
> will probably become even more of an expensive luxury which will lose
> out to the environmental arguments.
> Its a pity the WHC are too "single issue" oriented to realise this
Nick, when oil runs out, I've little doubt that the luxury called
archaeology will disappear. I've never checked, but I guess that archaeology
started around 1800 at roughly the same time that energy consumption and
economic growth started sky-rocketing, and I suppose like the economy the
interest in archaeology will decline with the Western Oil-based economy.
As for global warming, I've yet to hear a coherent argument that explains
how we can achieve global warming without oil & gas. Indeed, the impact of
oil/gas depletion seems to far outweigh any measure being proposed by
government, and it would appear we will meet our CO2 targets whether or not
we like it!
Perhaps the one contribution archaeology might make before its final
demise** in around 30 years, (and the nationalisation of all the pension
plans of the generation that lived in up), is to explain what happened at
the end of the Roman empire. For, I'm sure we all would like to know (as we
work until we drop without remission of pensions) whether the economic
recession caused by our final depletion of oil and gas reserves will create
a 400 year dark age!
**Perhaps a bit tongue in cheek - though its difficult to see how anyone
will visit archaeological sites if they don't have oil for their cars.
> best wishes
> Nick Boldrini
> Historic Environment Record Officer
> Heritage Section
> Countryside Service
> North Yorkshire County Council
> County Hall
> DL7 8AH
> Direct Dial (01609) 532331
> Conserving North Yorkshire's heritage - encouraging sustainable access
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> >>> [log in to unmask] 11/07/2006 17:42:11 >>>
> This link was posted on ArchTheoMeth discussion list today:
> Astounding. The World Heritage Committee has rejected a motion calling
> cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental campaigners blamed the
> on lobbying by governments opposed to restrictions on greenhouse gas
> emissions (no prizes for guessing who they have in mind...). As one
> environmentalist is quoted as saying, "They are good at drawing up
> wonderfully drafted documents, but the idea of actually doing anything
> to pose a problem".
> Hmmm. Whatever happened to preventive conservation?
> Paul Barford
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