Adults Topple 200,000,000-year-old Rock Formations to Make Park “Safer”

Readers — This is a story that makes me ill for three reasons:

1 – It involves a fantastic, irreparable piece of nature being destroyed.

2 – It involves Scouts. My sons are Scouts (in New York City, where there is no discrimination on the basis of anything!). They have learned so much about appreciating nature, as opposed to knocking it — literally.

3 - “Some little kid was about to walk down here and die. It’s all about saving lives.” That. The scout leaders based their decision on something noble — keeping kids safe. (One account I read said they believed a family HAD been crushed to death by one of these boulders before, but I couldn’t find that story. ) But true or not, the problem is that the men decided to “childproof” the world. In reality, the only way to keep kids  safe anywhere (something that can never be 100% assured) is by world-proofing children. Teaching them what to look out for,  what to avoid, and how to be prepared.

Which is pretty much the Boy Scout credo. The Boy Scouts of America issued this statement (that I found on DailyKos):

We are shocked and disappointed by this reprehensible behavior. For more than a century, the Boy Scouts of America has been a leader in conservation from stewardship to sustainability. We teach our 2.6 million youth members and 1.1 million adult members, who collectively spend more than 5.5 million nights outdoors, the principles of Leave No Trace. These principles stress a commitment to maintaining the integrity and character of the outdoors and all living things. The isolated actions of these individuals are absolutely counter to our beliefs and what we teach. We are reviewing this matter and will take appropriate action.

To me, this matter is not a Scout issue, but one of Worst-First Thinking: Adults imagining the very Worst case scenario First and proceeding as if it’s likely to happen. When you think that way, ANY action seems justified, because “Children are in danger!” If you’d like to see where else this belief leads us, read the post under this one, about laws to “protect” our children from a non-danger on Halloween. – L.

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