Opinion: With Squaw expansion, stop feeding addiction to fatter profits
July 7, 2015
This is in response to the article of July 1 edition about the proposed Squaw Valley village expansion entitled, "Sierra Watch: Unavoidable is unacceptable."
What stands out for me is Chevis Hosea's remark, "There's been a lot of focus in the community once this (EIR) document came out on the number of significant unavoidable impacts."
To say that the impact is "unavoidable" is a lie. Of course it's avoidable. Hosea's choice of the word "unavoidable," conveniently shifts responsibility away from the true source of behavior, in this case, KSL and Squaw Valley Ski Holdings LLC, as if the choice to destroy and develop is perpetrated by a supernatural force of some sort.
In reality, it is simply reckless and opportunistic behavior being marketed in the same way junk food is marketed as nutritious.
The corporations whose motive is profit over stewardship and conservation love using words such as "unfortunate," or "unavoidable," or "inevitable," when their choices conflict with what they know on some very deep level, is immoral, unjust or destructive.
But, as usual, lack of consciousness about such behavior prevails.
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In this time of climate change, much of which is human influenced, where massive wildfires swallow millions of acres of forests, lakes and rivers dry up, and weather events impact seasonal change, many people including me, believe that we are being given a strong warning to change the way we think and behave.
It is time to stop developing when there is no real need; time to stop feeding the addiction to more money and fatter profits; it is time to stop squandering our precious and very limited natural resources. Right now.
To say negative environmental impact is "unavoidable" is a costly lie. The more honest language for KSL and Squaw Valley Ski Holdings LLC to use is, "We are choosing to develop an area that should be left alone. We choose to build adventure parks and more shopping and hotel rooms even though we really don't need to.
"We choose to perpetuate irresponsible and reckless behavior toward nature. We are making a conscious choice to indulge our desire for profit at the expense of nature and it is not our priority to make what we have more sustainable.
"We are in the business of making money and we really don't give a damn about the cost in terms of contributing to the destruction of our natural resources.
"Like many corporations and individuals whose motive is profit, we have a collective mindset that cares only about getting what we want, denying any responsibility for causing pain and suffering, and hoping we will not have to accept the consequences for our destructive and damaging choices.
"We'll do what is necessary to pacify, appease and placate our doubters, including writing checks to nonprofit organizations to make ourselves and others feel better about us, but in the end, we are just opportunists who will stop at nothing to get what we want. "
When you were little boys and girls and your mothers told you not to engage in immoral, destructive and careless behavior, did you listen and abide by her counsel?
Or did you disregard her and behave badly anyway? Nature is your ultimate mother. Be good to her and love her as she has loved you. The consequences for not doing so are becoming more obvious.
So as you, KSL, Andy Wirth and Squaw Valley Ski Holdings LLC propose to bulldoze trees, choke off water sources, and destroy beauty that you have absolutely no right whatsoever to destroy, at least be conscious enough to tell yourself and others the truth about what you're really doing.
Just because we arrogantly call ourselves "landowners" does not give us the absolute right to destroy what was here long before we left our heavy boot-prints in the soil.
And don't be surprised if Mother Nature decides that winter will never come again to Squaw Valley. It will be her way of slapping your greedy little hands.
Kimball C. Pier, Ph.D., is a depth psychologist and a practicing therapist in Truckee. Visit http://www.sierraagape.org.