Friday, October 18, 2013

I just don't know sometimes...

It's been a busy couple of days for me, and I've been pretty much staying away from the news. But a story caught my attention that I just couldn't let go by without comment. It belongs under the category of "What the hell were they thinking?"

Several Boy Scouts leaders pushed over a rock formation that had been standing for thousands, if not millions, of years in a state park in Utah. They did this during a Boy Scout leaders and did this during a scouting campout. They should have known better, as many people more eloquent than me have pointed out. Instead, they made a video of their action and posted in on the internet. The Boy Scouts of America have confirmed that the men are part of their organization, and a spokesman for the Scouts has called their actions "reprehensible". Meanwhile, state park authorities in Utah are investigating the incident and the county attorney where the park is located is looking at whether to charge the men with anything.

Well, actually these idiots explained what they were thinking, or at least have tried to rationalize doing something that was about as stupid an act as I can think of.

Oh, yes. I mentioned that they have come up with an excuse. The man who shot the video, one Dave Hall, was quoted as saying that "This is about saving lives. One rock at a time." He also said that some of the scouts in the troop were jumping on the rocks and that he and the other leaders noticed that one boulder was loose. He also said that his conscience wouldn't let him walk away without doing something about the hazard.

Ever the pragmatist, Hall also claimed that what he and his fellow scoutmasters did wasn't a bad thing because erosion will eventually cause all the rocks there to fall. "One more rock falling to the ground is not going to destroy the beauty of the park."

Really? What makes you the person who gets to decide that, Mr. Hall? What this reminds me of, more than anything, is when Ronald Reagan was governor of California and said, in the context of a controversy over whether or not, or how much of, California's old-growth redwood forests should be protected from commercial logging interests, " know, a tree is a tree, how many more do you need to look at?" (Thanks to Snopes for that quote.) That sort of attitude was stupid in 1966, when Reagan said that, and it's a stupid attitude now.

Here's a clue, Mr. Hall (and the other scoutmasters). First of all, what you should have been doing was keeping your scouts off of these fragile landmarks. Second of all, it's too late now to be trying to apologize by saying that you should have gone to the park rangers instead of taking things into your own hands. And third, what is wrong with you that you are trying to turn your disregard for the natural world into some sort of heroic act?

I'm not going to post the video the men made, or a link to it. I don't want to give them that satisfaction. You can find it if you really want to see it.

NOTE: This story was edited due to a link that did not work.

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