Monday, February 16, 2009

`Til I needed glasses -OR- Learning Experiences

Once upon a time there was a dam. When it was built, it provided power, a water supply reservoir, outdoor recreation and nature preserve. At the same time it relieved flooding which made farming and homesteading a less risky venture. It was good.

The new garden spot attracted settlers and businesses. The area around the dam grew and prospered. There was excess prosperity which was re-invested in amenities and improvements. When some counseled a need to manage growth to maintain the integrity of the niche they had carved, others saw this as small-thinking. The more the merrier. Areas previously deemed unbuildable as part of water management were opened for development, paved over, bermed, and protected from the usual runoff. Engineers did what they could to minimize the impact. When development exceeded the engineering of the dam nothing happened... Immediately.

The cautious kept up their grievance that pushing the limits was not wise. But, as nothing had happened, it was easily dismissed as NIMBY thinking. New limits were placed. Obviously the now ancient engineers had underestimated capacities. This took place up and down river. Even more garden spots were created and prospered. Life was good. Until something happened.

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