Archive for the ‘Summer Reading’ Category

commencement, part II: A shout-out to John Graves

May 29, 2010

I began this summer with a book I received for Christmas. It’s called Goodbye to a River, written by John Graves and published in 1960. 1960. It may be the most contemporary account of aquatic resources I’ve ever read.

Read what Graves said about the Brazos River 50 years ago. As you read, keep in mind what my friend Kurt says about environmental issues. He says environmental issues are basically the same, but the scale and intensity differ from place to place.

From Goodbye to a River:

“And furthermore that while all the rivers may continue to flow to the sea, those who represent us in such matters will at least slow down the process by transforming them from rivers into bead strings of placid reservoirs behind concrete dams…

Bitterness? No ma’am…In a region like (insert your region here), scorched to begin with, alternating between floods and droughts, its absorbent cities quadrupling their census every few years, electrical power and flood control and moisture conservation and water skiing are praiseworthy projects. More than that, they are essential . We river-minded ones can’t say much against them — nor, probably should we want to. Nor, mostly, do we…”

1960.

Can we say much? Do we? Do I? I am trying to find my voice. Check out the following link on Alabama Aquatic Resources I spear-headed this endeavor. I’m interested to see how it will play out.

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