Saving the “New World”

Last night I watched “The New World,” about the founding of the Jamestown colony. Although the movie focused mainly upon the interaction of the English and the Indians, the movie played out upon a backdrop of the Chesapeake Bay and James River. The pacing of the movie was insufferably slow, but the photography was stunning. The Bay, its tributaries and their wetlands are as beautiful as any place on earth. I find it heartening to see that the Virginia Tidewater still has spots of wilderness, that we have not totally destroyed our natural inheritance.

Which brings me to the news of the day…. Four hundreds years later, give or take a few months, the governors of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the mayor of Washington, D.C., the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have proclaimed that they have “stopped the bleeding” in the Chesapeake Bay. But they acknowledged that much remains to be done to fully restore the Bay to health. Reports Scott Harper with the Virginian-Pilot:

It was Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s first meeting with the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council, and the freshman Democrat used the occasion to urge a faster cleanup pace but also to keep some perspective.

Kaine said the vaunted cleanup of North America’s largest estuary has shown “steady improvement,” despite frustrations that it has taken more than 20 years and billions of dollars to reach this break-even point.

If we can say that we’ve halted the downward spiral of the Bay’s ecology, that’s progress indeed. But it will take billions more and decades more to restore it to the pristine condition of 1607. If you watch the movie, you will know that the effort is worthwhile.

(As an aside, “The New World” provides a vivid depiction of indian culture that is refreshingly free of Politically Correct claptrap in which the English settlers are the bad guys and the Indians are the noble savages. The movie portrays, correctly in my book, the interaction of two mutually uncomprehending civilizations.)

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6 responses to “Saving the “New World””

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    We will need to stay diligent. Smithfield and the hog industry want to move the big warehouse hog farms to VA since NC has dug in it’s heels after their waterways have been destroyed with hog wastes.

    No industrial livestock farms should be allowed in VA without having a quality septic waste treatment system comparable to what a city provides to take care of their waste. One large hog farm equals 100k people living in a city….

    Stay aware…alot of money is going to go to our State congress people to get them to allow this pollution to occur in VA.


  2. well, personally, I found the movie lyrical in its pacing. Too, I appreciate the fact that they cover such a long period of history in relatively little time. And I think the cinematography is simply spectacular.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    The Republicans and their Fratboy-in-Chief, “Dubya” arer failure. Time for a new Direction.

    By Karen DeYoung
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, September 24, 2006; Page A01

    “The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded.”

  4. I watched two shows on the Science Channel. One was a scary prediction of what would happen when we run out of oil, and the othere was a rosy scenario showing that only a litt;e of the abundant renewable energy will solve allour problems.

    I doubt if either one is correct, but it shows the value of diverse viewpoints.

  5. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Anonymous 11:04, Bush may or may not be a failure, but that is irrelevant to this blog, which maintains a clear focus on state/local public policy. There are many, many other blogs that would love to have your comments about President Bush.

  6. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    I let my young’uns see it and report back – as with many other flics. They said it was PC. But, your comment, Jim, encourages me enough to rent it.

    Cleaning The Bay is worth the money if the science is good. Not junk science.

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