Tuesday 26 July 2011

Danger ahead

Strandhill in Sligo is a fantastic place - the tides make it unsuitable for swimming, but the surf is great!  Being on the far west coast of Ireland, it doesn't get dark at night until long after ten o'clock in the summertime, and the pubs have great music.  There's pretty good ice cream too.

The dunes are beautiful too - you can clime the one on the left of the photo and when you get to the top, it drops away into almost a hidden valley, with a tidal estuary that is full of waders when the tide is out.  This year for the first time, though, part of the sand cliff had fallen away, eroded, I guess by a combination of bad weather, high tides, and the constant footfall of tourist and local alike.  It made me think of an article by George Monbiot on creating an underground national park for fossil fuel reserves, to be left undisturbed in perpetuity.

So much of our natural world is being eroded away by our physical or ecological footprint, there must surely come a time when we need to say stop - no more traffic until the resource has recovered.  For the sand dunes, that might be five or ten years, for oil reserves, it could be thousands.

Worth thinking about seriously, though.

Pic: Strandhill dunes (JC)

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