Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Discussing renewable and nonrenewable resources in class brought to mind a series of articles written in the Charlotte Observer about the Catawba River.  The articles feature the river as one of the hardest working rivers in the country and as a river at risk.  This article showcases the amazing capacity humans have to change the world around them and stresses the importance of thinking of our impact on the Catawba as a big picture...or as a system.  Not being from this area I had no idea of the history or the current state of this river.  It is pretty amazing, and these articles really exemplify how we are being personally impacted by the need for systems thinking.  This also shows how intimately related the economy, the ecology, and the society of this region are when focusing on the Catawba.  These are definitely worth reading.

1 comment:

Justin Smith said...

Ironic you post this now. I currently live in Rock Hill (and have my entire life) and recently had a guy knock on my door... he is running for County Council and his platform includes "reclaiming" the Catawba for South Carolina. Looking at the dates of these articles this has obviously been an issue for a while. I had no idea. Here's a few quick notes from a "local":
1. My parents (and most of their generation) still refer to Lake Wylie as the "River" - this is primarily to it actually being the Catawba River for their parents...(just a random side note)
2. The water level has been horrible and the water quality is pretty nasty and has been for as long as I can remember.
3. Duke Power has now limited the construction of new docks and has begun to strictly enforce setbacks on the Lake. This is in response mainly to the overcrowding of the lake (linear thinking).

Seems like the social capital (state governments) is fighting over the rights of a natural resource (ecology)... while the natural resource is suffering because nothing can happen while the fight is going on. The system thinking has been put on the back-burner for the fight to the rights to govern the system. I guess this is similar to how the ecology and economy capital can be in conflict.