ankylosaurus_tail t1_j8a08fj wrote

Commodify? It's just infrastructure and a plan for access. Setting up shuttle bus service and some temporary walkways isn't very complicated and should be manageable in a few days by a competent, motivated government. If their goal was protecting ecology, they'd have a plan like that. But their goal is just avoiding the hassle of tourists, they're just cynically lying about environmental concerns because it sounds better in the media.


ankylosaurus_tail t1_j89ghzj wrote

I'm quite familiar with policies to regulate access to fragile ecosystems. I'm a forest biologist and I spend a lot of time in the woods, including a lot of restricted areas. This isn't one of those situations.

California poppies aren't fragile or at risk, and the environmental "concerns" are made up bullshit, to provide moral cover to NIMBY's who don't want to deal with the hassle of tourists. You can see these flowers from the highway, and people are getting to them by pulling over and walking across fields--fields of grass and flowers that aren't protected or fragile.

If people were sincerely concerned about the "impact" of people coming to see the flowers, they'd be advocating for improved infrastructure, like busses that take people to viewing areas, or temporary elevated walkways. There are plenty of creative ways to reduce negative impacts and protect access. Nobody is trying, because access isn't their goal. They are just trying to reduce hassles by eliminating the opportunity for people to experience nature. That's lame.


ankylosaurus_tail t1_j86q8h3 wrote

There are no conservation efforts for the California poppy, it's an incredibly common species that grows all over the place, literally as a weed. This isn't a particularly fragile ecosystem. The "concern" about the environment is really insincere NIMBY bullshit, to grab the moral high ground. If they cared about protecting nature, they'd be advocating for better infrastructure and planning, so people can see it responsibly.


ankylosaurus_tail t1_j8692ks wrote

So let's just lock people out of nature? What else do you propose?

Perhaps it's naive, but I hope that it's possible for humans to make ethical progress in our relationship with the natural world, and I think encouraging people to have experiences with amazing natural phenomena is key to that project. If you don't believe it's possible for people to improve, then what's the point of conservation? There are 8 billion of us, and we're going to ruin it all pretty soon anyway...


ankylosaurus_tail t1_j85b3nu wrote

The local government put the closure in place because they are NIMBY's who don't want to deal with hassles from people who want to experience nature. They should have spent the last four years (since the last super bloom, when they had issues with traffic) coming up with plans to accommodate people. Instead they are just cutting off access to nature. And they are cynically saying it's about protecting nature, but that's insincere bullshit. It's about not having tourists disrupt their town. If the ecological impact was the concern, there are many reasonable ways to address that--and providing responsible access to nature should be the goal, not eliminating the hassles.


ankylosaurus_tail t1_j8531lu wrote

You're totally missing the point--I think telling people to respect them because "they are the state flower" is a stupid argument and the wrong ethical position to promote. I want people to respect nature more, and appreciate it for it's own value and beauty, not just because the government likes this flower.

And I think respect and appreciation for nature start with having actual experiences with nature. We should be creating more opportunity and encouraging people to spend time in nature, especially around amazing phenomena, that they'll remember for the rest of their lives. The only reason to prevent people from experiencing nature is to protect fragile, rare ecosystems, and fields of California poppies are neither rare or fragile, they're just beautiful.

The harm here is to people and infrastructure--dealing with the people who want to see the flowers is a pain in the ass, but the community should put up with that. And the infrastructure should be improved to give people more responsible ways to experience the flowers--build boardwalks and viewing platforms, create a bussing system to get people there, etc. etc. etc.

Instead, a bunch of curmudgeons are just cutting off people's access to nature, so they don't have to put up with the hassle. That's lame and I do not believe that it's sincerely motivated by genuine respect for nature. It's just NIMBY's who don't want to put up with tourists. Fuck that. Let people see nature, help them do it, and make the experience better for all.


ankylosaurus_tail t1_j8504it wrote

Yeah, California is a really special place...y'all have such an inflated sense of self. Respecting flowers because the government officially designated them special is lame--if you don't respect the intrinsic value of nature, you're missing the point. I work in forests professionally, as a biologist. I'm quite sure I spend more time in nature than you.