The idea of plenitude is central to American mythology. Located deep in the mindset is a desire for western expansion- to always strike out for untamed territory that contain unlimited wonders and resources. The very first imagery we learn as school children is that of a Pilgrim thanksgiving. It is imagery of a table spilling over with delicious bounty. This picture has been pretty much a reality until recent decades. This country has always had empty spaces in which to move into and reap the rewards. It has been, depending on your point of view, a lucky or fortuitous set of circumstances that have created who we are and what we possess. Growing up in the West has allowed me a peek at this myth of a landscape that is impervious to our ravages. Peering back I could see the tail lights of an era that saw no need to curtail its extraction and consumption of resources. It was an era of happy naivete and lusty greed, one that someone now might feel a certain amount of borrowed nostalgia for. Looking around me and into the future I can see the results of such a doctrine. Living in the West where industry has left track marks on the landscape in the form of massive clearcuts, gargantuan open pits mines and oceans severely depleted of life, one can see a direct link between the good life comprised of an abundance of goods and luxuries and an ever dwindling diversity of flora and fauna.

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