Feb 042016

By John Fraser.

AWPR John Fraser

It is with dismay that we watch our beautiful countryside being ripped up for the new Aberdeen bypass here at the Burn of Muchalls.
We are also keenly aware that it is only the start.

Soon we will have 20000 cars passing us, when before it was more like 20, along with all the pollution, fumes, noise and litter.

Our little burn is now constantly full of mud and plastic from the site, industrialising our once unspoilt piece of countryside.

The boast goes that this 36 mile is something to be proud of but is it really? It is the longest possible route destroying thousands of acres of arable farmland, areas of wild habitat and mature trees, disrupting the wild life and the people who live on it, creating a development corridor which is already taking shape (urban sprawl), and encouraging people to use cars. Is this really something to be proud of?

There appears to be no acknowledgement of the loss.

It is already well known that city bypasses create more traffic. A report says Aberdeen will be as congested in 2030 as it is now. A combination of solutions could have benefitted the environment in the city and surroundings.

Forward looking cities like Copenhagen have managed to reduce car usage massively making their city a much healthier place to live. We are now much more aware of the damage that exhaust fumes cause to peoples health, yet, we are still building major roads with more in the pipeline.

The bypass could have been much shorter. Money could have been put into cycle routes and a good integrated public transport could have been created. Instead, 2 billion is being spent on a road.

We hear a lot about the plight of the Tiger, Elephant and Whales to name just a few but our very own Hedgehog is in danger of disappearing all together down from an estimate of 35 million in the 60s to less than a million now the grey partridge the brown hare the salmon and brown trout all in critical danger of slowly disappearing these are all iconic animals of our land this is borne out by simple observation. People have become used to not seeing these creatures so it has become normal. But in fact, it is a crisis.

Taking in the bigger picture the Earth’s systems are all struggling to cope with the constant and growing demands on her. The sea is polluted with plastic, chemicals and even radiation whilst the air carries all sort of toxins and harmful particles. Our soils are being lost through erosion, roads, mining and many more kinds of developments, and everyone knows about deforestation.

Mining of ores which this road will use is a source of large scale environmental destruction, pollution and displacing of people and animals.

The Earth can heal, regenerate and recover from all sorts of damage. It is a natural process to regenerate, but has to be given time to do so.

Science tells us that the earth has been evolving for perhaps billions of years and humans and other life forms for a relatively short time but still a long period of time and now in our time we have the potential to degrade our home to an unimagined state and this has come about mainly during the last two hundred years. In trying to create a technological wonderland, we are creating a wasteland.

What is peoples’ relationship with our planet? We share many of the same genes with all of life. More and more, science is finding that everything is connected and the destiny of our human and non human communities are connected to the Earth. The air, water and ground is our commonality. We cant simply think it will take care of itself – we have long passed that situation.

If we could find a new connection with the Earth where all life, human and non human, and the land above and below is the effective operating principle in all our human institutions, professions, programs and activities, we would soon bring healing to our damaged planet. This is bound up with our personal relationship to our home. Do we see it as a precious gift?

It is up to everyone to decide what is really important in life and act on that.

John Fraser
Bridge of Muchalls.

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  4 Responses to “AWPR And Our Relationship With The Earth”

  1. Thought I was the only one but found that when it came to the bay of nigg I suddenly became the many more than happy to support your beliefs still drying the tears from your words which are all true and heartbreaking when will people see the destruction that is happening in front of our eyes and put a stop to it let the councillors, MSPs and MP s know we have had enough pollution kills

    • Hi Betty lyons thanks for your words of support and its good to know that there are people who understand and really care All the best,I am keeping an eye on the Nigg situation is it worth spending more on infrastructure that will make Aberdeen a less pleasant, place to live who gains,developers

  2. There was a better, less expensive option for an Aberdeen bypass (involving a cut-and-cover road under the existing one along the beach and a couple of tunnels under rivers) but it was rejected because the primary objective was to please developers by opening up a wave of new building opportunities all round the route, the idea being that hordes of people from elsewhere will be desperate to move to our part of the country to take advantage of the decline in the oil industry and the massive loss of jobs.

    Most people don’t know the countryside that’s being torn up and therefore don’t care about it, but I’ve spent decades cycling round all the little backroads and know exactly how much of it is going to have its atmosphere ruined, and while I find that depressing, it’s the people living near the route that I feel for as what have always been peaceful places soon be suffering from a continual roar of traffic going the long way round the city. All of the change is aimed at a future that will not come: most jobs will vanish soon (not just here, but everywhere) and people will be keen to move away from the cities in search of more peaceful places to live in. We are seeing one of the last gasps of the old era in which we allow our environment to be trashed in the name of progress, and soon we’ll have to start undoing it all so that future generations can try to turn this part of the world back into one that’s worth existing in instead of a concrete hell.

    • Hi David We told the government and local authority what they already know but developers have had the last say more urban sprawl even as far as Laurencekirk(at least 300 houses) and how does that make life easier for people.We are misusing technology destroying the planet and carrying on as though it is not a problem.What are the City council going to do with the money from the city deal more infrastructure lets hope it cycle routes through the city we can but hope.Thanks for your support and understanding and I agree we are at the end of an era and it just takes more people to really care and we can turn the earth into a garden again with all its diversity of life.

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