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As for the European Alps not being wild anymore... no kidding! They have been inhabited for as long as humans have been in Europe. Some of the towns and villages are over 2,000 years old, the others go back to the early Middle-Ages, when they already had solid houses of stone and wood. And they were not built in the plains at the foot of the mountains either. The well-known town of Chamonix-Mt Blanc is actually 17 villages and hamlets, all located at a minimum altitude of 1,000 metres (whatever that is in colonial units of length).
The first known tourists were a party of Englishmen that came to see the "Mer de Glace" glacier, in 1744. Mass tourism started in earnest in the mid-19th century.
All the same, for all its lack of total wilderness, the Alps aren't Disneyland yet. Every year people — even skilled mountaineers — are killed. In June 2011 in the French Alps, six climbers died at an altitude of 3,000 metres. One week later, in the same region, another person died and his companion was badly hurt. In July two young men fell 800 metres while climbing the Aiguille du Midi, a peak reached by the highest cable car in the world (there is a cafe, a restaurant etc. at the top of that peak). The year before 58 people died in the French Alps, with 10 others missing, likely dead by now. From January to June 2011, 81 people died in the Swiss Alps, and 26 more died in August.
Mr. J-L Brussac
Can corporations be trusted?
Re: Run-of-River Eco-concerns raised (Squamish Chief, March 16), Moratorium on IPPs (Pique, March 15)
I read with interest your articles on the damaging effects of "Ramping." I assume at this point the damage results from poor management rather than the technology itself. Perhaps someone with more expertise could comment on this?
I ask this as in my non-expert experience, the technology itself is relatively ecologically benign if sited appropriately — and believe me I've gotten enough grief from my more eco-inclined friends on this point!
The significant point which I think we can all agree on here is that no matter what, corporations cannot be trusted to manage themselves on our land. After all, despite what some would have us believe (Kevin Falcon? John Weston, perhaps?) corporations are not people, which is precisely why we need strong government oversight and regulation over their actions, which we currently don't have. This fact should be foremost in our minds as the Enbridge Pipeline environmental review process proceeds.