Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw (Book #29)

The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw (Bruce Barcott, 2008) explores the tension between conservation and economic development in the developing world through a battle over a hydroelectric dam in Belize. It's a sobering but valuable reminder that things that seem black-and-white thousands of miles away look more complicated on the ground. I still would've sided with the conservationists on this one, no matter what, but I understand better how such efforts can look like a new form of imperialism when coming from the citizens of a rich country that, for example, dammed most of its own rivers decades ago.

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