Saturday, October 19, 2013

Caution: Do Not Tip the Ancient Rocks!

 Some of the rocks in Goblin Valley are precariously perched

 A couple of guys decided to tip one over

What a tragedy!
  Now there are hardly any rocks left on the whole San Rafael Swell for future generations to tip over!

In typical irresponsible journalistic fashion, the national news media or local newspapers focused on elements of the story that seem not particularly accurate or relevant, but most liable to stir public outrage.

The two men in the short video are characterized as "Boy Scout leaders", though I see no evidence of that.

Also the rock is most particularly identified as an "ancient" rock, whatever impression that might be intended to convey.  Again, no evidence for such an assertion, no particular geologist or authoritative reference given to verify that the rock might have "ancient" or any other particular qualities that might lead us to venerate it beyond the "rockiness" of any other plain old ordinary chunk of geological material.

In general, in the absence of any other compelling evidence, I would suppose that most rocks could be considered quite "ancient" in terms of biological lifespans.

The news story reports that the men "could face class B misdemeanor or second-degree felony charges."  Apparently for assaulting an "ancient" rock.  Or felonious rock toppling.  Or even rockless endangerment.

I can just picture the authorities imposing stiff punitive measures against the underlying strata of dirt and rock that failed to support the toppled boulder.  There should be severe penalties for such an outrageous and culpable lapse, to make a public example of the whole incident.  This should insure that offensive "ancient" rocks will think twice before ever presuming to fall over again.  Thus we can ensure that deseret rocks continue stalwart to do their rockly duty.

Whether or not this was a thoughtless and irresponsible act, it is an obvious indication that the entire San Rafael Swell and other public lands in Utah must be locked up permanently to prevent any future malicious acts of felonious ancient rock tipping. Humans are harming the natural environment and should not be allowed. The state has effectively applied such preservation measures to the Range Creek area, no reason why such methods should not apply to ancient rocks in state lands throughout Utah.

Latest news from the pretty great state...

Apparently the Utah Congressman heeded my recommendations for vigilance against personal assault on defenceless ancient rocks.  He refers to this outrageous destruction as "desecration".   But to his dismay, found that there are no laws in the books to send such scofflaws to the slave galleys, or submit them to be publicly drawn and quartered.

I'd be interested to learn exactly how many visits Rep. Dixon Pitcher might have actually made to the Goblin Valley region.  It seems quite obvious that not many even come near the place.  But to tip rocks over is somehow "desecration". 

According to the Wikipedia, "Many consider acts of desecration to be sacrilegious acts. This can include desecration of sacred books, sacred places or sacred objects. Desecration generally may be considered from the perspective of a particular religion or spiritual activity.  Desecration may be applied to natural systems or components, particularly if those systems are part of naturalistic spiritual religion."

Not sure what religion Rep. Dixon Pitcher may personally associate with Goblin Valley, but I presume that the "desecrators" also have religious views.

Sorry to get so rocked out about this.  Reality seems so much stranger than any fiction could ever contrive...

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