Why allowing snowmobiles in Yellowstone is green.
In the battle over snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park, the Bush administration has been pushing for a sensible compromise: Snowmobiles would be allowed--but mostly new machines which cut hydrocarbon emissions by 90 percent and noise by 50 percent, and only on roads and primarily on guided tours. Only 950 would be permitted per day. (In contrast, a busy summer day draws about 3,000 cars.) As an avid backpacker who loves the outdoors, I think the environmental movement should be trying to get more people out into the wild. Granted, snowmobiles are an intrusion. But so are cars. The philosophical question is the purpose of conservation: Do we preserve nature for its sake, or ours? My bias is to put our interests on top. We have a strong human interest in presenting our planet. But we should also allow ourselves to enjoy this natural world around us instead of protecting nature so thoroughly that it can be seen only on television specials.