Target: Facebook cofounder Sean Parker
Goal: Fund restoration of damaged Redwood Forest ecosystem
Facebook cofounder Sean Parker recently caused significant and unpermitted damage to the Redwood Forest in Big Sur, California. The multi-millionaire ruthlessly brought in heavy machinery to the delicate forest ecosystem and altered the forest to be a Game of Thrones/Lord of the Rings-themed setting for his lavish wedding. This is a crude display of frivolous affluence acting without disregard to nature and ecology.
For the wedding Parker renovated an old campground in the middle of the redwoods. Structures and walls were built in this wild forest, native plants were removed and foreign ones brought in to create this medieval monstrosity. Erosion resulting from hardscaping and vegetation removal has caused a negative chain reaction to Post Creek; increased sedimentation from erosion is impacting riparian corridors, streams, and shallow marine waters. The increased sedimentation in these areas blocks out the sunlight and kills aquatic ecosystems. Parker and his associates have installed temporary fences to cut down erosion, but it is too little and too late; the damage has been done.
Not only is this act of mindless forest destruction for ephemeral pleasure a harm to delicate ecosystems, it reinforces globally held stereotypes that negatively portray citizens of the United States as thinking that they can do whatever they want, so long as they can afford it. If you’re reading this, you already know the world is not our stomping ground. Not Sean Parker (and a long list of our other affluent citizens, you probably know a few), he earned his money so he can spend it how he likes. Unfortunately, millionaire playboys like Parker make headlines when he turns a forest into a medieval fantasy that destructively romps through nature, so this is what the world sees. Let’s let Sean know we don’t approve of his actions and don’t want him acting so immaturely as one of the faces of the United States.
Dear Sean Parker and associates,
As a citizen of the United States of America and advocate for the wilderness I condemn you for your outlandish wedding in the redwood forest of Big Sur, California. For your enjoyment you spat on pristine wilderness and turned it into a novelty act, disrupting delicate ecosystems that are important for all living beings to live healthy lives. While I’m sure your wedding was fantastic, the damage it caused will ring on for years to come.
To start, you broke the law by constructing a medieval site in a national forest without proper permits. Even if you had acquired the permits, what you did would not be acceptable. The damage you inflicted is more than meets the eye. For instance, you took no precautions to prevent erosion into Post Creek. The resulting sediment runoff is now clogging up ecologically important riparian corridors, streams, and shallow marine waters. Excess sediment blocks sunlight from reaching aquatic ecosystems. The ecosystems die. We, and all other life on Earth, depend on aquatic ecosystems for water purification and as an important foundation in the food chain.
What’s more is that you are internationally known. When the world sees you throw a lavish, destructive party in the middle of the Redwood Forest, they think our whole country likes to act carelessly for momentary joy. But you can do right yet. You have the means to restore the ecosystem you damaged. Do so and redeem yourself.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons