Saint George, Utah is one of the most beautiful pieces of country you will see anywhere. The city nestles in the valley surrounded by red and black hills with the grey-blue mountains towering over the north, the white and red cliffs of Zion peaking out of the distant east, and rolling hills in every other direction. It is stunning in any season at any time.
What makes me sad is that we have permanently scarred the face of mother nature. I am not talking about normal development. We need homes and businesses. I am not talking about the massive "D" or the painted "Dixie" even though I could go off for a while about how stupid those are as well. I am talking about the deep, blood red gashes in the mountains around us. It bugs me every time I drive home from work. I drive right along the edge of the mesa and it hurts my little heart to see those marks that will never heal.
How greedy and arrogant do you have to be? Do you really need to be higher up than everyone else? I know people will say that it's about the view, but that's a partial truth. It's about looking down on others, feeling superior. It's about pride. It's disgusting, mean, and a violation of the natural beauty.
Fine. You want to be on a hill, build on a hill. Build where there are natural ledges and shelves. Do not cut into the side of the mountain until nothing remains. I might add that the mountain I am talking about is made up almost entirely of sand, sandstone, clay, and ash. It is covered in a thin veneer of volcanic stone. By stripping away the outer layer, we weaken the structure. We are chipping away at the shell of a very large egg. That egg is going to crack and spill down on the homes below. We will one day see landslides as a consequence.
Build where it is practical. I say make your backyard, your family, and your home beautiful so you will always be surrounded by "the view" that matters. You do not have to look down on me to feel good about yourself. Look around at ground level. Look up at the mountains, trees, and sky. Look at the inherent beauty of our world and be content with what you have. Do not waste your wealth and influence in order to destroy and elevate yourself. Please, remember the lessons of Babel.