Producers have only themselves to blame when accused of destroying the landscape
In the e-mails we receive from our readers we often find lamentations on false reports by competitors of natural stone aimed at exercising pressure. But we increasingly gain the impression that the stone branch often sheds unfavorable light on its own products. Let us call this behavior vituperation and take a closer look at some of the aspects involved.
In this issue: quarrying natural stone destroys our landscapes.
This, of course, is but one side of the story and not thought through to the end. After all: concrete, ceramic products, and metals leave their mark in the landscape as well, as sand, clay, and ore do not fall from the sky.
All man-made products are extracted from Mother Earth in form of raw material. Wood or other renewable products are the only exception.
But the presentation of quarries often blatantly exposes signs of destruction and even leaves the impression that the branch is proud of it.
A case in point is a slide show on a Chinese webpage (http://www.zxmarble.com). The photo at the top is aesthetically pleasing, whereas the one at the bottom of the page (merely a blowup of the same photo) shows craters in the landscape.
Finding the right balance between muse and muscle, i.e. between aesthetics and fascination, is, of course, no simple task. But that’s not all: highly counterproductive as well: the habit of showing wheeled loaders from every possible perspective, preferably from below.
Vehicles with over-sized wheels and shovels represent damage to the environment in the media just as smoke billowing from a factory chimney represents CO2 – emission even though in fact harmless steam is the visible part of the picture.
The main portion of the problem lies in the psychology of those responsible: many are merely big boys yearning to play in the sandbox.
Does that mean, that technology should be kept under wraps?
Of course not: technology is part and parcel of quarrying.
Here is the website of a Swiss sawmill (http://www.gasserholz.com/), using gang saws to cut timber.
The interesting element on our photo is the tiny red line, the origin of which is unknown – perhaps a laser light. This tiny element elevates the entire picture to a high-tech level.
And high-tech gives the impression of sustainability and ecologically friendly methods of collecting raw material without damaging nature unnecessarily.
Wrapping up: could high-tech apply to the stone branch?
Of course it could.
Even quarries no-longer use dynamite but rather diamond-edged saws to gently cut the rock.
Not to mention CNC and waterjet technology in working the stone itself.
This is why the branch urgently needs women in decision-making positions.
But that’s the subject of further vituperations.
(29.04.2016, USA: 04.29.2016)