Max Tames the Wilderness

The most famous author on fishing in North America, RODERICK HAIG-BROWN first came to Canada in the early thirties to work as a lumberjack in the forests of the Northwest,an experience which he recorded in his early novel TIMBER. After his marriage, he staked out a claim on the Campbell River in British Columbia, where he has written many books and is now regarded as the major consultant on conservation.

WHEN the first settlers from Europe reached North America they had found the promised land, a vast territory inconceivably rich in field and forest, in fish and wildlife, in water and minerals, in natural beauty of every possible kind. It was, in the words of the times, a new world, and the future was all still with it.

It is easy to see this now, and the philosophers in the safety of their Old World studies could see it even then. But for the settler it was not so easy. He found himself on a rocky and hostile shore, with the forest an enemy at his back. He turned upon it, fought it, drove it back a little way and made land for his farming. Strengthened and encouraged, he turned upon his enemy again, triumphed again, and drove on with ever-growing power and confidence of conquest. Conquest of the land became an article of faith. The wilderness must be tamed and brought under the hand of man: grasslands must yield to the plow, rivers must be harnessed, swamps drained, forests pushed back. Settlement was a vast heroic struggle of man against nature, against the land as he found it, against drought and rainfall, sunshine and snow, against the wild beasts of the land and the people who already lived in the land.

Unfortunately, the idea of conquest still persists in the thinking of many North Americans today, long after all need for it is past, long after its evils have been measured and understood. There is still money to be made in short-term, single-track development; there are still great prizes to be won from the public estate by skillful lobbying and smart public relations; there are still votes to be gained in the sacred name of progress.

What I have described is the American dream that opened up the landmass of the United States, but it has been followed pretty faithfully, if more deliberately, by Canadians. We have been slowed by climate, restrained occasionally by American experience, wise occasionally in our own right. But in the main we have followed the pattern slavishly enough, obeying the whims of big business and small-time politicians, chambers of commerce and small-town real estate operators.

The narrow economics of free enterprise inevitably sets a premium on waste and destruction and pollution, and only the aroused, collective conscience of a nation can decide that the real values of the land must be preserved and that some parts of it are of such overwhelming beauty and interest that they should be forever protected from exploitation.

The collective conscience of the United States was stirred by such men as Frederick Olmsted, Gifford Pinchot, and John Muir; it was fully aroused and given effect by Theodore Roosevelt. Canada has had no comparable voices, though Charles Roberts, Ernest Thompson Seton, Napoleon Comeau, and, later, Grey Owl created an awareness of wildlife and the outdoors. But the American voices and philosophy reached across the border, and a national-park system began to develop in Canada not very much behind the American system. Yellowstone Park was established in 1872, Banff National Park in 1885. The provinces followed this lead; Ontario established Algonquin Park in 1893; Quebec reserved two large-scale parks, Laurentides and Mont Tremblant, in 1895; and British Columbia followed with Strathcona Park in 1911. Both national and provincial systems have been developed irregularly since that time.

Provincial systems vary from nothing at all in Manitoba, to a few hundred acres in the Maritimes and limited acreage in Alberta, to fairly impressive acreage in the other provinces. But it is safe to say that no one of these systems in the provinces is fully representational, none is ideally distributed to serve the population pressures, and none is adequately secured from industrial encroachment or other abuses.

There are excuses for such deficiencies. Canadians have long looked out upon vast reaches of wilderness stretching northward to the pole and have felt security in these. Only fairly recently has it become clear that this vastness cannot fill the growing recreational needs of a population largely concentrated in cities near the southern border of the country. The power of the national government, which might have had the foresight to make adequate reservations, is largely restricted by the constitution, which leaves all natural resources except sea and inland fisheries in the hands of the provinces. Provincial governments, seldom noted for competence or long-range responsibility, have until recently shown only sporadic interest, usually by setting aside large areas in remote parts under purely nominal protection that permits a change of heart and policy at the mere flourish of a dollar sign.


Park systems may be taken as a rough gauge of a people’s respect for the land, but a far more significant test is in how these systems are protected and put to use. Extensive park areas necessarily are reserved well in advance of need. It is not easy to assess future patterns of use or to plan early development wisely. Local business pressure for development is inevitable as soon as a park area is set aside. But if the park is set aside soon enough — that is, well before genuine public pressure for its use has developed — public funds will not be available. Commercial pressure makes a lot of noise and influences a lot of votes; in selfdefense, government responds to it.

This is what has happened in many of the great national parks, where townsites have been established, summer cottages have been permitted, and a host of activities totally unconnected with park values have been encouraged. It can be argued that without these concessions to commercial demands, the parks might have been lost, and, unfortunately, this may well be true. But concessions of this kind, once granted, become vested interests; they are hard to control and even harder to revoke. Sooner or later many will have to be revoked and the others drastically controlled.

In the meanwhile much harm is being done to values the parks were specifically designed to protect. Some of the damage is irreparable. Point Pelee, for instance, a small park on Lake Erie and a place of spectacular bird migrations, is being trampled out of existence by crowds drawn not by the park’s natural attractions, but by commercial installations that should never have been permitted. Equally damaging are the uncontrolled incursions of highway engineers and, in some parks, hydroelectric engineers. There are constant pressures from grazing interests, mining interests, and even logging interests.

Time and population are now catching up with Canada’s national parks. There are signs of growing pressure for the right kind of development — trails, campsites, and closely limited living facilities. It has even been hinted that some of the backward provinces, such as British Columbia, may cooperate by enabling the national system to expand as it should in celebration of the nation’s centennial in 1967, but the time is growing short.

British Columbia has the most imposing of provincial park systems, as should be the case in a province of such wide variations of terrain and with such outstanding alpine, lake, and river scenery. But the system is really only a front, subject to change at any time and in any way merely by cabinet order.

The oldest of the province’s parks, Strathcona, on Vancouver Island, is a good example of what can happen. This park of half a million acres is mainly alpine, but it also contains a few small valleys that support the last remaining primitive samples of coastal Douglas-fir forest in public hands. It centers on the eighteen-mile length of Buttle Lake, which should have provided ideal water access to most of the major valleys under any sensible plan of development.

Some ten years ago Buttle Lake was needlessly opened to flooding for hydroelectric purposes, and in spite of extensive clearing, the beauty of its shorelines has been largely destroyed. Promises were made that park development would follow upon this encroachment, but in ten years there has been no development whatsoever. Within the last two or three years some old mining claims have been explored and good potential has been shown. On the grounds that the mineral claims were established before the park, mining has now been authorized. One of the “conditions” is that a road with public access must be constructed along the lake.

It is all too easy to imagine the pressures for further abuses that will be brought upon the government by logging and other mining interests once the road is there; it is equally easy to imagine with what eager reluctance the government will yield to them. Strathcona Park is close to large population centers, and if the loggers can be kept out, it still has much to offer. But even now, before any significant recreational pressures have come upon it, it is far from being the superb asset it could have been.

Large-scale parks are a direct and deliberate attempt to preserve outstanding natural features for all time — the beauty of scenery and spectacular natural formations, the growth and environment of trees and plants and wildlife, the scientific values of natural ecology, and the sense of wonder that all these things stir in the hearts of men and women. But even in Quebec and British Columbia, the two provinces that boast the largest park acreages, the parks represent only a tiny fraction of the total land area; and their management, good or bad, though it symbolizes an attitude, is only a small part of the story of a people’s regard for its renewable resources.


Canada’s great and growing weakness in this respect is constitutional; by the British North America Act the provinces control the natural resources of the land. It is a major weakness because, as Stewart Udall has pointed out in The Quiet Crisis, the only power that can assert the national interest is the power of the federal government. It is a growing weakness because modern technology and economics make the various sections of the country more and more closely interdependent, and because constantly improving communications are steadily outdating many of the old reasons for divided authority.

Constitutional change for the better is entirely unlikely, and it would be unrealistic to suggest that the present mood of the more powerful provinces promises increasing cooperation. A federal Resources for Tomorrow conference in 1961 was carefully conceived and very well attended; as a result there has been a continuing Canadian Council of Resource Ministers, representing the ten provinces and the federal government. This is a potentially powerful body whose regular meetings could and should lead to much better understanding of the country’s resources and their proper management, but it is difficult to imagine that inhibiting jurisdictional conflicts will be readily resolved or that the wealthier provinces will yield much in their jealous concern for their own shortterm interests.

This may be an overly cynical assessment, and I hope it is. But there is nothing concrete as yet to set against it. The Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Act, introduced by the federal parliament in 1961 and agreed to by all ten provinces during the course of 1962, offers very broad scope for federal-provincial cooperation in management of soil and water resources throughout Canada, and may perhaps be a sign of better things to come.

Of all the provinces, no other has shown more direct concern for water and soil conservation in the years since World War II than has Saskatchewan. This is perhaps to be expected of a province whose affairs are still primarily rural and agricultural, but it is also due to the conditioning of the disastrous dry years and dust storms of the thirties and to the federal government’s emergency measures under the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act of 1935. Originally limited to five years, this act was extended in scope and time and continues in force at present. It has had a profound and lasting effect throughout the grain-growing areas of all three prairie provinces, strongly emphasizing water conservation and the retention of wetlands, development of grassland pastures in marginal grain lands, and improved farming methods in the better areas. It is true that many individual farmers have not yet reached the stage of maintaining the productivity of their lands by proper use of fertilizers and crop rotations, but the economic conditions that governed this have been changed by Russian and Chinese demands for wheat. There will be dry years again in the prairie lands, and they may bring loss and suffering. But the disaster of the thirties will not be repeated.

The province of Ontario faces the worst problems of concentrated population and limited close-in space. Loss of high-grade cropland to urban sprawl, gross lack of recreational space, flood and pollution dangers are among the many adverse factors involved. A partial answer seems to have been found in the Conservation Authorities Act, which provides that “any two or more municipalities situated either wholly or partly within a watershed" may establish a conservation authority for the watershed.

Over thirty such authorities have so far been established in the province, which has led to flood and pollution control, reforestation of submarginal farmland, and the provision of useful recreational facilities. The educational value of these conservancies should be very great, since conservation for immediate and evident purposes is their main function. Recreational uses include camping, swimming, boating, fishing, skiing, and skating; recreation is definitely a secondary consideration to watershed conservation, and the danger that “left-handed” provision of this sort may tend to obscure the basic shortages has been pointed out; but the importance of providing any space at all under these conditions of growth, which has far outstripped foresight, is not to be disregarded. It is clear that Ontario has found a method of suburban land management that other provinces would do well to examine closely.


British Columbia is one of the major forest provinces and has in its Tree Farm Licenses what is considered the soundest Canadian system for the promotion of good forest management. Tree Farm Licenses include both public and private timberlands, which, though privately managed and harvested, are subject to government control. The licensees must balance cut against growth over a given period of years, must provide protection against fire and other hazards, and must ensure young growth by planting. The effect has been to encourage the establishment of integrated plants which include pulp, paper, and plywood mills as well as sawmills.

Waste in the woods has been reduced, and logging practices have improved somewhat, but the system has significant disadvantages. Vast areas of the more accessible parts of the province are, in effect, handed over to private interests operating over private roads in little kingdoms behind locked gates. The small operator is reduced to contracting or to bidding for timber in limited public working circles. Though the magic word “multiple-use” is constantly overworked by proponents of the system, little consideration is in fact given to other resource uses and needs in forest lands.

No other province depends more heavily on its forests than does British Columbia, yet the actual practice of forestry in the province as a whole remains distressingly primitive. Fewer than two million trees are planted annually on public lands compared with Ontario’s sixteen million, and planting does not keep pace with new cutovers; much of the best forest land in the province has been cut over and left inadequately restocked; and the lower coastal forest is still being overcut and gradually liquidated. The elite forestry corps proposed by Chief Justice Gordon Sloan in his report of 1955 has yet to materialize, and research is minimal.

Perhaps British Columbia’s real concern with intelligent management of its resources can best be measured by the annual resources conferences that have been held since 1948. Jointly sponsored by government, university, and industry, these conferences bring together those concerned with resource use in the province to examine and reexamine the resources and their interrelationships. The close association of men working directly with different resources undoubtedly makes for better planning and a better understanding of all the issues in any given project, even though it does not always extend upward to the levels of industry and government at which the money is spent. The idea and pattern of these conferences have proved a real contribution to more intelligent management of resources; they provided a model for the federal conferences of 1954 and 1961, and several other provinces are now beginning to hold similar conferences.

Nearly all provinces have greatly improved their inventories of resources since World War II, and nearly all have grown beyond the myth of superabundance, though a few politicians and would-be exploiters are not above occasional attempts to revive it. Labor is usually well informed, and labor unions are tending more and more to become most valuable watchdogs for good resource management; but it would be too much to suggest that the mass of the public is either well informed or deeply concerned. The immediate prospect of improved business or a better-paying job is a powerful influence, and the heroic concept of the drive against nature remains, if not a real conviction, a ready rationalization. Politicians understand this all too well.


The use of water has become the most pressing and the most interesting of resource questions within recent years. There is a sudden awareness of present and impending shortages in the United States and a more remote recognition that shortages are becoming apparent in many parts of Canada as population increases.

Of all the absurdities of modern civilization, water pollution, direct stream and river pollution especially, is the most ridiculous, unnecessary, and destructive to the public interest. Rivers are not sewers or drainage ditches for industrial wastes, and to use them for such purposes is to set up an absolute certainty of ultimate loss to the nation. The pragmatic argument for this type of pollution is, of course, that struggling young communities should not be saddled with high sewage-disposal costs and industry must not be discouraged by high cost for waste disposal.

Experience has long since proved the shallow nature of these arguments. Once pollution is accepted as a way of domestic or industrial life, adequate control becomes extremely difficult. Yet as population increases, control of pollution and rehabilitation of the watersheds become absolutely essential; almost invariably, the measures that must then be taken are very costly and slow. Now that the continent has been settled from sea to sea, it is clear that prevention of pollution is the only sensible policy.

Such a policy is perfectly practicable. All that is needed are determination and cohesion in government, responsibility and ingenuity in industry, and rejection by the public of the outworn concept that all development, at whatever cost, is good.

Considering its great size and relatively sparse population, Canada’s record in pollution is not good. The country suffers in this, as in other resource matters, for lack of federal power to give strong leadership and establish coherent policy. On some watersheds it suffers from the weakness of interprovincial jurisdictions. Until very recently it has suffered in most provinces from divided authority and responsibility for pollution control, and it still does suffer from timid enforcement of existing laws.

There is a good deal of evidence of change. Ontario, as is to be expected of the most heavily populated and highly industrialized province, has the best record. While the local conservation authorities are providing intensive management of individual watersheds in areas of high population, pollution control for the province as a whole has been concentrated in one agency, the Ontario Water Resources Commission, which has strong powers and is beginning to apply them for abatement as well as control. Though the province has by far the highest rate of urban sewage treatment in Canada, there are many formidable problems to be faced. The Great Lakes have extensive areas of pollution, and the rivers connecting the lakes are all polluted to some degree. The St. Lawrence River is known to be heavily polluted in some sections, and the Ottawa River is grossly polluted between Ottawa and its junction with the St. Lawrence. Much of this pollution comes from pulp and paper mills, and it has been abundantly shown elsewhere that control of these sources is both physically and economically practicable. Quebec Province has little pollution in its north shore rivers, but elsewhere, in the more industrialized sections of the province, there is heavy pollution from both industrial and municipal sources.

In Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland, health departments are mainly responsible for pollution control, but as yet little has been done toward proper treatment of municipal sewage. In New Brunswick, control has recently been consolidated in the New Brunswick Water Authority, but the approach so far has been somewhat timid. The notorious pollution of the St. John River and many of its tributaries continues with little abatement.

In spite of their relatively sparse population the prairie provinces have significant pollution problems, and because of natural water shortages, a pressing need to solve them. The North Saskatchewan River is still seriously polluted by industrial wastes and municipal sewage at Edmonton in Alberta, which is a wealthy province and well able to make proper provision for waste treatment; both Battleford and Prince Albert in Saskatchewan discharge untreated sewage into the river. The South Saskatchewan River is less seriously affected by industrial wastes from Calgary and untreated sewage from such centers as Medicine Hat and Saskatoon. The Red River and its main tributaries carry some pollution, though the larger cities, except Brandon, treat sewage.

All the main river systems of the Prairies are plagued by difficulties of international and interprovincial jurisdiction. The Prairie Provinces Water Board, created in 1948, has not so far shown itself either forceful or effective, and narrow regard for local claims will undoubtedly continue to make things difficult. But a firm attack on pollution of every kind is the first answer to water shortages, and if the three provinces can set up effective machinery for this, it should serve them well in developing more ambitious plans for conserving and diverting water from elsewhere.

In British Columbia the Federal Department of Fisheries has done an outstanding job of anticipating and assessing the effects of post-war industrial projects, especially pulp and paper mills. Each project is closely studied through its planning stages, and the necessary pollution control works are designed and called for before construction begins. In some instances this has meant modification of the proposed development; in others, fairly costly installations; in still others, usually near tidal waters of strong flow, where dispersal is very rapid, only small expenditures. In all cases to date, results have been remarkably good, although the difficulties become more pronounced as new mills are constructed on the watersheds of the interior. Agreements for treatment of effluents have just been reached with two projected pulp mills, one at Prince George on the Fraser River, one at Karaloops on the Thompson. Discussions will continue throughout construction, and the rivers will be closely checked after the projects are in operation.

This seems a satisfactory way of dealing with industrial effluents and one that should be applied everywhere, even when values less obvious than those of the great Pacific salmon runs are involved. Abatement of pollution by plants already established presents more problems, but none that cannot be solved by determined government action.

British Columbia has a serious problem in the lower reaches of the Fraser River, and the province has recently established a pollution control board to reduce pollution from the heavily populated lower mainland. Elsewhere, there is said to be little serious pollution; but it is to be noted that only five comparatively small cities — Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton, White Rock, and Duncan — provide complete sewage treatment. Cities such as Vancouver, Victoria, Burnaby, New Westminster, Nanaimo, Chilliwack, and Prince George are still discharging untreated sewage.


Several very large dams on major river systems are at present under consideration or under construction in various parts of the country. The Hamilton Falls project, under consideration in Labrador, will yield some nine million horsepower to be carried by high-voltage direct-current line across to Newfoundland and on from there to the Maritimes and the New England states. New Brunswick is considering several installations on the St. John River system that would increase total capacity to about 800,000 horsepower. Control of the river will involve headwater storage in Maine and Quebec, some conflict with logging interests, flooding of important lowlands, and certain disaster to salmon and other anadroraous fish. The price seems altogether too high, especially in view of the possibility that low-cost energy will become available from Hamilton Falls.

The most constructive large river project in Canada at the moment is the South Saskatchewan Dam, a joint federal-provincial undertaking that will irrigate half a million acres and incidentally yield a quarter of a million horsepower of electricity. In a naturally dry area that has suffered severely from drought, the reservoir of eight million acrefeet will help to stabilize water tables over a large area and add an important recreational asset to the most heavily populated section of the province.

The South Saskatchewan Dam is really only the first stage of what is bound to become a vast rearrangement of water resources throughout the three prairie provinces, entailing storage and diversion in such great systems as the Nelson and the Churchill as well as the development of a large number of low head-power sites. Sound development will be possible only under a comprehensive plan and strong federal leadership.

In British Columbia, the Portage Mountain Dam on the Peace River is already under construction, and work will start shortly on the various dams of the Upper Columbia project. Both are singlepurpose hydroelectric projects, and both are valid, though they have been thrown considerably out of proper timing by purely political considerations. Simultaneous construction of two such large projects, involving millions of horsepower, also reflects a measure of unnecessary panic based on the belief that hydroelectric power may become outdated by nuclear power. This is bad resource management and has serious consequences. Costs are increased, and financing is made more difficult. There will be a brutally difficult settling period, socially and economically, when construction is completed.

It is very much to British Columbia’s credit that the Fraser River, probably the most tempting power source in the province, has so far been left largely untouched. It is the greatest salmon river on the continent, possibly in the world, and has a tremendous potential for increased production in the years to come. This vast and complex watershed presents a serious flood-control problem since its flood plain contains the best agricultural land in the province as well as extensive residential and industrial settlement. Various flood-control plans have been examined, and the only one acceptable to fisheries interests is now under active consideration.

This is a complex resource-management problem, entirely within a single province yet involving a direct federal interest in the fisheries and a partial federal interest in flood-control costs. Fisheries protection is essential, flood control is essential; power production is incidental and would merely add to the large surplus from the Peace and Columbia projects that must be sold to the United States. The proposed dams represent some hazard to the fisheries, but it can almost certainly be controlled. Loss of the value of Wells Gray Park, a Class B wilderness area, is tolerable if the gains are sufficiently great. But it is difficult to follow the logic of costly dams as against less costly diking. And it is quite evident that sufficient effort has not been made to keep industrial and residential developments out of the river’s flood plain, where they have no proper place at all.


Canada is growing slowly out of the ruthlessly destructive era of settlement and into an era of giant projects that are just as ruthlessly constructive. The country is still in too much of a hurry to spare the time required to tidy up, to take care of the infinity of smaller values that make a land worth living in and really provide the base that justifies the giant projects.

The practice of designating enormous areas, including lakes, rivers, streams, and swamps, as forest land and leaving them to the mercy of loggers is long since outdated, though it persists. Logging should rarely be permitted within six hundred feet of any river or lake or stream, and logging across streams should never be permitted. Logging roads and operations should be designed to minimize erosion and silting. Disturbance of stream gravels should be prohibited absolutely, and any interference with stream flow should be subject to rigid control by authorities responsible for other uses of the stream, actual or potential. Similarly firm controls should be applied to mining operations, and discharge of untreated effluents should never be permitted.

These are not mere counsels of perfection; in many instances some shadow of the necessary controls already exists. The weakness is in enforcement. In salmon streams, for instance, the federal government has the power to prevent interference with spawning gravels. But at the same time, gravel in streams generally is considered a natural resource and is therefore under provincial control. The federal government must show that gravel removal will affect actual spawning areas.

The result is that logging companies and other operations in remote areas take stream gravels freely for road-building or other construction purposes. Even in more settled areas, fisheries authorities are not always able to show a direct effect upon spawning areas, and gravel is removed. The plain fact is that all stream gravels in place, not merely spawning gravels, are of importance to anadromous fish, and there should be no interference whatsoever except for purposes of stream improvement.

It would be possible to multiply examples of this type of idiotic conflict, where the authorities concerned know better and the public is always the loser, but it will be enough for the moment to examine the record of forest spraying with DDT in the coastal areas. DDT spraying provides some immediate local control of the spruce budworm, a serious forest pest, but there is evidence that the worm increases its distribution and destructive force in spite of spraying and possibly because the spraying destroys other natural controls. Spraying at the rate of a half pound to the acre has been shown to be extremely destructive to young salmon and the aquatic insects on which they feed.

In spite of these findings, forest spraying at this rate has been continued in New Brunswick, where forest interests are powerful. In British Columbia, where Pacific salmon runs are of major commercial importance, spraying at the rate of one pound per acre was attempted in a limited area, with disastrous results. Spraying at the rate of a quarter pound per acre in 1960 gave effective local budworm control with little damage to aquatic life. But a further step has been taken with the use of phosphamidon, a control that is nontoxic to fish, though about three times as costly as DDT.

The point surely comes clear in this last statement; DDT is a vicious and persistent pollutant of questionable effect even in the purpose for which it is used, and was known to be so before spraying was begun in New Brunswick. A less harmful, though more costly, alternative exists. Its use must, therefore, be considered part of the cost of doing forest business. A far more important question remains unanswered: Is the use of any nonselective forest spray sound business at all, or does it simply lead to increased infestation in the long term?

I have the highest regard for Canadian fisheries research and for the several international treaties that help to protect the fisheries. I believe that Canadian scientists are doing an outstanding job on very limited funds in most resource fields. I believe there is a Canadian conscience that respects land and water and the resources that depend upon them, but I believe also that it is weak and ineffective against a public and politicians who want to follow the pattern of American development with little regard for the lessons of American experience.

The large resource projects at present under development in Canada command public attention and tend to obscure simpler issues, but they are small compared with projects of the near future that threaten to shift whole rivers from their courses and turn Alaska and western Canada into a vast plumbing system to pipe water to the American Southwest and Mexico. Some measure of continental cooperation will of course become essential; but no project, however vast, however productive of superficial wealth, can be allowed to obscure the fundamental importance of healthy farm and forest land, clean and unobstructed streams, undisturbed wetlands and range for wildlife, closely protected parklands and wilderness areas.

It is these unspectacular, rather simple things that hold the real meaning and value of the continent. They cannot stand against the waste and litter and avarice of advancing civilization. The damage already done calls for millions of manhours in restoration, replanting, protection, and development, and the damage to be done will call for millions upon millions more. The massive new projects will bring us steadily closer to automation in normal industry, but they will not be economic, no matter what the economists say, unless they give us the time to care for the continent as well as make use of it.