Environmentalism

Download A Conservationist Manifesto by Scott Russell Sanders PDF

By Scott Russell Sanders

As an antidote to the harmful tradition of intake dominating American existence at the present time, Scott Russell Sanders demands a tradition of conservation that permits us to relish and defend the realm, rather than devouring it. How may possibly we shift to a tougher and dependable lifestyle? What alterations in values and habit can be required? Ranging geographically from southern Indiana to the Boundary Waters barren region and culturally from the Bible to billboards, Sanders extends the visions of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Rachel Carson to our personal day. A Conservationist Manifesto indicates the an important relevance of a conservation ethic at a time of mounting crisis approximately worldwide weather swap, depletion of ordinary assets, extinction of species, and the commercial inequities among wealthy and terrible countries. the $64000 message of this robust ebook is that conservation isn't easily a private advantage yet a public one.

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To build an ark is to create a space within which life in its abundance may continue. But no refuge can be sealed off entirely from the worldwide flood. Acid rain may leach it; ultraviolet radiation streaming through the ozone hole may bleach it; invasive insects or viruses may attack it; pollution from adjoining land may wash over it. In any case, no refuge is large enough to contain the full array of species. The big predators, such as grizzlies and wolves, need more space, as do grazing animals such as bison.

Weal means wellbeing, so wealth is a state of wellbeing. Trace weal and well and will back to their origins, and you find a single Indo-European verb that means to wish or to choose. To be well, or to be wealthy, is to be in the condition we most desire. Leaf through the pages of Wealth magazine or consult the “wealthbuilding” services of a financial advisor, and you will learn how to increase your pile of dollars but not how to become happy or healthy or wise. Granted, in a cash economy one needs a certain amount of money in order to get by.

I separate the compound word into its two parts, common and wealth, to distinguish my usage from that of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and other political philosophers, who equated the commonwealth—one word—with the body politic. As I understand it, the common wealth embraces much more than the body politic; it embraces all those natural and cultural goods that we share by virtue of our membership in the human family. A short list of these goods would include the air, waters, soils, and oceans; outer space; the electromagnetic spectrum; the human gene pool and the 28 Common Wealth diversity of species; language in all its forms, including mathematics and music; knowledge in all its forms, from art to zoology; all manner of artifacts and machines, from stone scrapers to supercomputers; the practical arts such as cooking, building, herding, and farming; the practice of medicine; the body of law, the structures of democratic government, and the traditions of civil liberty; parks, community gardens, state and national forests, wildlife refuges, and protected wilderness areas; museums, libraries, schools, plazas, and other public spaces.

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