I just started reading  A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. In the prefrace is this quote:

Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abus land because we regard it as a commondity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. There is no other way for land to survive the impact of mechanized man, nor for us to reap from it the esthetic harvest it is capable, under science of contribution to culture.

That lands is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. That land yields a cultural harvest is a fact long known, but latterly often forgotten…

Such a view of land and people is, of course, subject to the blurs and distortions of personal experience and personal bias. But wherever the truth may lie this much is crystal-clear: our bigger-and-better society is now like a hypochondriac, so obsessed with its own economic health as to have lost the capacity to remain healthy. The whole world is so greedy for more bathtubs that it has lost the stability necessary to build them, or even to turn off the tap. Nothing could be more salutary at this stage than a little healthy contempt for a plethora of material blessings.

Perhaps such a shrift of values can be achieved by reappraising things unnatural, tame, and confined in terms of things natural, wild and free.

Do I want an abundance of material things in life, or would I rather enjoy the natural ones that are already out there?


3 thoughts on “Conservation

  1. Susan in the Pink Hat says:

    I love Aldo. It’s a hard line, though. It is impossible to maintain our current standard of living in a middle class household without servants. If we paid the price things actually cost, we’d all be poor.


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