A Conservationist Manifesto by Scott Russell Sanders

By Scott Russell Sanders

As an antidote to the damaging tradition of intake dominating American existence at the present time, Scott Russell Sanders demands a tradition of conservation that permits us to savour and shield the area, rather than devouring it. How may perhaps we shift to a harder and in charge lifestyle? What adjustments in values and habit could 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 the most important relevance of a conservation ethic at a time of mounting difficulty approximately international weather switch, depletion of traditional assets, extinction of species, and the industrial inequities among wealthy and negative international locations. the $64000 message of this strong ebook is that conservation isn't easily a private advantage yet a public one.

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We are not the captains of this vessel, although we may flatter ourselves by thinking so. We are common passengers, and yet because we are both clever and numerous, we bear a unique responsibility to do everything we can to assure that this one precious ark will stay afloat, with all the least and greatest of our fellow travelers safely on board. 21 Common Wealth \ W hat is being sold to us as the “American way of life” is mostly a cheat and a lie. It is an infantile dream of endless consumption, endless novelty, and endless play.

The Europeans who colonized the Americas began carving up this commons and turning it into private property, as the wealthy classes were busily doing back in England and on the Continent. Between the 1500s and the mid-1800s, nearly all of the English commons were privatized, initially through the actions of landlords and later through acts of Parliament. In the process, centuries-old relationships between Caring for Earth people and place were torn apart; a view of land as the source of livelihood for the whole community was replaced by a view of land as a commodity to be bought and sold for the benefit of the propertied class.

In spite of treaties, there are constant battles over allocation of water from the Colorado, for example, and the river is so overdrawn that scarcely any flow reaches the sea. The Clean Water Act has led to gradual improvement in some rivers, but in many cases, it is cheaper for a company to pay fines for poisoning a river than to clean up its effluents. No matter what rules are on the books, any given administration in Washington can choose to reinterpret the law, weaken it, or ignore it entirely.

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