Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Guy Knows What He's Talking About

Cronon's point of view is a unique one. Proposing that the idea of Wilderness is an American invention and is in fact existing not to preserve nature but to serve the elite is interesting. He argues "The removal of Indians to create an “uninhabited wilderness”—uninhabited as never before in the human history of the place—reminds us just how invented, just how constructed, the American wilderness really is." When you think about it Cronon brings up a valid point. I personally feel that I am not in Nature unless I am on a mountain top, in a national forest, or secluded from the industrial world. This reinforces his arguement of Wilderness being an American construct.
Cronon brings up another point, "By imagining that our true home is in the wilderness, we forgive ourselves the homes we actually inhabit." This is a great example of how we as a culture look negatively on our industrialized ways of living, and romanticize rural lifestyles. The American population looks over the Nature we have in our own backyard and focuses too much on the over-commercialized "Wilderness" we know today as our national parks and protected areas.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Civil Disobedience and Land Ethics

Earth First! a radical environmental group was originally founded with the intent of protecting the environment from destruction of wildlife habititats. The group participated in public stunts of protest like organizing a tree sitting. Many of the early protests were peaceful and did not cause harm or damage to anyone or anything. The group attracted members with an anarchist political background and soon evolved into the Earth First! group many are familiar with today. Some who were uncomfortable being associated with having this political view left the Earth First! group and started different organizations. Soon after, Earth First! began participating in sabatoge.

Personally, I can see myself being a founder of this organization. When I say that I refer to the group who had the original intent of protecting wildlife through peaceful means. While I am aware that it is civil disobedience the way the group was going about it was harmless to the environment and humans. Now that Earth First! is involved with sabatoge and eco-terrorism I would not identify with the group. I feel that participating in a peaceful demonstration is acceptable. Causing damage to private property, whether it be a piece of equipment or an actual business location, is inappropriate. Our country was founded on freedom and I feel that everyone has the right to express their feelings, however you lose that right when you can only express it in violent, harmful ways.

In high school I was always the first one to stand up for what I believed in no matter how menial the matter seemed. Now that I am older and more mature I understand that I cannot be an advocate for everything so I must dedicate my time and energy to what I feel is most important. As long as demonstrations or protests for the cause were peaceful and did not harm or damage people or property I would have no problem participating in them.