modern American Environmental
For this week’s discussion posting, I’d like you to consider the Modern readings from weeks 5 and 6 in a critical light (that is, the selections from the Monkey Wrench Gang from Week 5 and the readings by Peacock and Foreman from this week), plus whatever portion of Desert Solitaire that you’ve been able to read to this point. Each of our three authors (Abbey, Peacock, and Foreman) offers an aggressive vision of environmental activism, one that involves civil disobedience if not direct violation of laws. It is entirely legitimate to consider the ethical foundations of this sort of eco-radicalism, and in this posting I’d like you to do just that. What are we to make of the character George Washington Hayduke, the foul and profane ecoterrorist whose efforts to sabotage development efforts in the Southwestern Desert are chronicled in the brief passages from MWG? How about the ideas Dave Foreman, who uses Abbey’s MWG as inspiration and a model for actual practice? Or those Doug Peacock, the real-life model for Hayduke? What about the views expressed by Abbey himself in the early stages of Desert Solitaire? Obviously, you can orient this response toward the reading you’ve chosen, but consider as many views as you can here. What logic justifies this of this kind of action to defend an unspoiled landscape, and do we regard this kind of justification as legitimate? In short: do law-breaking and sabotage represent justifiable measures to protect nature and the environment against the forces of “progress”?