Posts Tagged ‘Edward Abbey’

With my westward adventure approaching, I can’t help but think of Edward Abbey’s novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang. With this book, Abbey has single-handedly assembled my vision of the southwest, with his descriptions of pitiless vultures soaring high above the box canyons. Aside from kick-starting my search for truth in the wild, Abbey also led me to question the type of environmentalist I am, and aim to be.

In the novel, four individuals ban together with the common agenda of protesting the destruction and change of their beloved American Southwest. They all remembered something different than the current landscape and self-appointed themselves to restore things to the way it used to be. So we have Dr. Sarvis and Bonnie burning billboards along the highway, Hayduke blowing up rail lines, and Seldom Seen plotting to destroy the dam that submerged his city under a man-made lake.

While the four members of the Monkey Wrench Gang all have a desire to reinstate the natural world, they all differ in their motives. Some intentions are noble, like Dr. Sarvis’ who wants to protect humans from the repercussions of the machines and others are nostalgic, like Seldom Seen who misses his hometown. There is a point to my babbling, which is to pose this question, what is it that motivates you to be an environmentalist? Is it a sheer love for the natural world? It very well might be, but is there also an underlying reason to your actions?

Personally, I know that while I do appreciate the intrinsic value of the natural world, another motive behind my environmental interests lies in the fact that I hope to contribute to building the bridge between the human and natural world. Too often we view them as separate entities, rather than one world. The romantic in me wants us all to live in harmony. Lofty goal. I’m aware. Well, what’s your answer?

PS: I leave tomorrow! Ah!

The twigster,


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