sTUDY gUIDE - A Sand County Almanac 1949 Aldo Leopold...

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A Sand County Almanac 1949 Aldo Leopold - awakened Americans to environmental issues - renowned for bringing out interest in the natural world Environmental Studies - Environmental Literature o Ecocriticism- looks for environmental content in literature EX) Moby Dick- problems with whale hunting Look for underlying environmental themes we may have missed in the past o Refuses to see the natural landscape only as a source of beauty They also understand science and pull it back into works Take beauty and combine it with hard knowledge of science - Environmental Philosophy o What are the obligations humans have to the non human (biosphere and ecosystems) o Genesis- “Be fruitful and multiply, have dominion and subdue the earth.” Conserve vs. Preserve - There was a government movement for forest reserves (conserve the forest) o Started the discussion: what does it mean to conserve? o Conserve enough for the future generations to use later (thought in which Leopold was raised)
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o Very utilitarian - Preservation then gained momentum- rather than setting land aside for later use you simply set it aside and leave it alone o Idea that nature and the wilderness have intrinsic value o Its not a matter of simple utility Sand County Almanac - the book is a walk through Leopold’s understanding that preservation is the way to go o nature is not simply a place for man to use o we see an illustration in the profound change in western thought with this book - Preface for the book o In 1935 Leopold bought the shack on his farm and moved his family there- he begins writing His family cultivated the farm they bought from a previous owner who clear cut it o Modern Science- developed from 1700-1900’s Abstract natural laws such as gravity Universal principles Looked at nature as an open bood to be discovered The idea is to stand outside the system and look back in then describe Leopold knew science very well but his school of thought differed from the Modern Science school of thought o Leopold Science Concrete and specific, not abstract Start with the local and move outward, like with the tree Nature is not an open book and cant be understood but is a mystery to be read
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You always start with yourself Where am i? Where does my food come from? Where does my water and heat come from? If you start with your self and work outward you can get to the abstract o People Superiority? The rate of extinction has shot up We are now in an age where people mourn what was because we damaged the environment He urges us to get into the mindset of nature- we are part of it! Like Nietzsche he thinks we are in nature and you cant step out of it to look in - A break down of the book o February- “one of the dangers of not owning a farm is thinking breakfast comes from a grocery store and heat comes from the furnace.” He begins to understand his personal resources- the origins of what he uses
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