The word’s getting around that “environmentalism is dead.” That may be so, and if it is, it’s a good thing.
The environmentalism of the 21st Century, in recent reckoning, is a pretty wimpy affair, dominated by collaboration, compromise and cohabitation amongst developers and what once passed for environmental activist groups. The Sierra Club, once the proud progeny of John Muir, now skulks about the dark and dingy halls of Washington, DC, that great swamp on the shores of the Potomac. Decisions are made in a tall building in downtown San Francisco that affect life in the wild thousands of miles away. One slight poppenjay holds the position of Official Petty Dictator, bandying about at Board meetings with a stentorian voice that brushes aside all opposition, that substitutes shrillness for intelligence, volume for relevance, whose khaki pants bulge with corporate hands thrust firmly into their many pockets.
It’s time to return to our forebears, those hairy men who lived in the wild, then much more abundant and prolific, and wrote about it for modern hairy folks to read and ponder: John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman and, of course, and most importantly, Edward Abbey. Today’s modern, cell phone, iPod, GPS, lap-top computerized faux environmentalists, clad in the latest hiking industry shoes, festooned in the latest fashionable outdoorsperson attire, possess little in the way of wild intellectual acumen to compare with these Masters, now long gone to their personal visions of Valhala.
Environmentalism has been collaborated and compromised away, even unto Earth First!, whose motto once proudly proclaimed “No FUCKING Compromise in Defense of the Earth!” and which now merely whispers of tree sits and gatherings in semi-remote forest glens (with covenient portable toilets), accessible by automobile and professional, credentialed journalists.
What we need is fewer environmentalists and more enviromeddlers, those willing to eschew the trappings from the Sierra Magazine, willing to be uncomfortable for a fortnight, to stand on their hind feet and actually walk on the earth, rather than sitting on their butts propelled by dead dinosaurs. We need monkeywrenchers, sabateurs (sabot, the wooden shoe thrust into the bowels of the machine), tree spikers, midnight raiders and, yes, I’ll say it , ecoterrorists. It’s time to strike terror into the hearts of the three-piece suiters smoking their illegal Havana cigars in high penthouse board rooms. You better believe it, we’re after your billfolds! (We’ll deal with your sons and daughters later)
On your feets, environmeddlers! You have nothing to save but the wilderness. You have nothing to lose but the spare tire around your ample belly. Let’s put the Earth First! slogan back into business, with four-part harmony and feeling this time!
Long Live the Weeds and the Wilderness