Edward Abbey was a radical author known for his controversial ideas about culture, politics, and the environment. As wilderness.net so eloquently puts it, his views were “directed by nature and his love of the American West.” I can say the same for myself, except I would not throw soda cans out the window of a car while driving. Abbey did this because in his view, the highway had already ruined the environment. That’s the kind of purist he was. However, in all fairness, he lived in earlier times when littering was not a moral outrage and against the law. He was truly was one of the first ‘Earth Firsters’ to the degree that even some environmental activists thought him too extreme. His unwavering love and devotion to the land was undeniable though, and I believe this quote goes deeper than words reveal. Current scientific research shows that our biomagnetic energy fields are intimately interwoven with the natural world’s and its cycles, and if those conditions are not replicated in outer space, astronauts die. The Earth is truly our Mother. If we mess with her, we mess with ourselves - so we all suffer whether we can see it or not.
I took this sunrise photo on public land in northwestern Pinal County in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona - the southwest desert Abbey loved so much and where he died in 1989. The BLM (Bureau of Land Management - a U.S. federal agency, controls this land. As I write this, the BLM, local officials, and developers are planning to construct another freeway (Interstate 11) right behind these hills. We do not need another freeway. But we do need more human spirits willing to fight to preserve our ever diminishing wild spaces like this one. I hope you are one of them or on the way to becoming one as a result of appreciating art like this. Another quote from Abbey: “The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs defenders.” Thank you!
July 15th, 2019
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