Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hmm ...

... The Legacy of Aldo Leopold. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I wonder about this:

We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. . . . I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view. . . . The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.
I hold no brief for the indiscriminate killing of wolves or anything else in the wild, but this business about the mountain disagreeing strikes me as nonsense. It isn't just literal-mindedness that leads me to point out that mountains can't agree or disagree with anything. You can't learn to think like a mountain, because mountains don't think. This really is the pathetic fallacy.

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