The American West at Risk: Science, Myths and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery
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Activism is not a journey to the corner store; it is a plunge into the dark.
- Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark

So today I remove that shackle, because when I look at the state of our rivers, our atmosphere and our people I don't need a watch to tell me what time it is.
- Nándor Tánczos, Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, June 2008

Original sin, the true original sin, is the blind destruction for the sake of greed of this natural paradise which lies all around us.
- Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire, p. 167

...[T]he pattern is fixed and protest alone will not halt the iron glacier moving upon us.
- Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire, p. 127

There's some way to stop this. It's not like lightning or earthquakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change.
- John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath

...[T]here is a way of being wrong which is also sometimes necessarily right.
- Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire, p. xii

Call a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation of man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of future generations; as long as you have not shown it to be 'uneconomic' you have not really questioned its right to exist, grow, and prosper.
- E.F.Schumacher

I believe it to be crazy and insane to stand by mutely while our collective life-support systems are being destroyed. I do not regret my actions in the slightest.
- Statement prepared for Canadian court by Betty Krawcyzk, 72-year-old great-grandmother who began serving a one year prison sentence for peacefully protesting old growth logging in the Elaho Valley of British Columbia. Betty Krawcyzk, National Post, September 20, 2000

It is our very own Mining Law of 1872 which continues, with reckless disregard to our economy and our environment, to turn over federal assets to the control of foreign nationals.
- Representative Nick Rahall, floor debate, U.S. Congress, June 1999

Environmentalists claim that the ultimate goal is to preserve and protect nature for the good of all mankind. In actuality, however, the danger to mankind is from environmentalism in its excessive form. Expressing a profound hatred for all that is human, radical environmentalism seeks a natural world in which birds and trees happily exist with their needs fulfilled because human activities have been vanquished.
- James L. Hirsen, The Coming Collision: Global Law vs. U.S. Liberties

They're pumping all the life out of the earth. It's not humane, it's not right. It'll be paid for by children not even here yet.
- Carrie Dunn, Shoshone (quoted by Rebecca Solnit)

How do you measure gold against a landscape? How do you weigh 760 tons of cold metal against the splendor of a 400-mile-long mountain range teeming with grizzly, elk, antelope, and spring-run salmon? How do you weigh it against clear, fast-flowing rivers, an enormous bay full of wetlands, aquatic life, and edible fish? How do you compare it to the dozens of small Indian nations who for thousands of years had woven their local places and creatures into marvelous stories?
- Rebecca Solnit, The New Gold Rush

To value gold over water is to value economy over ecology, that which can be locked up over that which connects all things.
- Rebecca Solnit, "The New Gold Rush," Sierra, July/August 2000

Mourn not the dead who in the cool earth lie
Dust to dust
The calm sweet earth that mothers all who die
As all men must
But rather mourn the apathetic throng
The cowed and the meek
Who see the world's great anguish and its wrong
And dare not speak.

- Anonymous Memorial to Clair C. Killen, West End of Norris Dam, Tennessee

Our goal is to destroy, to eradicate the environmental movement. We want to be able to exploit the environment for private gain, absolutely. And we want people to understand that this is a noble goal.
- Ron Arnold, Wise Use movement from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) website

The chemical war cannot be won, and all life is caught in its violent crossfire.
- Rachael Carson, Silent Spring

Technologically we are becoming more modern. But we've lost the sense of living. I'm not against civilization. But my forefathers are from the trees. I am afraid for them.
- Nellya A. Prushenova (A history teacher's response to the violations of nature she sees coming with an oil pipeline to her village of Zun-Murino in Buryatiya, just north of Mongolia. The villagers practice Buryat shamanism, which centers on a reverance for nature. From Sabrina Tavernise, "If Trees Are Family, An Oil Pipeline is Ungodly," The New York Times, February 19, 2003)

When the planes still swoop down and aerial spray a field in order to kill a predator insect with pesticide, we are in the Dark Ages of commerce. Maybe one thousandth of this aerial insecticide actually prevents the infestation. The balance goes to the leaves, into the soil, into the water, into all forms of wildlife, into ourselves. What is good for the balance sheet is wasteful of resources and harmful to life.
- Paul Hawken, The Ecology of Commerce

A time comes when silence is betrayal. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought, within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. (Molly Ivins, "A Few of My Favorite Quotes," 12/29/02)


The American West at Risk: Science, Myths and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery

The American West At Risk summarizes the dominant human-generated environmental challenges in the 11 contiguous arid western United States - America's legendary, even mythical, frontier.

It now faces depletion of many of these resources, and potentially serious threats to its few "renewable" resources.

Purchase Here at Oxford Press



Dr. Howard G. Wilshire, Geologist; Dr. Jane E. Nielson, Geologist; Richard W. Hazlett, Geologist

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