true motive

the entire essay ‘the round river’ is good to read. it concludes: ‘considering the prodigious achievements of the profit motive in wrecking land, one hesitates to reject it as a vehicle for restoring land. i incline to believe we have overestimated the scope of the profit motive.’ leopold wonders, ‘is it profitable for the individual to build a beautiful home? to give his [sic] children a higher education?’ no, but ‘once accepted,’ these smaller details ‘tend to align’ with the overall economics. yet, no such motive ‘exists for the condition of the land these children must live in’ which he thinks is ‘the root of the problem.’ his solution? ‘conservation eduction must build … an ethical underpinning for land economics and a universal curiosity for the land mechanism’ (A Sand County Almanac, 201-202). only sixty years later, we are beginning to see some of that curiosity in our schools and our communal gardens.

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