wounds

leopold lamented that ‘one of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to the layman [etc., sic]. an ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that sees itself well and does not want to be told otherwise’ (A Sand County Almanac, 197). thanks to the internet, i don’t feel so all alone, and even in my town concerned people are re-learning old ways, like growing food and canning–‘reskilling’ it’s often called. still, with all this asphalt and plastic about, in this ‘community that sees itself well and does not want to be told otherwise’ that is midland, you can understand leopold’s feeling of isolation. wounds can lead to infection, infection to fever. james lovelock, co-author of the gaia hypothesis, thinks the earth has a high fever and we are the infection, that ecologically this planet is struggling to maintain homeostasis. still, it’s perhaps a necessary lesson.

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