Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Starting to Read The Monkey Wrench Gang

First Edition Cover
Edward Abbey's Monkey Wrench Gang definitely has a "70s zeitgeist". From a 21st-century viewpoint, the Gang does not conform to the American media's portrayal of environmentalists — the book's characters eat a lot of red meat, own firearms, litter the roadside with empty beer cans and drive big cars.The Gang attacks American Indians as well as whites for consumer habits and sneer at the Sierra Club. The Gang sees the "enemy" as those who would develop the American Southwest— despoiling the land, befouling the air, and destroying Nature and the sacred purity of Abbey's desert world. Their greatest hatred is focused on the Glen Canyon Dam which Abbey thinks is destroying the Colorado River and its environs.

Both juniors and seniors will be examining environmental issues through the lens of justice.

What's justice got to do with it? Do we have a responsibility to future generations?

IGSS students are concerned about the Gulf Oil Spill, our carbon footprint, the great Pacific garbage patch, alternative energy and water conservation.

Poor environmental practices lead to unjust living conditions for citizens of a lower economic class, main third world citizens.

We have a moral obligation to respect the earth and the land we use so that future generations can use it.

Sustainability seems to be a fad; buying local food is a better idea than buying organic food. Conventionally grown foods are better when you consider shipping and traveling distances.

Repurpose-ing:  fashion designers use older materials to recycle and reuse. Industrial hemp is unfortunately illegal in this country.

Further discussion:
Excerpt from Silent Spring by Rachel Carson:
1. What are Carson's most persuasive points and why?
2. In what ways is Carson's writing prophetic?
3. Which current environmental issues would most stick in Carson's craw?

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