According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Aldo Leopold - Caring for this Good Earth


Key Ideas of Conservation

Aldo Leopold (c.1887-1948) was a naturalist who was ahead of his time. He was an early advocate for conservation and naturalism in America. Having been taught at Yale's School of Forestry to manage land he left with the strong feeling that land should not be managed but left wild. That it was important to save the wild places as they are and to protect them from the encroachment of man. His overall rule was to connect people back to the land so that they may understand its value and importance.

He wrote a thin journal of his experiences A Sand County Almanac over a 12 year span documenting his thoughts, observations, and philosophy. From this study arose the following ideas:

What is the Land Ethic? To retain and preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community in partnership and preservation of the land. It is positive concept that we must work towards at all times in planning and development, living and being, connecting and integrating.

What is Conservation? - Conservation is the state of harmony between men and the land.

What are the 3 key ideas behind a Land Ethic?
1. Land is a community of all living things.
2. Land is to be loved and respected.
3. Land creates an ongoing awareness of the connection between it and humans.

What should be our response to promoting a Land Ethic? - Public conservation efforts have little chance of success until private individuals, organizations, and corporations feel a strong personal relationship for the health of the land. Promotion of this relationship may take many forms.

Greenfire is a promotional film describing Aldo Leopold's conservation efforts. It may be found here.

Wikipedia BioAldo Leopold



“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.
But when we see land as a community to which we belong,
we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

- Aldo Leopold



“The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants,
and animals, or collectively: the land... In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homo Sapiens
from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect
for  this fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.”

- Aldo Leopold



“Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land.
We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. But when we see land
as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

- Aldo Leopold

“A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke [of the axe]
he is writing his signature on the face of the land.”

- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac



“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 laymen. 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 believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” 

- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

“No matter how intently one studies the hundred little dramas of the woods and meadows,
one can never learn all the salient facts about any one of them.”

- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River



“We shall never achieve harmony with the land, anymore than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty
for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.”

- Aldo Leopold, Round River: From the Journals of Aldo Leopold

“The problem, then, is how to bring about a striving for harmony with land among a people many of 
whom have forgotten there is any such thing as land, among whom education and culture have
become almost synonymous with landlessness. This is the problem of conservation education.”

- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac



“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm.
One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery,
and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”

- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, the stability, and beauty of the
biotic  community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

- Aldo Leopold

Caring for Grasslands of the Earth

“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them.
Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural,
wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.”

- Aldo Leopold

“Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of the wolf.”

- Aldo Leopold

Caring for the Seas of the Earth

“Civilization has so cluttered this elemental man-earth relationship with gadgets and middlemen that
that awareness of it is growing dim. We fancy that industry supports us, forgetting what supports industry.”

- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River

“That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology,
but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics.”

- Aldo Leopold



“Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent
this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet;
one need only own a shovel. By virtue of this curious loophole in the rules, any clodhopper may
say: Let there be a tree - and there will be one.”

- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River

“Man always kills the thing he loves, and so we the pioneers have killed our wilderness. Some say we
had to. Be that as it may, I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.
Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?”

- Aldo Leopold

Earth Care Interconnectivity

“To those who know the speech of hills and rivers straightening a stream is like shipping vagrants -
a very successful method of passing trouble from one place to the next. It solves nothing in
any collective sense.”

- Aldo Leopold, For the Health of the Land: Previously Unpublished Essays And Other Writings

“Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off
his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators... The land is one organism.”

- Aldo Leopold



“At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree
useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant.”

- Aldo Leopold

“Wilderness is a resource which can shrink but not grow... creation of new wilderness
in the full sense of the word is impossible.”

- Aldo Leopold




Join your local chapter or conservation group today
promoting earth care and regeneration












Aldo Leopold: The Land Ethic




Aldo Leopold: Conservation Movement




Wildlife - Conservation: The Life and Legacy of Aldo Leopold
The GreenFire Film Project







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