Review of Man Swarm and the Killing of Wildlife
Guest blog by Leon Kolankiewicz, wildlife biologist and environmental planner.
This book review was originally posted August 9, 2011 on NumbersUSA
“How far conservationists and environmentalists have fallen from what now seem to me to be the Golden Years of the 1960s and 1970s. No wonder I’m such an old sorehead.”
— Dave Foreman, Man Swarm and the Killing of Wildlife (Durango, CO: Raven’s Eye Press, 2011; p. 121)
As a founder of Earth First!, The Wildlands Project, and the Rewilding Institute, as well as the author of Confessions of an Eco-Warrior and other books, Dave Foreman is one of America’s most iconic living conservationists. Foreman belongs in an elite outfit we might call the Old Guard Conservationists, including such legends as David Brower (one-time Sierra Club executive director and board member, founder of Friends of the Earth, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Earth Island Institute), Senator Gaylord Nelson (founder of Earth Day, counselor for the Wilderness Society), Captain Paul Watson (founder of Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society), and Stewart Udall (former Interior Secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and author of the conservation classic The Quiet Crisis).
It is no exaggeration that these same individuals helped shape the America we live in today. Our country is a far better place than it might have been without their endeavors, and those of other leaders and their legions of followers. This is because – in spite of the beleaguered condition and troubled future of the American environment – today our country goes to much greater lengths and expense to protect our shared natural heritage than it used to before these heroes began their teach-ins, protests, organizing, lawmaking, lawsuits, newspaper ads, marches, speeches, direct action, books, and civil disobedience. And the beneficiaries of all these efforts, awareness, and funding are our treasured wildlife, endangered species, wilderness, clean air and water, open space, public health, national parks, forests, and fisheries. And of course, the Americans who care about these things.
It is also no exaggeration that the Old Guard Conservationists, those coming of age or already in their prime around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, recognized the role of explosive, unsustainable human population growth in piling ever more pressure on the environment.
In contrast, with precious few exceptions, at least in their public postures, contemporary leaders of the politically correct Environmental Establishment either tend to ignore U.S. overpopulation altogether (their preferred strategy), or when pressed, actively dismiss or minimize its role as a causative agent of greater environmental impacts. (At the same time, in a hushed tone or whisper, some may tell you that of course population is a huge issue, but it’s also a radioactive one that they and their organization must avoid at all costs.)
By the Environmental Establishment, I mean the well-funded, well-connected, politically potent, big national environmental groups.
Please click on the attachment below to read Leon’s entire article.
I always feel a not-so-undercurrent of deep deep sadness these days about where we are as a society in our denial of the importance of and just plain lack of caring about wildlife, wilderness and climate change. There’s no progress, just a relentless chipping away, chipping away. Humans are the scourge of this planet.Reply