Edward Abbey on Life

“To make the distinction unmistakably clear: Civilization is the vital force in human history; culture is that inert mass of institutions and organizations which accumulate around and tend to drag down the advance of life; Civilization is Giordano Bruno facing death by fire; culture is the Cardinal Bellarmino, after ten years of inquisition, sending Bruno to the stake in the Campo di Fiori; Civilization is Sartre; culture Cocteau; Civilization is mutual aid and self-defense; culture is the judge, the lawbook and the forces of Law & Ordure (sic); Civilization is uprising, insurrection, revolution; culture is the war of state against state, or of machines against people, as in Hungary and Vietnam; Civilization is tolerance, detachment and humor, or passion, anger, revenge; culture is the entrance examination, the gas chamber, the doctoral dissertation and the electric chair; Civilization is the Ukrainian peasant Nestor Makhno fighting the Germans, then the Reds, then the Whites, then the Reds again; culture is Stalin and the Fatherland; Civilization is Jesus turning water into wine; culture is Christ walking on the waves; Civilization is a youth with a Molotov cocktail in his hand; culture is the Soviet tank or the L.A. cop that guns him down; Civilization is the wild river; culture, 592,000 tons of cement; Civilization flows; culture thickens and coagulates, like tired, sick, stifled blood.”

  • “Episodes and Visions”, p. 308

“The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an “equalizer.” Egalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed — but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny.”

  • Abbey’s Road (1979)

My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation’s history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.

  • Confessions of a Barbarian: Selections from the Journals of Edward Abbey, 1951-1989 (1994) p. 92

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

  • From a speech to environmentalists in Missoula, Montana, and in Colorado, which was published in High Country News, (24 September 1976), under the title “Joy, Shipmates, Joy!”, as quoted in Saving Nature’s Legacy : Protecting and Restoring Biodiversity(1994) by Reed F. Noss, Allen Y. Cooperrider, and Rodger Schlickeisen, p. 338 ISBN 1559632488

Journal Entry: “Endangered Wilderness! Call to arms!”

On Saturday, March 5th I attended a photography presentation and talk given by Harvey Halpern at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science(VINS) courtesy of an invite given by my friend, Maureen Sheldon about the endangered wilderness and what we can do to protect and preserve it.  I not only had the priviledge to view some amazing photography of lovely Utah landscapes that most people have not seen, I also had the pleasure of speaking with others who share my passion for the preservation of nature and the wilderness.

Some of you may be thinking, Utah…it’s so far away from me and my world.  But in fact, the desecration of our wilderness is happening close to home in Maine along the Appalachian Trail as well.  These public lands are under threat of development, being stripped for their resources and are on the brink of being lost forever.  The actions being taken by those opposing what is happening in Utah are setting a standard and model for what others can do to fight the development of these wilderness regions, owned by you, that should remain untouched by the hand of man.  Regions which, of solitude and nature, should be left to its own devices.

Here is a link that will provide more information on Southern Utah:

Maureen, Harvey, Tree(from VINS) and I are discussing putting together a hiking trip to visit this region.  If you are interested in going or would like more detailed information on what you can do to get involved please contact me at: nichole.l.hastings@gmail.com

Now to address the threat in Maine on the Bigelow Preserve, a wind farm that would be visible within 4-miles from the Appalachian Trail.  This wind farm would not only put in place infrastructure, that in my mind is one step closer to other developments, it would dominate a  remote region considered ‘wilderness’ and for many hikers an escape, a moment of solitude from civilization.

Here is a link about the Bigelow Preserve:

Here are some other links that will give you a better idea of the current state of affairs concerning the Highland Winds LLC wind farm:

Maine needs your help!  Utah needs your help!  If you are a Vermont resident, your state reps are in support of those working to protect the wilderness in Utah.  If you are a New Hampshire resident then you need to write a letter to Jeanne Shaheen asking for her support of Utah. And while you’re at it, let’s address Maine.

You may do so here:

Support of Utah, your efforts in supporting Utah will help with what is happening in Maine.  Please write and get involved.  Nature needs your support and voice.  As the MATC points out on their website, Maine is an exporter of energy.  Le’s contemplate this.  I am a supporter of clean renewable energy but not at this cost.

Please take action and let others know who may be interested in supporting these causes.  Thank you.