What’s with Ozymandias?

Roman-era historian Diodorus Siculus, who described a statue of Ozymandias, more commonly known as Rameses II (possibly the pharaoh referred to in the Book of Exodus). Diodorus reports the inscription on the statue, which he claims was the largest in Egypt, as follows: “King of Kings Ozymandias am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work.” (The statue and its inscription do not survive, and were not seen by Shelley; his inspiration for  [the sonnet]  “Ozymandias” was verbal rather than visual.)  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/guide/238972   View Shelley’s sonnet here.

This paper is a commentary on the book; Keeping the Wild:  Against the Domestication of Earth

The book is Edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler. Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology in collaboration with Island Press, 2014, Washington D.C.



What’s So New about the “New Conservation”?


Curt Meine


Curt Meine, Ph.D., is a conservation biologist, historian, and writer.


Let us schedule that Funeral


In this essay Meine begins with a story, somewhat of a parody concerning the new Conservationists.  As I’ve posted, I choose to refer to them as Human Centred Conservationists as opposed to the established and sensible effort to protect the biodiversity and integrity of all life on Earth.  Life on Earth is NOT all about people. We emerged only yesterday in the chronology of Earth’s development and our frontal lobe growth may at the end of the day cause us to be a failed experiment or failed evolutionary development.


Meine continues on the theme of disagreeing that the “old” conservationists agreed and promoted the idea that wilderness must be “pristine” and excluded humans.  There is valid evidence that this is absolutely false.  This falseness is exposed here and in several essays to follow.  “Old” conservationists did acknowledge the rights of humans to co-exist with other-than-human beings.  “Old” conservationists did not blindly adhere to the mythical “balance of a static Nature.  “Old” conservationists disagree that modern science has pronounced that the Earth is actually tough and resilient.  Looking at Earth as a living being must remind us that humans, for instance, can look resilient yet suffer and sustain life threatening illness. Destroying diversity is dangerous to the maintenance of Earth’s Health. A healthy human population requires a healthy Earth.  “Old” conservationists failed according to HCCs.  One look at the Wildlands Network: http://www.wildlandsnetwork.org/our-network reflects the unfairness of this statement.  Anyway, whatever the limitations to conservationists goal achievement such would not justify giving up the attempt.  Children still smoke, but who would use this as an excuse to give up trying to prevent the exploitation of the young by selling them tobacco?


Meine concludes with this quote from Aldo Leopold, the honoured prophet and mentor of the conservation movement:


“I have no illusions about the speed or accuracy with which an ecological conscience can become functional.  It has required 19 centuries to define decent man-to-man conduct and the process is only half done; it may take as long to evolve a code of decency for man-to-land conduct.


[Sky:  Sorry, but we just don’t have that long to wait. Aldo couldn’t have known this.  Who knows what he would have said could he have had access to the climate change scientific evidence we have now?]


In such matters we should not worry too much about anything except the direction in which we travel.


[Sky: We know now that speed is important]


The direction is clear, and the first step is to throw your weight around on matters of right and wrong in land-use.  Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits,


[Sky: Avoiding air travel whenever possible falls into this category.  It is just not true that “the plane will fly anyway even if you don’t”. Every 50 or so people that quit flying along a particular connection means too many empty seats and the cancellation of that flight.  When these individual actions add up to significant drops in passenger miles, new aircraft builds will be cancelled and flight frequencies lowered.  The law of supply and demand still rules.]


or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays.


[Sky:  This is the pragmatist outlook which I despise now and the moment I first read about it in 1958]




That philosophy is dead in human relations, and its funeral in land-relations is overdue.”

[Sky: well, it has been resurrected by the HCCs – Human Centred Conservationists]



Yes, it is long overdue and Conservation Biologists worldwide and lay-people like myself can work tirelessly to schedule that funeral.