Eryri, the Mountains of Longing


by Amory Lovins

with photographs by Phillip Evans

introduction by Sir Charles Evans

edited, with a foreword by David R. Brower

 

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH SAN FRANCISCO, NEW YORK, LONDON, PARIS

The McCall Publishing Company, New York     George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London

Copyright 1971

 

from the foreword . . .

Technology accelerates the liberation of resources, yes, but it is not creating them; it is finding them and using them up, then looking for the energy to repeat the process with progressively poorer materials, moving them faster, making them into smaller, less recoverable fragments for a diminishing proportion of the earth's growing masses of people. Wisely used, technology should enable us to do more with less, but the change to such use has barely begun. We have not yet learned to ask,before undertaking a vast project, what does it cost the earth?

One thing it costs is wildness; and wildness itself, we are just perceiving, holds answers to questions man has not yet learned how to ask. In obliterating wilderness, the physicist J.H. Rush points out, man repudiates the evolutionary force that put him on this planet and in a deeply terrifying sense is on his own. By merely letting our present momentum sweep us on with it, we can grind through the world's last wild places swiftly. Just the undisciplined dash for energy sources can by itself obliterate wilderness. Eventually the sources will be gone -- the damsites, the fossil fuels, the places to isolate atomic waste if we ever find them -- so we will learn to use less energy, not more; to live within the earth's income instead of exploding and spilling our way through the capital the earth took thousands of millions of years to acquire.

The insistent question remains: Do we return to ways the earth can sustain while the earth still has wildness in it, or do we postpone the inevitable until we have severed outright and irrevocably those unbroken living connections to the beginning of life that wilderness has preserved? Dare we repudiate the evolutionary force?

Better goals are desirable, worth predicting now, worth the struggle to make the predictions come true, far superior to acquiescence in forecasts we have been getting lately of a world devoid first of charm, then of love, and finally of life. . . .

DAVID BROWER

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THE WILDNESS WITHIN US