Throughout Encounters with the Arch druid.doc

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Religious Studies
RLST 4830
Rodney Taylor

Will Pringle 9 March 2009 The Green Knight Throughout Encounters with the Archdruid, McPhee shows the promise and legacy of David Brower but ultimately perhaps shows his martyrdom. While Brower’s success are mentioned and chronicled must notably with the island it is the closing story that perhaps leads the reader seeing a fall or limit to Brower’s success as he ultimately fails to stop the Glen Canyon Dam from construction and then is kicked out of the Sierra Club. This however only serves in many ways to inspire the reader to see that one man, one organization at its best can only delay the imminent industrialization of nature so much. Therefore while one view of Brower’s life may be seen as tragic due to his constant battles and multiple firings, his life truly was a testament to what one man can do as his life and his organizations did and continue to prevent excessive land waste. Brower perhaps serves as the ideal model for conservation as he fought his battles through aggressive politics rather than through eco-terrorism or the passive compromising politics of many active conservationist organizations. While he certainly pushed the Sierra Club into political controversy by putting out ads and refusing to compromise on certain projects he did manage to avoid the radical side of the Earth First movement and potentially damage the legacy of all he had worked for. As Taylor cites, the Earth First political claim is that “democracy in the U.S. is a sham, thoroughly thwarted by economic power; or, even if not a complete sham, the democratic political system is so distorted by corporate power and regressive human attitudes that it cannot respond quickly enough to avert the escalating extinction catastrophe”. Brower certainly would agree that corporate power and regressive attitudes add to the catastrophe but he seemed to hold a higher hope for democracy than the Earth First movement. Brower’s terms as leader of the sierra club focused more on member growth than capital growth and his aggressive political moves were generally focused on gaining grand public attention. Furthermore, Brower was willing to meet, to discuss and to persuade those in the corporate driving seats as witnessed throughout Encounters with the Archdruid rather than a
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