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ConnieAnnKirk
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Walden: Thoreau and the "Green" Movement

Starting this thread for Redcatlady!

 

~ConnieK

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Redcatlady
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What Effect Does Walden Have on Today's "Green" Movement?

I'm trying to establish a new thread here, but I did something wrong, and I would appreciate the Board's help in correcting it.

 

 

Well, what effect does Walden have on the "green" movement today?  Feel free to comment, debate, whatever.  I'm interested in knowing.

 

Redcatlady 

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WildCityWoman
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Re: What Effect Does Walden Have on Today's "Green" Movement?

I don't know if Thoreau affected such directly, or indirectly, but I do notice more and more people are conscious of 'greening up' and are doing so.

 

There are more and more spaces being filled with green plants, flowering plants or just plain wild plants . . . I'm noticing people aren't particular about whether they've selected store-bought 'blue hat society' plants for their front yards, or worked with Queen Anne's Lace, tall bluebells, eggs n' butter . . . things like that are a joy to see blooming along with the established  plantings and the more conventional annuals like petunias and impatiens.

 

Even though condos are going up everywhere on the lakeshore here, people still make an effort to cultivate beds of wildflowers. Places in parks where once was just a creative arrangement of patio stones, are being filled with plants of all kinds.

 

Grass lawns, which require a lot of fussing, are being replaced with shrubs that grow and grow and grow, giving off lovely flowers and scents.

 

Green on!

 

...........................................

 

In Walden, I particularly like that chapter about the beans and how he says he would rather grow beans than grass.

 

Why he included grass seed in his purchases, I don't know - maybe for the smaller animals to graze.

 

 

Carly

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Everyman
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Re: What Effect Does Walden Have on Today's "Green" Movement?

I don't see that Walden has much if any impact on the green movement.   He was really doing something quite different. The green movement seems to be concerned mostly with keeping on keeping the benefits we have (warm houses, plentiful good food, enjoying the convenience of refrigerators, freezers, stoves, dishwashers, TVs, computers, but doing it all in a way that has less impact on the environment. 

 

Walden wasn't about just reducing your environment impact, but was about doing with as little as possible.  A modern Walden would dispense with non-solar heat and hot water, electricity, computers, machines generally, vehicles, out of season foods, etc.  Very different thing from the green movement.

 

(Byh the way, have you noticed that there are beginning to be some very legitimate voices warning that the next fifty years may in fact be a cooling period and we will be grateful for the limited effect man can have to provide a degree of global warming to reduce the negative effects of global cooling?)

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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: What Effect Does Walden Have on Today's "Green" Movement?

I think many naturalists and environmentalists look to Thoreau's experiment in the woods for inspiration.  His connection with Nature echoes theirs, and his general notion that we don't need perhaps as much technology as we are able to create (especially to the point that it damages or shrinks the natural world) is in tune with many of their goals.  The "green" movement, as I understand it, seeks ways to have humans to leave as small a "footprint" on the earth as possible in terms of damage like gases that damage the ozone layer, etc.  They may not advocate that we all go to the woods and live more simply; however, like Thoreau, they would like to see human beings live in better harmony with the woods, the oceans, the air, etc.

 

~ConnieK

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LAX_observer
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Re: What Effect Does Walden Have on Today's "Green" Movement?

I don't believe either of those great men, or Gaylord Nelson for that matter, would have ever dreamt the world and our country's forest streams and plains would be in the state now they are in. They all knew, expected, in their own ways that this is where we were going to end up today and all felt strongly enough about changing the course we are on to do what they did, and write what they wrote about the climate and our impact on it. "Greenies" today may not be toting off Walden quotes but his words and Nelson's actions still hold true, and directly or indirectly influence the men and women today continuing that work. Which is a great cause, but has a long way to reach where we ought to be. Godspeed to environmentalists' work and good health to all

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Redcatlady
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Thoreau being used to track climate change


Everyman wrote:

I don't see that Walden has much if any impact on the green movement.   He was really doing something quite different. The green movement seems to be concerned mostly with keeping on keeping the benefits we have (warm houses, plentiful good food, enjoying the convenience of refrigerators, freezers, stoves, dishwashers, TVs, computers, but doing it all in a way that has less impact on the environment. 

 

Walden wasn't about just reducing your environment impact, but was about doing with as little as possible.  A modern Walden would dispense with non-solar heat and hot water, electricity, computers, machines generally, vehicles, out of season foods, etc.  Very different thing from the green movement.

 

(Byh the way, have you noticed that there are beginning to be some very legitimate voices warning that the next fifty years may in fact be a cooling period and we will be grateful for the limited effect man can have to provide a degree of global warming to reduce the negative effects of global cooling?)


Found this interesting link to this Mother Jones article:

 

http://motherjones.com/environment/2012/03/thoreaus-journal-climate-change

 

Redcatlady

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chad
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Re: What Effect Does Walden Have on Today's "Green" Movement?

[ Edited ]

I tend to think any green movement, if one exists, is more influened by the environmental movement of the 60's. Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" is often cited as being the influential environmental novel.

 

I don't doubt that the Thoreau influnenced a "green movement", but politics had always surrounded that novel- the publishing influenced the 1860's election.

 

Chad

 

PS- Thoreau kind of looks like Lincoln too....:smileyvery-happy: