Hidden away between the Jungle Books of Rudyard Kipling is a lovely story titled "The Miracle of Puran Bhagat". Sir Purun Das KCIE however came to mind again while reading Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild (1996), which I have just read many years after it was first published. A very impressive and moving work that everyone who thinks about themselves and the environment will appreciate. Economics and ecology, both words derived from the same roots (oikos for "home"), are remarkably disparate and the connections and disconnections resulting from mixing the two should make anyone think about the compromises we make. Even though few would be against conserving the environment, the debates of left versus right, top-down versus bottom-up are enough to suggest that the least contradictions are found in the anarcho-primitivist position. Unfortunately, it is a position that very few have managed to attempt living without getting into the situation of Chris McCandless or Theodore Kazynski. And it seems like one has to also read Tolstoy and Thoreau and so much more to understand the origins of the various viewpoints. It would be great if there was an accessible classification of the various philosophical underpinnings of conservation to make up for the rather superficial and misused blanket labels widely in use.
"When the first handful of Norwegians showed up on the shores of Iceland in the ninth century, the papar (Irish monks) decided the country had become too crowded-even though it was still all but uninhabited. The monk's response was to climb into their curraghs and row off towards Greenland. They were drawn across the storm-racked ocean, drawn west past the edge of the known world, by nothing more than a hunger of the spirit, a yearning of such queer intensity that it beggars the modern imagination." Into the Wild p. 97
|"waiting for father" by R A Sterndale - this was about a family of bears waiting for their father that was killed. The next day the mother bear was also killed. Sterndale's work was an inspiration for Kipling.|
PS: It seems like this site lets me post notes but does not let me post responses to comments!