Aldo Leopold’s essay and Robin Wall Kimmerer’s books share a similar message to their audience on environmental consciousness. Both writers preach the gospel of caring for nature by humans to create a system that can ensure ecological sustainability. Both of the environmentalists hailed from the United States and have spurned ideas on how the continent ought to act to save nature from extinction.
Comparison of the Ideas
Leopold gives insight into how the nature where all the living things draw their life from are all integrated into one cycle hence depend on each other for their sustainability (Lin, 2020). Humans should treat nature with gratitude such as, when one cuts down a tree, he/she should replace it with another hence creating a cycle where humans replenishes nature to create a sustainable environment. This compounds one of Kemmerer’s ideas of reciprocation. The idea illustrates how humans treat nature, especially the food it provides. For instance, when one picks a fruit from a tree, it does so without expecting a gift in return; this is called the gift economy. However, people should form a mutually beneficial relationship with the trees such that when the fruit is offered, a person can take the seedlings and sow them as a gift.
Leopold outlined the ignorance of humans to nature is brought about by increase in use of human technology which alienates people from nature and its importance in the process of creating a thriving environment such as how trees remove carbon dioxide from nature and replaces it with oxygen which maintains our existence. The use of technology to treat nature is also described by Kimmerer, who argues that the use of unsustainable technology, such as spraying toxic insecticides, is causing more harm than good to nature eventually. Kimmerer comes up with the idea of how the use of traditional methods such as the “three sisters” technique where crops can thrive without harmful modern technologies (Sullivan, 2019). Leopold shows how the use of these technologies combine to form a greater risk, such as global warming and extinction of species such as pollinators.
Importance of the Ideas in the Modern World
These similarities are essential for the prosperity of the continent; therefore, each individual should take action necessary for the preservation of nature for posterity purposes. The reciprocal relationship between humanity and nature can lead to the conservation of species of plants that are at risk of extinction due to their colossal consumption rates by humans. The use of modern agricultural practices such as harmful pesticides should be regulated or be done away with. These chemicals contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer hence are also responsible for climate change scenarios happening in the world right now, such as global warming.
Lin, Q. F. (2020). Aldo Leopold: a selected and annotated bibliography for socio-ecological practice researchers. Socio-Ecological Practice Research, 1-8.
Sullivan, H. (2019). Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. In Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies (Vol. 55, No. 4, pp. 425-427). University of Toronto Press.