Leopold writes, “In human history, we have learned (I hope) that the conqueror role is eventually self-defeating. Why?”
1. Leopold writes, “In human history, we have learned (I hope) that the conqueror role is eventually self-defeating. Why?”
2. This is a reader response. Read the book “American Earth,” page265-294, all about Aldo Leopold. The book is edited by Bill McKibben, Foreworded by Al Gore. Use direct quote from this indicated book only, no other resources required.
3. In one succinct paragraph, explain what Leopold means by this claim. In one clear sentence, state whether you agree with him, or not, and why. Use MLA format and at least one quote in your paragraph.
4. The sample response is just for reference; please do not copy any part of it.
Sample reader response:
In A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold writes, “In human history, we have learned (I hope) that the conqueror role is eventually self-defeating.” (279) Leopold arrived at this conclusion based upon the general history of humans conquering each other and other inhabitants of the Earth. An example he used to prove his point was when the English conquered the wetlands of the Wisconsin River. They invaded the habitat to produce hay without any regard for the current tenants of the time (the animals, soil, and plants). For a while the haymakers were farming ecologically friendly. Their crops, the soil, the plants, and the wildlife were all able to thrive together. The people, being ignorant of this ideal arrangement, destroyed the habitat due to their greed for greater hay production. “They did not include soil, plants, or birds in their ideas of mutuality.” (269) Ditches and drainage canals were dug in the Marsh to expel the water, in order to create more usable land for growing hay. The haymakers found shortly after the error of their ways. “For a decade or two crops grew poorer, fires deeper, wood-fields larger, and cranes scarcer, year by year.” (270) The people eventually found that by re-plugging the ditches and canals the water would return. The government realized the severity of the damages to the environment and forced all inhabitants to move from the area. The area from then on became a nationally protected park. This example of the conquering role leading to self-defeat is one of many throughout human history. Will we ever stop repeating our same mistakes? I remain hopeful. I agree with Leopold in that history shows that the conqueror role leads to self-defeat, but I don’t believe that humanity, as a whole, has learned it yet.
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