Cronon “The Trouble with Wilderness” + Sullivan The Meadowlands

The Meadowlands (Sullivan)


Sullivan’s writing opened my eyes to the scale of pollution in the Meadowlands, a place that I had never heard of before reading. A few things that really caught my interest were:
• The rivers are so polluted that you needed to filter the water multiple times before you could drink it and even then it was still suspicious.
• When we brought in diplomats from other countries to New York, we tried to detour them around the Meadowlands because we were so embarrassed of the pollution
• I was especially shocked when I read that there were hills of garbage everywhere
The many examples that he gives us to show the scale of the amount of pollution in the Meadowlands makes me wonder why we allow this to exist.

meadowlands_april_2014_01
It made me ponder the question:
• Are people willing to sacrifice economic growth in order to be more environmentally friendly?
• I would say No, because all throughout history people came to the Meadowlands for it’s abundance of resources but left all the waste of production in the Meadowlands as well.
• Overtime, the resources became extinct and all that is left now is the waste making the Meadowlands pretty much useless today.
Not many people today are interested in cleaning up the Meadowlands because there is no human benefit to them anymore.
The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature (Cronon)
• I would have to agree that it is time to rethink the word wilderness because the traditional definition is not working. We as humans have the technology to have an impact (both negative and positive) just about anywhere in the world.
• I also thought it was interesting that previous definitions called wilderness, “barren, desert, etc.” I would say this is pretty close to present day wilderness because if humans can not use it then it is a waste.
• I also thought the part about wilderness being created by man. That in reality we have constructed it and there is nothing natural about it. This is done by essentially creating National Parks and fence in an area and call it the wilderness. One thing I do not agree on is that we removed the Indians to create an “uninhabited wilderness.”
• I also had to agree with him when he says that we as humans live an urban-industrialized society and we pretend that we belong and came from the wilderness. I do feel people today believe this and not know the first thing about the wilderness.
• At the end I think the author made a lot of good points in his critique of wilderness. I also believe that if we do honor the wild and learn more about and become more aware of our actions then we can start to make the wilderness natural again.

The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature (Cronon)


• I would have to agree that it is time to rethink the word wilderness because the traditional definition is not working. We as humans have the technology to have an impact (both negative and positive) just about anywhere in the world.
• I also thought it was interesting that previous definitions called wilderness, “barren, desert, etc.” I would say this is pretty close to present day wilderness because if humans can not use it then it is a waste.
• I also thought the part about wilderness being created by man. That in reality we have constructed it and there is nothing natural about it. This is done by essentially creating National Parks and fence in an area and call it the wilderness. One thing I do not agree on is that we removed the Indians to create an “uninhabited wilderness.”
• I also had to agree with him when he says that we as humans live an urban-industrialized society and we pretend that we belong and came from the wilderness. I do feel people today believe this and not know the first thing about the wilderness.
• At the end I think the author made a lot of good points in his critique of wilderness. I also believe that if we do honor the wild and learn more about and become more aware of our actions then we can start to make the wilderness natural again.

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