Eco-Sabotage: Right Or Wrong – Monkey Wrench Gang Essay

After reading the Monkey Wrench Gang, by Edward Abbey, I find myself questioning the moral and philosophical aspects of eco-sabotage. Is it right? Is it helping? I find myself unclear on where I stand on the issue. If it were me, would I be out there on the front lines? Or would I fall back, and stand by the safety of everyday life? I find myself thinking that I would be out there, but I wouldnt follow the example of those in the book. To me, they didnt have their reasoning, or their strategies quite set in line. So, I believe that eco-saboteurs have the general idea, but they need to revise their tactics.

Now, I will admit, in reality, most eco-saboteurs are out their fighting for the right reasons. Urban Dictionary defines them as eco-warriors; people who are fighting for the greater good, even illegally. People who will quietly and quickly strike against the government, slowing down the destruction of this world with simple things, like sugar and Karo syrup. They find ways of spreading the message: theres only one Earth, and this is the life Im in. Im going to protect it, no matter what you say. Watch me.

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Are we running out of time? they say. How soon until the earth falls out of balance until life ceases to exist? The facts are clear, and they’re saying: not very long. We’re letting glaciers melt, gas burn, and rainforests be destroyed.

Rainforests are something often associated with conservation. Save the Rainforest! Earth First!, a well-known environmental defense [aka: ecosaboteur] group, has a history with this particular area. On one particular peaceful attack against Brazil’s deforestation, this was written: “There was evidence, denied by Earth First!, of traditional monkey-wrenching tactics…” (Google Books).

And so many things fall down the tubes when the rainforests go. For one, rainforest deforestation is often cited as being a major cause of the greenhouse effect. It’s because these old, majestic trees that are being destroyed can’t create the oxygen they were when they’re on the back of a truck riding off to become someone’s extra-bright printer paper. And, those trees, those forests, that are being ravaged in order to become worthless extra paper lying around the office, decreases the CO[subscript]2, which is a greenhouse gas.

Can you believe that, while tropical rainforests cover only 2% of the earth’s surface, they house more than 2/3 of all the living species on this planet? Pretty crazy. If we keep destroying them at the rate that we are, [which is an acre and a half every second of every day], what’s going to happen to them?
If we don’t fight for them now, where will those endangered animals going to go? Once their habitat’s gone, they’ll die. And, what about us? Where will our air go? We don’t have time. If we don’t fight now, we’ll suffocate on our own mistakes.

But, what if what the monkey-wrenchers are doing doesn’t make sense? What if, in the midst of their guerilla battle, they leave a foot print on the very thing they were trying to save? In the Monkey Wrench Gang, we see constant evidence of when they hurt the earth in the process. They destroy the bridge, dumping chemicals and pieces of bridge into the environment.

I believe it makes more sense to teach the next generation, and get the experts on the field educating us, than to commit felonies in order to get bad media for the real war. People frown upon that sort of activity. But, people will listen to experts, especially if they’ve been taught that what they’re saying is correct ever since they were little.

I honestly respect the eco-warriors of today. But, how much sense does it make to destroy a bridge? The debris falls into the river, killing life there, when the bridge wasnt harming anything in the first place.Why would you destroy a ship to save the whales, when that scrap metal will hurt their environment anyway?

I believe that eco-saboteurs are doing what they think is best, but that they need to back down, and let qualified people take over. The field of sustainability, and functional technology are making a niche for themselves out there in the big picture. Global warming is a fact, not an interesting, but frightening, hypothesis. Books on saving the earth in your backyard and energy conservation are becoming trendy. People are thinking about it; its become clear to the common eye. People are beginning to feel the effects of prior generations mistakes. And theyre thinking about it.

Eco-warriors. Eco-terrorists. Eco-saboteurs, pioneers, scoundrels, troublemakers, cons, revolutionaries, jet setters, redeemers. Whatever term you call them by, theyre back. And theyre making the same mistakes as before.