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Know the West

Everyone is wrong but me

  Dear HCN,

I have found recent letters to the editor and the latest essay by Stephen Lyons to contain some bits of hidden wisdom. The larger message that I get from these writings is that when all is said and done, at the end of the day, we're all a bunch of selfish bastards. Opinions on whether to have fixed rock-climbing bolts in the wilderness, to carry cell phones in the wilderness, to have livestock on the land, to hunt, to embrace New West or Old West, blah, blah, blah are rarely tempered and tested by the twin fires of personal sacrifice and empathy for others. Like opposing armies, we invoke the name of "God" for our side, say he dresses and talks like us and has only our thoughts in his head. We demonize the opposing army and then set out to make war on it. We claim to hold diversity in high esteem and in the same breath label opposing viewpoints as backward and wrong and hold them in self-righteous derision. There is a dimension that calls all environmental ideologies home, that makes us all play jester to the clown, and that dimension is know as "intolerance." I think I shall come down from my ivory tower and go hug an enemy. But for today only.

Stephen Hansen

Logan, Utah