Revolting review


My thanks to Emma Marris for saving me precious time and money with her reviews of the wilderness-themed books by Jason Mark and Fred Pearce (“Wilderness redefined and defended,” HCN, 9/14/15). As she suggests, the authors’ purist non-interventionist OK with extinction philosophy will alienate many readers, but I think “revolt” might be a more accurate description. We’ve heard all this abstract hands-off gibberish before, from other self-anointed Darwinian didacts, even though it goes against the consensus of the great majority of us who follow our own natural compass, as we strive to protect vulnerable, imperiled species, regardless of setting.

Frankly, I’m more concerned with the continuing existence of Mark’s “throwaway” creatures, like the pika or Arctic fox, than I am about extending the progeny of solipsistic savants like Marks and Pearce, the very embodiment of superficial narcissists neatly skewered in Phil Ochs’ wry, caustic observation: “So good to be alive when the eulogies are read.” Thank you, Emma. Now to some serious reading.

Harry Koenig
Pueblo, Colorado

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