Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Message from the WilderPress! Editorial Collective

A Letter from the Editors, WilderPress! Issue #1:

We must first begin by thanking all those involved with making this publication possible—to Maria’s Bookshop and Durango Natural Foods for their interest in stocking WilderPress! and supporting free speech; to those wild folks who submitted their thoughts, feelings and stories—without you this would not be possible; to all those who pick this up, read it, and evaluate their position on the environmental movement or at least how they live their daily lives…we bow to you.

We need a drastic change in philosophy and action across the globe. There is no better place to start, and no better place to defend, than our own backyard. There is no greater fundamental challenge to human beings than the collapse of the very biosphere that supports life as we know it. A biosphere, that quite simply, we are destroying.

The hour is upon us. How will we choose to act in the vital years to come? Surely we cannot be so ignorant as to continue down a path in which we destroy our own home for short- term economic gain. Prosperity does not have to equal growth. Yet the forests continue to fall, the oceans continue to die, the land continues its path to infertility, more rivers lay tame—shackled by concrete and steel—more children starve, more cultures crumble to the great corporate tyrants of the world…the biosphere suffers—business as usual…

Many humans live in a world plagued with denial and apathy, particularly in the United States. It is easy in this county—one that prides itself on skewed view of individualism and materialism—for people to turn their backs on issues such as environmental degradation and social injustices, as long as the issues don’t seem to directly affect their day-to-day accumulation of “stuff.” Unfortunately, the idea of individualism that has developed in this country is not one made of many positive attributes. Instead of individualism defining our creativity, and fueling a free society where all citizens are supported, and where all share the benefits of each others hard work, it reveals itself as radically possessive, hubristic, and self-centered, complete with an obsessive drive to compete with neighbors and fellow human beings. The “American Dream” has become more and more of a rat race and more and more of a nightmare.

No one seems to question this system or its affects…it is simply what they have been inculcated and conditioned to do, and they deny that anything is wrong, blaming their headache, beer gut, and insomnia on “just a long day at work” or “our busy schedule”, swearing that next week will be different, that they will do something to change the way they feel, that they aren’t going to take it anymore. Bullshit. All the while Americans fuel their obsession and addiction to material possessions, and continue to ignore the consequences of an all too affluent lifestyle—mostly because, until now, the consequences have rarely had direct effect.

The reason we bring all this up is not only to increase awareness of what should already be too clear, or to condemn a system we are increasingly sickened by, but rather to pose a new year’s resolution for the whole nation, or at the very least one for Durango and the Four Corners. This is our call to action—a call for a change we so desperately need, a lifestyle we secretly, and not so secretly, long for, and a revival of the body, mind, and spirit we used to possess. In 2009 let us drop this futile concept of individualism we have nurtured for all too long; it is very much overrated and certainly not in tune with the sustainable, livable world we so direly need to foster. Let us remember what it means to support our family, our neighbors, our community, our nation, and our world—human and non-human alike.

WilderPress! is here to provide a voice for the natural world, and those dedicated to its defense. We are here to promote free speech, creativity, thought, theory and action. The environmental crisis is like no other challenge humans have ever faced, and we must approach the struggle with multifaceted strategy. Awareness and solidarity are our most powerful weapons and we must come together to ensure a future that supports life, not destroys it. The environment is in peril and no longer does economic status, religious affiliation, political standing, ethnic background or geographic location determine where we stand. We are all living beings, and we all need a healthy Earth in order to survive. Everyone is affected equally by the degradation of the environment, and everyone will pay the price should we choose to continue…

The time has come to rise up in defense of Mother Earth, in resistance against those who are willfully enslaving and destroying the natural world, and in solidarity with those who know humans cannot continue on our current path of destruction. We must reclaim our place as responsible members within the greater community of living beings upon this planet, and act accordingly. This means taking action against the systematic ecocide perpetrated by industrial civilization and resisting the destruction of the Earth by any means necessary. The future of all life on Earth—human and non-human alike—depends on a healthy land base. The sooner the destruction is stopped, the better. Inaction is complicity. Complicity is abhorrent. We must come together in the name of something greater than ourselves, and yet intricately intertwined with our very being and exsistence. Let us vow to never let our children use the word wilderness in the past tense…

This is for our children, for the planet, and for ourselves… This publication is in solidarity with those who continue to fight for a livable world, where all life is valued, and to those who wish to join the battle. This is to the defense of wild places, by wild people, at whatever cost, and by any means necessary. The time to resist has come… Let us love together and laugh together and fight together for a better world. See you in the woods…and please don’t be too late…

—The WilderPress! Editorial Collective

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