Aldo Leopold quotes

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Aldo Leopold

Birthdate: 11. January 1887
Date of death: 21. April 1948
Other names: آلدو لئوپولد, ალდო ლეოპოლდი

Aldo Leopold was an American author, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac , which has sold more than two million copies.

Leopold was influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation. His ethics of nature and wildlife preservation had a profound impact on the environmental movement, with his ecocentric or holistic ethics regarding land. He emphasized biodiversity and ecology and was a founder of the science of wildlife management.



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„We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.“

—  Aldo Leopold, book A Sand County Almanac

Source: A Sand County Almanac, 1949, Foreword, p. viii.
Context: Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. There is no other way for land to survive the impact of mechanized man, nor for us to reap from it the aesthetic harvest it is capable, under science, of contributing to culture.

„Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.“

—  Aldo Leopold, book A Sand County Almanac

Source: A Sand County Almanac, 1949, "The Land Ethic", p. 207.

„Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators… The land is one organism.“

—  Aldo Leopold

"Conservation" (c. 1938); Published in Round River, Luna B. Leopold (ed.), Oxford University Press, 1966, p. 145-146.
1930s
Context: Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. … Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators; you cannot conserve the waters and waste the ranges; you cannot build the forest and mine the farm. The land is one organism.

„Nonconformity is the highest evolutionary attainment of social animals.“

—  Aldo Leopold, book A Sand County Almanac

"A Man's Leisure Time," 1920; Published in Round River, Luna B. Leopold (ed.), Oxford University Press, 1966, p. 8.
1920s
Source: A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There

„There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.“

—  Aldo Leopold, book A Sand County Almanac

“February: Good Oak”, p. 6.
Source: A Sand County Almanac, 1949, "January Thaw", "February: Good Oak" & "March: The Geese Return"

„There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.“

—  Aldo Leopold, book A Sand County Almanac

Source: A Sand County Almanac, 1949, Foreword, p. vii (opening words).

„Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching — even when doing the wrong thing is legal.“

—  Aldo Leopold

Presumably a paraphrase of "A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct" or of "Hunting for sport is an improvement ..." above.
Unlikely to be by Leopold, who knew that ethics involves not only doing the right thing, but also determining the right thing in the face of competing desirable criteria.
Misattributed

„To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.“

—  Aldo Leopold, book A Sand County Almanac

Source: A Sand County Almanac, 1949, "Conservation Esthetic", p. 176.
Source: A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
Context: The trophy-recreationist has peculiarities that contribute in subtle ways to his own undoing. To enjoy he must possess, invade, appropriate. Hence the wilderness that he cannot personally see has no value to him. Hence the universal assumption that an unused hinterland is rendering no service to society. To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.

„Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits, or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays.“

—  Aldo Leopold, book A Sand County Almanac

"The Ecological Conscience" [1947]; Published in The River of the Mother of God and Other Essays by Aldo Leopold, Susan L. Flader and J. Baird Callicott (eds.) 1991, p. 346.
1940s
Source: A Sand County Almanac
Context: The direction is clear, and the first step is to throw your weight around on matters of right and wrong in land-use. Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits, or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays. That philosophy is dead in human relations, and its funeral in land-relations is overdue.

„All conservation of wildness is self-defeating, for to cherish we must see and fondle, and when enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish.“

—  Aldo Leopold, book A Sand County Almanac

“Wisconsin: Marshland Elegy”, p. 101.
A Sand County Almanac, 1949, "Wisconsin: Marshland Elegy," "Wisconsin: The Sand Counties" "Wisconsin: On a Monument to the Pigeon," and "Wisconsin: Flambeau"
Source: A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
Context: To build a road is so much simpler than to think of what the country really needs. A roadless marsh is seemingly as worthless to the alphabetical conservationist as an undrained one was to the empire-builders. Solitude, the one natural resource still undowered of alphabets, is so far recognized as valuable only by ornithologists and cranes.
Thus always does history, whether of marsh or market place, end in paradox. The ultimate value in these marshes is wildness, and the crane is wildness incarnate. But all conservation of wildness is self-defeating, for to cherish we must see and fondle, and when enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish.

„Is education possibly a process of trading awareness for things of lesser worth? The goose who trades his is soon a pile of feathers.“

—  Aldo Leopold, book A Sand County Almanac

“March: The Geese Return”, p. 18.
A Sand County Almanac, 1949, "January Thaw", "February: Good Oak" & "March: The Geese Return"
Source: A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There

„A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.“

—  Aldo Leopold, book A Sand County Almanac

Source: A Sand County Almanac, 1949, "The Land Ethic", p. 224-225.
Source: A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
Context: Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and esthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.

„One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.“

—  Aldo Leopold

" The Round River: A Parable http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/AldoLeopold/AldoLeopold-idx?type=turn&entity=AldoLeopold.ALDeskFile.p0655&id=AldoLeopold.ALDeskFile&isize=XL" (c. 1940-48); Published in Round River, Luna B. Leopold (ed.), Oxford University Press, 1966, p. 165.
1940s

„The modern dogma is comfort at any cost.“

—  Aldo Leopold, book A Sand County Almanac

“November: Axe-in-Hand”, p. 71.
Source: A Sand County Almanac, 1949, "November: Axe-in-Hand," "November: A Mighty Fortress," and "December: Pines above the Snow"

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