Aldo Leopald

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

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Being a man of biology, I thought that I would write a paper on a article I recently completed reading in my own time. This article by Aldo Leopold was very interesting and educational. Although this might seem weird, I find myself reading articles and books quite frequently on a broad range of knowledge. Ranging from Biology to How to Trade Baseball cards. After completing this article I found myself writing this paper for no apparent reason. After reading my paper maybe you could tell me if I interrupted it correctly.

The Round River, by Aldo Leopold, is a comprehensive article that states many ideas of his dealing with nature and conservation. He first states that life is a never ending cycle. Next Aldo explains that our educational system should teach the whole picture of life instead of only concentrating on certain aspects of it. Another concept he investigates is that society doesn=t think that little decisions can have dramatic effects on nature.

Mr. Leopold concludes the article by stating that our society is too concerned with making money, no matter what the cost to nature.

According to Mr. Leopold, life is a never ending circle, Athe current is the stream of energy which flows out of the soil, into plants, thence never ending circuit of life.@ Aldo is trying to explain that even though our bodies die, our life doesn=t end there. They decompose into the soil, and are taken up by plants. The plants are then eaten by animals, which are eaten by humans, thus becoming part of their body and allowing the cycle to start over again.

Mr. Leopold=s next concern is with the way our educational system teaches students about science. He states that Ainstead of learning more and more about less and less, we must learn more about the whole biotic landscape.@ He=s saying that today=s schools teach each subject individually, never showing the students how biology connects to evolution which connects to geology which connects to geography, etc. The students are not taught that everything on this earth is interweaved together.

The article goes on to say that people make decisions without regards to the consequences. Aldo explains that we make choices everyday that might not effect us now, but can have harmful, long lasting effects on us and the environment in the future. He continues by saying that we actually lose more that we gain by doing this. If we would leave nature to take care of itself we would actually gain more in the long run.

Mr. Leopold also states that society is too worried about making money and not worried about what happens to the land. He thinks we have Aoverestimated the profit motive.@ He says that people are more concerned with appearances, doing what society thinks is best, whether there is profit there or not. For example, our society thinks that it is nice to have a beautiful green lawn, so even though it costs the homeowner a lot of money, and is harmful to the environment, they do it anyhow because what would the neighbors think if they have an ugly lawn? Aldo also explains that people don=t question how we make money, or what we did to the environment to get it, just so the money=s there. Leopold=s solution is that we should look at exactly how people are making their money(if they=ve ruined the land) instead of whether they=ve conformed to social standards by having a lot of money.

I agree with the general concepts that Mr. Leopold explained in his article. One concept I agree with is the one regarding the educational system. We need to show students that all subjects are interconnected, just as all life is interconnected. Another concept that I agree with is that life is a never ending circle. Just because something dies, it doesn=t mean its out of the Acircle@ it just changes form. The final subject I agree with is that people act without thinking of the consequences. They don=t realize that everything they disturb or destroy has an effect on something else. You can=t change one thing in nature without effecting everything in life=s circle. I really only disagree on one area of his article, the section that discusses the profit motive. He wants society to only consider the effects on nature instead of how much money will be made. This idea is unrealistic because society has to destroy some land to keep up our living standards. I agree, however, that we must restore the land after using it. I also think that he=s correct when he says that unnecessary destruction of land must be stopped, but to say that all destruction of land should be stopped is idealistic. All in all, I thought this was a very well written article that brought up many points that are worth thinking about.