for the skeptical

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by TomB, Feb 2, 2007.

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  1. Bluepilot5

    Bluepilot5 New Member

    Sep 24, 2005
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    I say, when the north pole turns the world to a big ass flooded place, then there will alot more water to fish. Seriously I live in a country of whiners. Everyone talks, no one does. Shut and fish or go do something about it. I think it sucks but Im not going to take over the world(not enough fishing time) which the only way you are going to get a unified change. I worry about my family,my friends and people who like to fish. I dont make love to trees but I dont cut them down either.
    Get laid and get fishing.
  2. Jeremy Wolf

    Jeremy Wolf Combat Flyfishing The greatest Sport in the World

    Jan 15, 2007
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    Battleground, WA Currently in Bagdad, Iraq
    Grimmer What exatly do you mean by that, I'm serving our great country as we speak. What are you doing to better life for other's??:confused:
  3. BFK

    BFK Member

    Dec 5, 2006
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    North Sound, Wash.
    Reviewing the thread shows how people easily misread and pre-judge posts. I can't see any posts here that deny climate change, despite some posters' statements. Some believe man has little or no influence, others appear to believe that climate change or global warming is all man's fault. And there are plenty in between.

    The thread starts off by intimating skeptics are non-believers, yet how can one not be skeptical?

    Here are some of the studies that are currently floating around in this thread and the previous one, and reasons for skepticism:

    U.S. scientists "expect" global warming to cause a significant rise in sea level of 20-30 feet (or something like that in Al Gore's 'New York will be under water'.). That is in contradiction to the UN report that predicts sea level rise of 1 to 3 feet. (Numbers are approximate and based on what I remember; however, the dissension has been reported by CNN and other news media.)

    Some scientists point to a 1500-year cycle in climate with warming and cooling trends.

    One scientist believes that the current warming trend could lead to an ice age because of disruption in the Gulf Stream.

    Another group of scientists says that the U.N. report and current models used to substantiate anthropogenic global warming didn't take into account radiation from the sun (because of satellite problems). When they built a new model, they see that the predicted effects of man's activity is there but at a lower level and that solar radiance is a driver in the climate change.

    And to top it off, if you read the peer-reviewed studies, you'll find the summaries filled with conditional words: 'if', 'may', 'very likely'. None that I've seen are positive and state that without equivocation that man is having a significant effect. Go to popular media to find those statements.

    Somewhere in this thread a poster brought up the idea of critical thinking in a "you're a boogerhead" post. One of the prime tenets of critical thinking is skepticism...questioning generally held beliefs, looking at facts dispassionately on both sides of any argument or issue. If all you read or hear is from one side of an issue is something you agree with, then you're not practicing critical thinking.

    Being skeptical is a healthy thing as it keeps you from being sucked into someone else's delusions or agenda.

  4. dude_1967

    dude_1967 Chris

    Oct 30, 2003
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    Southern Germany and Western Washington

    The OP simply wanted to point out that the results of a new study are available.

    OK, the guy was a bit provocative in his title.

    Nonetheless, there is no reason why such scientific results should pull various boneheads into their left-or-right camp.

    There have been many reactions to this report. The report was, for example, admonished in the European press for being too biased. Above all, it was pointed out that the contributing scientists were categorically on the payroll of big government and that big government tends to contract scientists who remain within party lines. Thus a report which seems to be radical in the US was interpreted as weakly limited and non-commital in the European community.

    So what do you do?

    Each one of us should try to think about the results of such studies. Whether or not global warming is a serious issue and to what extend mankind has contributed to said issue should provoke not leftist or rightist stances, but rather rational thought. Even though both sides will polarize this volatile issue into a grotesque, phsychotic critical mass, at least a little bit more modest and introspective thought might be called for.

    Ironically, one of the central themes of the actual report was also that global cooling caused by industrial pollution tends to keep the effects of climatic warming in check. Does this mean that jet setters have a vital role in our well being?

    In addition, this report as well as other reports have deduced that the farts from mass-produced livestock are a significant worldwide producer of greenhouse gasses. This is not a joke. They were, however, too ashamed to quantify the extent to which the hot air of folks talking out of both ends of their digestive systems contributes to climate change (a joke).

    You just need to look around and see that the impact of man over time has created a bit of a mess around the globe. The study should not be taken so emotionally, rather as additional information which might slightly influence the way we behave in modern induatrial society.

  5. Philster

    Philster Active Member

    Feb 25, 2003
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    WE can't do anything as Americans but better our own behavior and environment. I work for that everyday. WE can't stop the rest of the world of many reasons. Some good, some bad, some simple, some complicated. If WE Americans stopped all emissions tomorrow, NOTHING would change in terms of man's influencing climate change. Sorry, but it's true. The Nations of the world would fall on their collective ass though, because as much as they bitch and moan about our consumption, they NEED us to consume. What's fueling China's and India's growth? It ain't Europe...

    Would it slightly reduce man influenced change? Yeah, slightly, but not enough to matter in the long run. And by the long run I'm talking the REAL cycles. By speeding things up two, three, four hundred years doesn't hurt anything but ourselves! Nothing else is keeping score. Nothing else "cries" about it. The planet doesn't care. During periods of activity Mt St Helene puts out 50 to 250 tons of sulfur dioxide A DAY! Mt. Pinatubo literally blanketed the earth with sulfur dioxide and supposedly dropped global temperatures by .5 Celsius! It's a massive complex system with checks and balances. The "End of the World" has long been predicted by many scientists. It's going to be sudden. Volcanic activity. Likely around Chile. And guess what. It won't be the end of the world. It'll be the end of us. The world will be just fine. Just a lot colder for awhile.

    I have two children under 10. I've decided to focus on the only rational thing I can focus on. local and national polution. Not for warming, but REAL dangers like I've stated: Autism, Cancer, Leukemia, Birth Defects, etc. By combating those am I not "doing enough" Am I not fighting the same fight from a different angle. These dangers are real, verifiable, and IMMEDIATE! I've read the IPCC report. The last one too. It is not Scientifically impressive if you maintain a dispassionate mentality. It's a best guess about something we don't understand, and it frightens people who don't question anything. But it's beside the point.

    Does the world stop japanese "scientific" whaling? Deforestation? Genocide? Religious crusades? What's the difference between those issues and this one. Money Money Cash Money ya'll! Don't think for a second I don't care about the environment or am Laissez Faire. It's just that this global warming thing is the equivalent of PETA chicks stepping over homeless people to picket the KFC.
  6. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    May 10, 2004
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    Snohomish, WA.
    Philster - you rock :)
  7. papenfus

    papenfus New Member

    Jan 1, 2005
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    Milwaukee, WI
    I agree that working for causes such as autism, cancer, and other diseases which potentially are influenced by the activities of others is a nobel and worthwhile pursuit. There are many more and certainly enough that any one of us cannot possibly devote enough time to. Heck, enough children around the globe die daily from simple lack of basic nutrition to make anyone vomit if they were to see these things happen first-hand. Our generation and every generation to come is going to die-off at some point, so I guess we all just have to pick on our own battles and priorities.

    However, - back to the climate change issue - what is it in the scientific sections of this report that make it so nonworthy of our attention? I simply don't buy into the arguments that it is politically driven or a product of some bias on the part of the involved scientists. Will we ever have all the answers to what is going to change or what the consequences of those changes will be...of coure not. I guess it is probably too early but I sure would like to hear from 'credible' scientists involved in climate science who disagree with different aspects of the reports findings.

    I guess all I can say is that I sure wish I had more guys like you to fish with, as it would make the slows days a whole lot more interesting.
  8. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    man, we are dealing with some major global environmental, social and economic problems on this board.
  9. otter

    otter Banned or Parked

    Feb 10, 2006
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    Port Angeles, Washington

    To All -

    Blast from the past. Gary Snyder's "Four Changes" from 1970.

    He says it better than I can.


    Humanity is but a part of the fabric of life -- dependent on the whole fabric for our very existence. As the most highly developed tool-using animal, we must recognize that the unknown evolutionary destinies of other life forms are to be respected, and act as gentle steward of the earth's community of being.

    There are now too many human beings, and the problem is growing rapidly worse. It is potentially disastrous not only for the human race but for most other life forms.


    First, a massive effort to convince the governments and leaders of the world that the problem is severe. And that all talk about raising food-production -- well intentioned as it is -- simply puts off the only real solution: reduce population. Try to correct traditional cultural attitudes that tend to force women into childbearing -- remove income tax deductions for more than two children above a specified income level, and scale it so that lower income families are forced to be careful too -- or pay families to limit their number. Take a vigorous stand against the policy of the right-wing in the Catholic hierarchy and any other institutions that exercise an irresponsible social force in regard to this question; oppose and correct simple-minded boosterism that equates population growth with continuing prosperity. Work ceaselessly to have all political questions be seen in the light of this prime problem.

    Share the pleasure of raising children widely, so that all need not directly reproduce to enter into this basic human experience. Adopt children. Let reverence for life and reverence for the feminine mean also a reverence for other species, and future human lives, most of which are threatened.


    Pollution is of two types. One sort results from an excess of some fairly ordinary substance -- smoke, or solid waste -- which cannot be absorbed or transmuted rapidly enough to offset its introduction into the environment, thus causing changes the great cycle is not prepared for. (All organisms have wastes and by-products, and these are indeed part of the total biosphere: energy is passed along the line and refracted in various ways. This is cycling, not pollution.) The other sort is powerful modern chemicals and poisons, products of recent technology, which the biosphere is totally unprepared for. Such is DDT and similar chlorinated hydrocarbons -- nuclear testing fallout and nuclear waste -- poison gas, germ and virus storage and leakage by the military; and chemicals which are put into food, whose long-range effects on human beings have not been properly tested.

    The human race in the last century has allowed its production and scattering of wastes, by-products, and various chemicals to become excessive. Pollution is directly harming life on the planet: which is to say, ruining the environment for humanity itself. We are fouling our air and water, and living in noise and filth that no "animal" would tolerate, while advertising and politicians try to tell us "we've never had it so good."


    Effective international legislation banning DDT and related poisons -- with no fooling around. The collusion of certain scientists with the pesticide industry and agribusiness in trying to block this legislation must be brought out in the open. Strong penalties for water and air pollution by industries. Phase out the internal combustion engine and fossil fuel use in general -- more research into non-polluting energy sources; solar energy; the tides. No more kidding the public about atomic waste disposal: it's impossible to do it safely, and nuclear-power generated electricity cannot be seriously planned for as it stands now.

    Stop all germ and chemical warfare research and experimentation; work toward a hopefully safe disposal of the present staggering and stupid stockpiles of H-Bombs, cobalt gunk, germ and poison tanks and cans. Laws and sanctions against wasteful use of paper etc. which adds to the solid waste of cities. Develop methods of recycling solid urban waste. Recycling should be the basic principle behind all waste-disposal thinking. Thus, all bottles should be re-usable; old cans should make more cans; old newspapers back into newsprint again. Stronger controls and research on chemicals in foods. A shift toward a more varied and sensitive type of agriculture (more small scale and subsistence farming) would eliminate much of the call for blanket use of pesticides.

    Use fewer cars. Cars pollute the air, and one or two people riding lonely in a huge car is an insult to intelligence and the Earth. Share rides, legalize hitch-hiking, and build hitch-hiker waiting stations along the highways. Also -- a step toward the new world -- walk more. Boycott bulky wasteful Sunday papers which use up trees. It's all just advertising anyway, which is artificially inducing more mindless consumption.

    Refuse paper bags at the store. Organize Park and Street clean-up festivals. Don't work in any way for or with an industry which pollutes, and don't be drafted into the military


    Everything that lives eats food, and is food in turn. This complicated animal, homo sapiens, rests on a vast and delicate pyramid of energy-transformations. To grossly use more than you need to destroy is biologically unsound. Most of the production and consumption of modern societies is not necessary or conducive to spiritual and cultural growth, let alone survival -- and is behind much greed and envy, age old causes of social and international discord.

    Humanity's careless use of "resources" and our total dependence on certain substances such as fossil fuels (which are being exhausted, slowly but certainly), are having harmful effects on all the other members of the life-network. The complexity of modern technology renders whole populations vulnerable to the deadly consequences of the loss of any one key resource. Instead of independence we have over-dependence on life-giving substances such as water, which we squander. Many species of animals and birds have become extinct in the service of fashion fads -- or fertilizer, or industrial oil. The soil is being used up; in fact humankind has become a locust-like blight on the planet that will leave a bare cupboard for its own children -- all the while in a kind of Addict's Dream of affluence, comfort, eternal progress -- using the great achievements of science to produce software and swill.

    Goals: Balance, harmony, humility -- growth which is a mutual growth with Redwood and Quail (would you want your child to grow up without ever hearing a wild bird?) -- to be a good member of the great community of living creatures.


    It must be demonstrated ceaselessly that a continually "growing economy" is no longer healthy, but a Cancer. And that the criminal waste which is allowed in the name of competition must be halted totally with ferocious energy and decision. Economics must be seen as a small sub-branch of Ecology, and production/distribution/consumption handled by companies or unions with the same elegance and spareness one sees in nature. Soil banks; open space; phase out logging in most areas.

    Plan consumer boycotts in response to dishonest and unnecessary products. Politically, blast both "Communist" and "Capitalist" myths of progress, and all crude notions of conquering or controlling nature.

    The inherent aptness of communal life: where large tools are owned jointly and used efficiently. The power of renunciation: If enough Americans refused to buy a new car for one given year it would permanently alter the American economy. Recycle clothes and equipment. Support handicrafts -- gardening, home skills, midwifery, herbs -- all the things that can make us independent, beautiful and whole. Learn to break the habit of unnecessary possessions -- a monkey on everybody's back -- but avoid a self-abnegating, anti-joyous self-righteousness. Simplicity is light, carefree, neat, and loving -- not a self-punishing ascetic trip.

    It is hard to even begin to gauge how much a complication of possessions, the notions of "my and mine," stand between us and a true, clear, liberated way of seeing the world. To live lightly on the earth, to be aware and alive, to be free of egotism, to be in contact with plants and animals, starts with simple concrete acts. Simplicity and mindfulness in diet is a starting point for many people.


    We have it within our deepest powers not only to change ourselves but to change our culture. If we are to survive on earth we must transform the five-millennia-long urbanizing civilization tradition into a new ecologically-sensitive, harmony-oriented, wild-minded scientific/spiritual culture.

    Goal: Nothing short of total transformation will do much good. What we envision is a planet on which the human population lives harmoniously and dynamically by employing a sophisticated and unobtrusive technology -- in a world environment which is "left natural."

    Specific points in this vision:

    A healthy and spare population of all races, much less in number than today.
    Cultural and individual diversity, unified by a type of world tribal council. Division by natural and cultural boundaries rather than arbitrary political boundaries.
    A technology of communication, education, and quiet transportation, land-use being sensitive to the properties of each region.
    A basic cultural outlook and social organization that inhibits power and property-seeking, while encouraging exploration and challenge in things like music, meditation, mathematics, mountaineering, magic, and all other ways of authentic being-in-the-world. Women totally free and equal. A new kind of family -- responsible, but more festive and relaxed -- is implicit.

    Since it doesn't seem practical or even desirable to think that direct bloody force will achieve much, it would be best to consider this a continuing "revolution of consciousness" which will be won not by guns but by seizing the key images, myths, archetypes, eschatologies, and ecstasies so that life won't seem worth living unless one is on the transforming energy's side.

    New schools, new classes, walking in the woods and cleaning up the streets. Create an awareness of "self" which includes the social and natural environment. Consider what specific language forms, symbolic systems, and social institutions constitute obstacles to ecological awareness. Let no one be ignorant of the facts of biology and related disciplines; bring up our children as part of the wild-life. Some communities can establish themselves in backwater rural areas and flourish -- others maintain themselves in urban centers -- and the two types work together, a two-way flow of experience, people, money, and home-grown vegetables.

    Investigate new lifestyles. Work with political-minded people where it helps, hoping to enlarge their vision, and with people of all varieties of politics or thought at whatever point they become aware of environmental urgencies. Master the archaic and the primitive as models of basic nature-related cultures -- as well as the most imaginative extensions of science -- and build a community where these two vectors cross.

    We are the first human beings in history to have all of humanity's culture and previous experience available to our study -- the first members of a civilized society since the early Neolithic to wish to look clearly into the eyes of the wild and see our selfhood, our family, there. We have these advantages to set off the obvious disadvantages of being as screwed up as we are -- which gives us a fair chance to penetrate into some of the riddles of ourselves and the universe.

    Now that we are past the 2007 StuporBowl, maybe we can think about the possibilities for our kids - their lives - and what we can do about it. Yes?

  10. Philster

    Philster Active Member

    Feb 25, 2003
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    Yeah Otter! Homosexual Free Love Organic Macrobiotic Communes is the only answer! How about you and me form the HFLOMC recommendations committee big boy;)
  11. Dave Grimmer

    Dave Grimmer Member

    Jun 24, 2006
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    Port Townsend, WA
    Sorry, my bad! Thanks for serving. As for me, I am on the board of a couple non-profits working on youth education and environmental stewardship.
  12. Marty

    Marty New Member

    Jan 14, 2007
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    Heber, Utah
    Home Page:
    Philster I am a cop and had a suspect die in a high speed pursuit. The first thing I thought was, am I going to get sued and lose everything then that’s going to save some money. I went home and gave my wife all of my two handers. I am with you on this one great post.
  13. otter

    otter Banned or Parked

    Feb 10, 2006
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    Port Angeles, Washington
    To all -

    A precis of Snyder's life to date.

    Not bad for a stump farm, shingle weaver kid, in my opinion.


    Gary Snyder
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Gary Snyder (born May 8, 1930) is an American poet (originally, often associated with the Beat Generation), essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist. Snyder is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Since the 1970s, he has frequently been described as the 'laureate of Deep Ecology'. From the 1950s on, he has published travel-journals and essays from time to time. His work in his various roles reflects his immersion in both Buddhist spirituality and nature. Snyder has also translated literature into English from ancient Chinese and modern Japanese. As a social critic, Snyder has much in common with Lewis Mumford, Aldous Huxley, Karl Hess, Aldo Leopold, and Karl Polanyi. Snyder was for many years on the faculty of the University of California, Davis, and for a time served on the California Arts Council.
    1 Early life
    2 The Beats
    3 Japan
    4 Later life and writings
    5 Snyder's poetics
    6 Is Snyder “a Romantic”?
    7 Is Snyder "a Beat"?
    8 Bibliography
    9 References
    10 External links
    [edit]Early life

    Gary Sherman Snyder was born in San Francisco, California to Harold and Lois Hennessy Snyder. Snyder is of German, Scots-Irish, and English ancestry. His family, impoverished by the Great Depression, moved to Kitsap County, Washington, when he was two years old. There they tended a small dairy and made cedar-wood shingles, until moving to Portland, Oregon ten years later.
    At the age of seven, Snyder was laid up for four months by an accident. “So my folks brought me piles of books from the Seattle public library,” he recalled in interview, “and it was then I really learned to read and from that time on was voracious — I figure that accident changed my life. At the end of four months, I had read more than most kids do by the time they're 18. And I didn't stop.”
    Also during his ten childhood-years in Washington, Snyder became aware of the presence of the Coast Salish people and developed an interest in the Native American peoples in general and their traditional relationship with nature.
    Snyder's parents separated and, in adolescence, Gary and his sister were raised by their mother, who worked during this period as a newspaper journalist. One of Gary's boyhood jobs was as a newspaper copy-boy. Also, during his teen years, he worked as a camp counselor, and went mountain-climbing with the Mazamas youth-group. Climbing remained an interest of his, especially during his twenties and thirties.
    In 1947, he started attending Reed College as a scholarship-student. Here he met, and for a time roomed with, Carl Proujan, Philip Whalen and Lew Welch. At Reed, Snyder published his first poems in a student journal. He also spent a summer working as a seaman (an experience he was to repeat in the mid 1950s). As much as a way to earn money and experience other cultures in port-cities, this work served to put him in more touch with the oceans and other aspects of the hydrosphere. In 1951, he graduated with a BA in anthropology and literature and spent the summer working as a timber-scaler on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, experiences which formed the basis for some of his earliest published poems (including "A Berry Feast"), later collected in the book The Back Country. Snyder worked the next year as a fire-lookout in a national-park (Desolation Peak). He also encountered the basic ideas of Buddhism and, through its arts, some of the Far East's traditional attitudes toward nature. Going on to Indiana University to study anthropology (where Snyder also practiced self-taught Zen meditation), he left after a single semester to return to San Francisco and to 'sink or swim as a poet'.
    [edit]The Beats

    Back in San Francisco, Snyder lived with Whalen, who shared his growing interest in Zen Buddhism. Snyder's reading of the writings of D.T. Suzuki had in fact been a factor in his decision not to continue as a graduate-student in anthropology, and in 1953 he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley to study Oriental culture and languages. Snyder continued to spend summers working in the forests, including one summer as a trail-builder in Yosemite. He spent some months in 1955 living in a cabin in Mill Valley with Jack Kerouac. It was also at this time that Snyder was an occasional student at the American Academy of Asian Studies, where Saburo Hasegawa and Alan Watts, among others, were teaching. During these years, Snyder was writing and collecting his own work, as well as embarking on the translation of the "Cold Mountain" poems by the 8th-century Chinese recluse Han Shan; this work appeared in chapbook-form in 1969, under the title Riprap & Cold Mountain Poems.
    Snyder met Allen Ginsberg when the latter sought Snyder out on the recommendation of Kenneth Rexroth. Then, through Ginsberg, Snyder and Kerouac came to know each other. This period provided the materials for Kerouac's novel The Dharma Bums, and Snyder was the inspiration for the novel's main character Japhy Ryder in the same way Neal Cassady had inspired Dean Moriarty in On The Road. It is sometimes said, with good reason, that Kerouac portrayed the main characters in his early novels as loving a dionysian life with more chaos in it than the norm of the era. As the large majority of people in the Beat movement had urban backgrounds, writers like Ginsberg and Kerouac found Snyder, with his backcountry and manual-labor experience and interest in things rural, a refreshing and almost exotic individual. Lawrence Ferlinghetti later referred to Snyder as 'the Thoreau of the Beat Generation'.
    Snyder read his poem "A Berry Feast" at the famous poetry reading at the Six Gallery in San Francisco (October 7, 1955) that heralded what was to become known as the San Francisco Renaissance. This also marked Snyder's first involvement with the Beats, although he was not a member of the original New York circle, but rather entered the scene through his association with Kenneth Rexroth.
    As recounted in Kerouac's Dharma Bums, even at age 25 Snyder felt he could have a role in the fateful future meeting of West and East. Snyder's first book, Riprap, which drew on his experiences as a forest lookout and on the trail-crew in Yosemite, was published in 1959.

    Independently, a number of the Beats, such as Philip Whalen, had become interested in Zen, but Snyder was one of the more serious scholars of the subject among them. He, in fact, became a practitioner, spending most of the period between 1956 and 1968 in Japan, studying Zen first at Shokoku-ji and later in the Daitoku-ji monastery in Kyoto, working on translations with Ruth Fuller Sasaki, then finally living for a while with a group of other people on a small, volcanic island. His previous study of written Chinese assisted his immersion in the Zen tradition (with its roots in Tang Dynasty China) and enabled him to take on certain professional projects while he was living in Japan.
    Snyder decided not to become a monk and planned eventually to return to the United States to 'turn the wheel of the dharma'. He was married for a few years to another American poet, Joanne Kyger, who lived with him in Japan.
    During this time, he published a collection of his poems from the early to mid '50s, Myths & Texts (1960), and Six Sections from Mountains and Rivers Without End (1965). (This last was the beginning of a project that he was to continue working on until the late 1990s.) Much of Snyder’s poetry expresses experiences, environments, and insights involved with the work he has done for a living: logger, fire-lookout, steam-freighter crew, translator, carpenter, and itinerant poet, among other things.
    Ever the participant observer, during his years in Japan Snyder not only immersed himself in Zen practice in monasteries but also was initiated into Shugendo, a form of ancient Japanese animism, (see also Yamabushi). In the early 1960s he travelled for some months through India with his wife Joanne, Allen Ginsberg, and Peter Orlovsky. Snyder and Joanne Kyger separated soon after their trip to India, and were later divorced.
    Continuing on in the path of the naturalist while in Japan, Snyder educated himself on subjects like geomorphology and forestry. These interests have probably surfaced as much or more in his essays and interviews as in his poetry.
    Snyder lived for a time with a group of Japanese back-to-the-land drop-outs on Suwanose (a small Japanese island in the East China Sea), where they beachcombed, gathered edible plants, and fished. On the Island, he married Masa Uehara, the mother of Snyder's two sons.
    In 1968 his book The Back Country appeared, again mainly a collection of poems stretching back over about 15 years. Snyder devoted a section at the end of the book to his translations of 18 poems by Miyazawa Kenji (died 1933). Toward the end of the 1960s, Snyder and his wife moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where their second son was born. In 1971 they moved onto rural land in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California, where they and friends built a house that drew on rural-Japanese and Native-American architectural ideas.
    [edit]Later life and writings

    Regarding Wave — a stylistic departure offering poems that were more emotional, metaphoric, and lyrical — appeared in 1969. In the late 1960s and after, the content of Snyder's poetry increasingly had to do with family, friends, and community. He continued to publish poetry throughout the 1970s, much of it reflecting his re-immersion in life on the American continent and his involvement in the re-inhabitation (or back to the land) movement in the Sierra foothills. His 1974 book Turtle Island, titled after the aboriginal name for the North American continent, won a Pulitzer Prize.
    Snyder also wrote numerous essays setting forth his views on poetry, culture, social experimentation, and the environment. Many of these were collected in Earth House Hold (1969), The Old Ways (1977), The Real Work (1980), The Practice of the Wild (1990), A Place in Space (1995), and The Gary Snyder Reader (1999). In 1979, Snyder published He Who Hunted Birds in His Father's Village: The Dimensions of a Haida Myth, based on his Reed thesis. Snyder's journals from his travel in India in the mid 1960s appeared in 1983 under the title Passage Through India.
    In interviews and in articles about him, Snyder provided much food for thought, starting back in the mid 1960s. In these, his wide-ranging interests in cultures, natural history, religions, social critique, contemporary America, and hands-on aspects of rural life, as well as his ideas on literature, were given full-blown articulation. In 1967, for instance (in a taped round-table discussion in the San Francisco Oracle), Snyder's friend Alan Watts brought up the world problem posed by the population-explosion. Snyder's comment was the "change or bend of mind that seems to be taking place in the West, today especially, is going to result — can result ultimately — in a vast leisure society in which people will voluntarily reduce their number." It was a prediction that would prove partly true.
    Snyder had readily accepted the far-reaching implications of the Hubbert "peak oil" prediction emerging into public policy discussion in the 1970s. Snyder often spoke of the "fossil-fuel subsidy," in the form of fairly cheap petroleum and coal, that had distorted many aspects of human activity and relationships (e.g., farming, suburban life, wealth and poverty).
    In the 1980s and ’90s, Snyder expressed a lot of his insights and ideas in public lectures and in essays, including ones published in major outdoor and environmental magazines (and later collected in books).
    In 1985, Snyder became a professor in the writing-program at the University of California, Davis. Here he began to influence a new generation of authors interested in writing about the Far East. Snyder is now professor emeritus of English.
    As Snyder's involvement in environmental issues and his teaching grew, he seemed to move away from poetry for much of the 1980s and early 1990s. However, in 1996 he published the complete Mountains and Rivers Without End, which, in its mixture of the lyrical and epic modes celebrating the act of inhabitation on a specific place on the planet, is both his finest work and a summation of what a re-inhabitory poetics stands for. This work was written over a 40-year period. It has been translated into Japanese and French. In 2004 Snyder published Danger on Peaks, his first collection of new poems in twenty years.
    Along the way, Gary Snyder was awarded the Levinson Prize from the journal Poetry, the American Poetry Society Shelley Memorial Award (1986), was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1987), and won the 1997 Bollingen Prize for Poetry and, that same year, the John Hay Award for Nature Writing. Snyder also has the distinction of being the first American to receive the Buddhism Transmission Award (for 1998) from the Japan-based Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai Foundation. For his ecological and social activism, Snyder was named as one of the 100 visionaries selected in 1995 by Utne Reader.
    [edit]Snyder's poetics

    Gary Snyder uses mainly common speech-patterns as the basis for his lines, though his style has been noted for its "flexibility" and the variety of different forms his poems have taken. He does not typically use conventional meters nor intentional rhyme. "Love and respect for the primitive tribe, honour accorded the Earth, the escape from city and industry into both the past and the possible, contemplation, the communal" – such, according to Glyn Maxwell, is the awareness and commitment behind the specific poems (Maxwell in "The Online Companion to the Anthology of Modern American Poetry").
    The author and editor Stewart Brand once wrote: "Gary Snyder's poetry addresses the life-planet identification with unusual simplicity of style and complexity of effect." (CoEvolution Quarterly, issue #4, 1974)
    Snyder has always maintained that his personal sensibility arose from his interest in Native Americans (“Indians”) and their involvement with nature and knowledge of it; indeed, their “ways” seemed to resonate with his own. And he has sought something kindred to this through Buddhist practices, Yamabushi initiation, and other experiences and involvements. However, since his youth he has been quite literate, and he has written about his appreciation of writers of similar sensibilities, like D.H. Lawrence, W.B. Yeats, and some of the great ancient Chinese poets. William Carlos Williams was another influence, especially on Snyder’s earliest published work.
    "I have some concerns that I'm continually investigating that tie together biology, mysticism, prehistory, general systems theory," Snyder once said in interview (New York Quarterly "Craft Interview," 1973). Besides 'non-human nature', sexuality is something often expressed or contemplated in Gary Snyder's poetry. A self-admitted and somewhat famed ladies' man through most of his life, Snyder has also been married four times.
    Aside from content and style, Snyder's interests in anthropology and Native cultures, along with his Buddhism and environmentalism, have formed his attitude to poetry. He has often spoken of the poem as work-place, and, for him, the work to be done there is learning to be in the world.
    Snyder argues that poets, and humans in general, need to adjust to very long timescales, especially when judging the consequences of their actions. His poetry examines the gap between nature and culture so as to point to ways in which the two can be more closely integrated.
    [edit]Is Snyder “a Romantic”?

    Many people would say that poetry, inherently, is ”romantic.” Certainly there are many aspects of Gary Snyder’s work that smack of romanticism, apart from the mere fact that he writes poetry: his love of the untamed wilds of the Earth and the play of natural forces; his interest in, and often enthusiasm for, foreign cultures, and his devotion to ancient things; his belief in the importance of intuition in his life-path; his openness to the validity of magic and “the unexplained.”
    Snyder is among those writers who have sought to dis-entrench conventional thinking about primitive peoples that has viewed them as simple-minded, ignorantly superstitious, brutish, and prone to violent emotionalism. In the 1960s Snyder developed a "neo-tribalist" view akin to the "post-modernist" theory of French Sociologist Michel Maffesoli. Deeply interested in traditional primitive or tribal peoples, Snyder seemed so sympathetic to them in his writings of the 1970s that he seemed scarcely able to imagine bullies, selfish individuals, or spiteful miscreants as ever having lived among them. He seemed ever inclined to let belongingness within the tribe outweigh (as a value) the xenophobia, frequent raids, and generations-long strife that have been established as so often prevailing between one tribe and another.
    The "re-tribalization" of the modern, mass-society world envisioned by Marshall McLuhan, with all of the ominous, dystopian possibilities that McLuhan warned of — subsequently accepted by many modern intellectuals — is not the future that Snyder expects or works toward. Snyder's is a positive interpretation of the tribe and of the possible future.
    Be these things as they may, in Snyder’s work what some of his critics may deem romanticism is balanced by an evident devotion to facts, appreciation of human practicality and capability, expressions of joy found in physical work, interest in science, and continual rumination on responsibility.
    [edit]Is Snyder "a Beat"?

    Gary Snyder is widely regarded as a member of the Beat Generation circle of writers: he was one of the poets that read at the famous Six Gallery event mentioned above, and was written about in one of Kerouac's most popular novels, The Dharma Bums. Some critics argue that Snyder's connection with the Beats is exaggerated and that he might better be regarded as a member of the West-Coast group the San Francisco Renaissance, which developed independently. Snyder himself has some reservations about the label "Beat," but does not appear to have any strong objection to being included in the group. He often talks about the Beats in the first person plural, referring to the group as "we" and "us".
    A quotation from a 1974 interview at the University of North Dakota Writers Conference (published in The Beat Vision):
    "... I never did know exactly what was meant by the term "The Beats," but let's say that the original meeting, association, comradeship of Allen [Ginsberg], myself, Michael [McClure], Lawrence [Ferlinghetti], Philip Whalen, who's not here, Lew Welch, who's dead, Gregory [Corso], for me, to a somewhat lesser extent (I never knew Gregory as well as the others) did embody a criticism and a vision which we shared in various ways, and then went our own ways for many years. ...
    "Where we began to come really close together again, in the late '60s, and gradually working toward this point, it seems to me, was when Allen began to take a deep interest in Oriental thought and then in Buddhism which added another dimension to our levels of agreement; and later through Allen's influence, Lawrence began to draw toward that; and from another angle, Michael and I after the lapse of some years of contact, found our heads very much in the same place, and it's very curious and interesting now; and Lawrence went off in a very political direction for awhile, which none of us had any objection with, except that wasn't my main focus. It's very interesting that we find ourselves so much on the same ground again, after having explored divergent paths; and find ourselves united on this position of powerful environmental concern, critique of the future of the individual state, and an essentially shared poetics, and only half-stated but in the background very powerfully there, a basic agreement on some Buddhist type psychological views of human nature and human possibilities."
    Yet it might be remembered that while the Beats' major influence is often regarded as having been greatest during the 1950s, Snyder's influence has been greatest since the 1970s (or possibly since the very late 1960s).

    Myths & Texts (1960)
    Six Sections from Mountains and Rivers Without End (1965)
    The Back Country (1967)
    Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems (1969)
    Regarding Wave (1969)
    Earth House Hold (1969)
    Turtle Island (1974)
    The Old Ways (1977)
    He Who Hunted Birds in His Father's Village: The Dimensions of a Haida Myth (1979)
    The Real Work (1980)
    Axe Handles (1983)
    Passage Through India (1983)
    Left Out in the Rain (1988)
    The Practice of the Wild (1990)
    No Nature: New and Selected Poems (1992)
    A Place in Space (1995)
    narrator of the audio book version of Kazuaki Tanahashi's Moon in a Dewdrop from Dogen's Shobogenzo
    Mountains and Rivers Without End (1996)
    The Gary Snyder Reader: Prose, Poetry, and Translations (1999)
    Danger on Peaks (2005)
    Back on Fire: Essays (2007)

    Wikisource has original works written by or about:
    Gary Snyder
    Gary Snyder: Dimensions of a Life, edited by Jon Halper, 1991
    Snyder, Gary. 1980. The Real Work: Interviews & Talks 1964-1979. New Directions, New York. ISBN 0-8112-0761-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-8112-0760-9 (pbk)
    Autobiographical notes in Mountains and Rivers Without End, by Gary Snyder, 1996
    “Chronology” (c.v. for Gary Snyder) in The Gary Snyder Reader, 1999
    “The East-West Interview” by Peter Barry Chowka in The Real Work, by Gary Snyder, 1980
    Gary Snyder at the UC Davis English Department
    Gary Snyder at Modern American Poetry
    Charters, Ann (ed.). The Portable Beat Reader. Penguin Books. New York. 1992. ISBN 0-670-83885-3 (hc); ISBN 0-14-015102-8 (pbk)
    Anthony Hunt, "Genesis, Structure, and Meaning in Gary Snyder's 'Mountains and Rivers Without End'." Detailed, book length commentary on Gary Snyder's "Mountains & Rivers Without End"
    Aronowitz, Al "The Dharma Bum," Chapter 14, The Beat Papers of Al Aronowitz
    Knight, Arthur Winfield. Ed. The Beat Vision (1987) Paragon House. ISBN 0-913729-40-X; ISBN 0-913729-41-8 (pbk) This includes an interview with Gary Snyder conducted by James McKenzie on March 19, 1974 at the University of North Dakota Writers Conference.
    [edit]External links

    Lannan Foundation, Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder 2001 (see Wendell Berry entry for link)
    1991 audio interview with Gary Snyder by Don Swaim of CBS Radio - RealAudio
    Blue Neon Alley - Selected Poems, Quotes and Directory
    Shambala Sun article "The Wild Mind Of Gary Snyder" by Trevor Carolan
    Modern American Poetry Collection - Ball State University Archives and Special Collections Research Center - External link
  14. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Jun 28, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Seattle, WA
    Log truck drivers rise earlier than students of Zen.
    ... there is no other life.

    Gary Snyder
  15. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    Sep 12, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Tacoma, WA, USA.
    Gary Snyder tells us that the world is overpopulated and that we should "Share the pleasure of raising children widely, so that all need not directly reproduce...". Yet Mr. Snyder is responsible for bringing 4 children into the world himself.

    Just who we should be listening to, another elitist hypocrite!
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