Virgin Forests Redux

A very kind editor at High Country News worked with me to improve the “virgin forests” post below. One good thing about this blog is that it helps folks work on our writing.

the HCN version..
and the original version.

One of the commenters wrote that the piece was “inflammatory.” That may be an honor for someone who mostly writes emails and briefing papers so inoffensive that the interns reading them as part of a litigation record probably need extra caffeine jolts to stay awake ;).

1 thought on “Virgin Forests Redux”

  1. Sharon said: ‘One of the commenters wrote that (my) piece was “inflammatory.””That may be an honor for someone who mostly writes emails and briefing papers so inoffensive that …’

    Honor yourself all you want Sharon, especially if your ambition is to be grinning beside an openly inflammatory, (“Face it: All forests are “sluts”), provocative-just-for-the-hell-of-it, and completely inappropriate metaphor. (btw — great opening line– should bump the HCN web hits and get a few more bucks for ad space veering into the ACTUAL realm of slutdom.)

    1) I’m struggling over how you can make a big deal about “virgin” (which actually has multiple everyday usages: forests, olive oil, clay, metal, wool, etc.) but somehow you miss the point that a forest cannot be a “slut” because there is only one context to slut — human — and that, a forest can never be.

    2) Not only can a forest not be human, but it cannot make a choice to be sexually promiscuous. Even if a forest had the capacity to exercise the choice to be raped/logged, it would be no more likely to make that choice than you would make the choice to have your leg amputated and then be raped.

    3) Sharon, we get it, that indigenous cultures have altered their landscapes in many ways. Those ways can not EVER, EVER come close to what the agency you work for has done to those same landscapes.

    4) Forests are communities, the measure of health of those communities is based upon the complexity and dynamic equilibria being maintained. Forest communities are far more nuanced than whether or not they have been unsustainably altered and sometimes irrevocably altered by your agency’s widespread mismanagement.

    5)Your claim that WWF stands for, “the World Wildlife Foundation” is incorrect. Since you are focusing on words and their usage, and are going to criticize others, you should at least get the name of what you are criticizing straight (and you said you had an editor’s help on this?) WWF once stood for World Wildlife Fund, and now stands for World Wide Fund for Nature.

    6) Whether or not WWF uses a colloquial term such as “virgin forest” you take issue with, FAR more worthy of anyone’s concern is the duplicity of WWF, The Nature Conservancy, and Conservation International’s routine duplicity and whoring for corporate partner best interests exposed repeatedly in the media and completely ignored by you:

    Published on Monday, March 5, 2012 by Dollars and Sense
    Way Beyond Greenwashing: Have Corporations Captured “Big Conservation”?
    by Jonathan Latham

    Read all about it Sharon. Within that article is information I suspect you will never admit is worthy the same amount of time you’ve invested in here, with this fallacious attempt at exposing a false etymology.

    Better luck next time.


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