For close to 50 years, Americans committed to both economic growth and the daunting goal of “saving the planet” have placed their hopes in a highly stylized image of First Nations peoples. The “ecological Indian” has become the mascot of our eco-nation.
The great naturalist John Muir once said that anything we can touch is "hitched to everything else in the Universe." He had many opportunities to reflect on this dictum as he hiked through the pristine wilderness of the High Sierra in the latter third of the 19th century. For him as for Thoreau, the natural world revealed as much of God's glory as any text of scripture.