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(April/May 2013) A 1982 Interview with Ed Abbey…by Eric Temple


ET)  What do you see as the major environmental problem in Arizona right now?

EA)  Progress.  Development, Growth, Industry–everything that the politicians and the chamber of commerce loves, I’m against.  I think it’s gradually destroying Arizona, and I don’t think it will survive–I think we’re using up our resource base, especially water, much faster than it can ever be replaced.  Therefore, unless some sort of technological miracle saves us, I imagine that Phoenix and Tucson will be small towns again, and probably very nice places to live.

I was just reading a very good book by Charles Bowden, “Killing the Hidden Waters” which goes into this subject in great detail, historical and geological.  He describes how the Papago Indians survived out here simply by living off the land, mainly hunting and gathering.  Surviving on surface water–a few springs and flash floods for farming, and they got by for 10, maybe 20 thousand years.  ‘Course they didn’t create what most of us would consider a very brilliant civilization, but they had a satisfying way of life and were probably as happy as most modern Americans…

Click the image below to read the rest of Eric’s interview with Ed Abbey:



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