Edward Abbey - The Literature of Efficiency

It’s late summer and from time to time we will bring you some quotes from writers and scientists noted for their interest in energy and society. Today’s selections are from Edward Abbey (1927-1989), often known as Cactus Ed, a southwestern desert-based writer and advocate for wilderness. He has been referred to as the “Thoreau of the American West.”
In addition to Thoreau, Abbey counted Aldo Leopold, Gary Snyder and Peter Kropotkin among his literary influences. His appeal cut across political lines as his advocacy for wilderness attracted lovers of nature from all corners. He was an equal opportunity offender; his writings were often found disagreeable by mainstream environmentalists as well as conservatives. Among his more controversial statements was
"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."
Citation of Abbey’s quotes here today does not imply support for any of those groups who have claimed inspiration from his writings or their actions. His thoughts are presented, instead, to remind us of one man’s views, open to interpretation, but explicitly stated nonetheless.  Please feel free to add your comments.
"An economic system which can only expand or expire must be false to all that is human." 
 –Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness

“If industrial man continues to multiply his numbers and expand his operations he will succeed in his apparent intention, to seal himself off from the natural and isolate himself within a synthetic prison of his own making."
–Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
"Ah yes, the head is full of books. The hard part is to force them down through the bloodstream and out through the fingers."
–Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast
One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."
- Speech, 1976 published as “Joy, Shipmates, Joy”

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I am a Seattle-based writer. Energy efficiency and the achievement of human potential are my goals. I have worked as a legislative aide and a database manager, and recently started building a money- and energy-saving household goods online store featuring sensible and affordable home environment solutions including ENERGY STAR qualified products. Contact: Twitter: @Greenbespoke @SaveWattsatHome