Kennedy makes the statement that says that usually when you would think of someone who is termed an "environmentalist" you see the typical hippie hugging trees and worshiping the tree gods while making human sacrifices. Whether that is true or not is not the debate at hand.The crucial struggle within this literature Kenny portrays is the importance to save the remaining nature that defines our culture while still having a stable economy. According to Kennedy, while our ancestors have destroyed nature before we have been able to preserve certain areas due to past leaders who acknowledged nature as the basis of our culture. In Kennedy's opinion, Frederick Jackson Turner is the first great historian. Frederick Jackson Turner felt that the root of American democracy was grounded in the wilderness. MORE HERE
Kennedy states that God and nature are connected in many ways but not in the sense of nature being God. In earlier years, when America was just being set up, our cultural and political leaders were using nature as the easiest and clearest way to speak with God and passed that on to everyone else. American writers during the age of "Nature Writers" such as Henry Thoreau and Ralph Emerson would embrace nature as their source of inspiration. Kennedy treats nature as a mark that God left for Americans to embrace as the way to find God. Kennedy uses the following metaphor "Destroying these last wild places......is the moral equivalent of tearing the last pages from the last Bible, Talmud Upanishad or Koran on earth" to depict this scene.
Whether or not one agrees or disagrees with Robert F Kennedy, Jr's "The American Wilderness: Why It Matters", this is a very important piece of literature. Whether you are the typical "environmentalist" hippie hugging trees or the oil business man, Kennedy wants you to act on this situation. It puts things in perspective by taking not only our American forefathers who took on being environmentally friendly, but our present day leaders creating fitness programs and having the rugged look. He believes that destroying the last of the environment is destroying life as we know it.