By Peter Reed, David Rothenberg
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Additional resources for Wisdom in the Open Air: The Norwegian Roots of Deep Ecology
Born in 1899, Zapffe grew up in Troms0, far to the north in Norway. The landscape around this island city is spiked with gray, barren peaks, and Zapffe, an early and accomplished mountaineer, at one time or another scaled most of them. The pious atmosphere of home, school, and church was much less liberating, and it was only when he came to the University of Oslo in 1918 that his philosophical inclinations were given free rein. Originally he studied law (writing his bar exam in verse), but later took a degree in philosophy.
Such losses set the pace for a line of dammings that marched up through the sixties with only an occasional missed step. Arguments for protection were mostly cast in aesthetic terms, came usually from a small cadre of naturalists, and were regularly drowned out by the clamor for economic growth. But as Norway's electrification gained speed, protests began to spring up in farming communities who would be dried up or otherwise hurt by diversion schemes. And by the end of the sixties hydroprojects were as a rule getting opposition from environmentalists in one organization or another.
31 This transition influenced the philosophy of action that was to characterize the environmental movement up to the present. The reason this action was so revolutionary for the movement was that it was hitherto virtually unheard of in Norway. By using this form of nonviolent protest, the activists had stepped into a political no-man'sland. ' " 32 As Kval0y remarks, there was usually some local opposition to such demonstrations, and it was more than just a few farmers hoodwinked by false promises of economic benefits.
Wisdom in the Open Air: The Norwegian Roots of Deep Ecology by Peter Reed, David Rothenberg