Deep Ecology

19 03 2011

Deep Ecology represents our first encounter with a completely nonanthropocentric approach to justify equal moral standing to the whole of nature.  According to biocentric equality, intrinsic value resides among both humans and nonhuman species alike.  Individuals are challenged to find true reality and significance through self-awareness of ones proper place in the interrelated whole of nature.  The Deep Ecology ecophilosophy serves as a foundation for implementation of the “Platform” which envisions a harmonious world, or “ecotopia.”

For this blog, you will be assigned by name alphabetically (check e-mail) to the sequence of the  first five “Discussion Questions” in DesJardins’ Chapter 9.   After reading the chapter, your task is to consider how the Deep Ecology ethics applies to the particular issue to which you have been assigned; and then comment on the implications in today’s world confronted with environmental problems.  Please entitle your comment using a representative key word or phrase.


Applying Leopold’s Land Ethic

16 03 2011

You are part of a fifth-generation family who have lived on the same land in Wisconsin since the 1800’s.  Because you most closely shared your father’s values toward this land, he had made you the fifth holder of the land trust to maintain this 100 acres of land.  The land includes a perimeter of about 40 acres of secondary forest that was selectively timbered in the 1940’s interspersed with some prairie and savanna communities; and, an inner core of old-growth forest, never timbered.  Your land is surrounded by a combination of agricultural and expanding residential land.  Your father had allowed neighbors limited hunting and cutting of firewood from fallen trees, but with increasing population moving in you are contemplating how best to manage your inheritance.  Based on completion of DesJardins’ Ch. 8, contribute your response to one of the following of your choice while avoiding redundancy if someone has already commented on it:

1.  Ecological considerations pertinent to deciding how to ethically care for your inheritance.
2.  Your reaction to an ethical holism in which moral standing is based upon the “natural state” and “stability, complexity, health” of the land.
3.  Present the logic used by a neighbor who believes that you are an “environmental fascist.”
4.  Defend  your “Leopold land ethic” and the land trust concept when the neighbor in #3. above applies a spray paint message: “fascist.”
5.   Explain how Callicott’s ethics might aid your use of the “land ethic” but also is vulnerable to criticism

Thinking Like a Mountain

4 03 2011

In his powerful essay contained in A Sand County Almanac (Oxford, 1949) entitled “Thinking Like a Mountain”, Aldo Leopold described his conversion from one view of nature to an entirely different view. Devote a few minutes to read Leopold’s account recorded on pages 129-133 of A Sand County Almanac. Reflect on what he is saying. Then, respond with two or three sentences that address one of the following to add an additional insight not already included in any comments already posted:
a) Leopold’s view of nature before and after his “conversion”
b) What it means to “think like a mountain” in contrast to thinking otherwise.
c) How does/doesn’t the imagery of “a mountain” convey Leopold’s intent in the essay?
d) What environmental ethic (if any) is supported by this essay?
Remember, two or three sentences max!