land ethic 3.docx

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School of Environment
Stephen Scharper

October 7, 2010 The Land Ethic Ethical Sequence  An ethic, ecologically is a limitation on freedom of action in the struggle for existence.  An ethic, philosophically is a differentiation of social from anti-social conduct  Symbioses having a origin in the tendency of interdependent individuals or groups to evolve modes of co-operation  Golden rule tries to integrate(mix, emerge) the individual to society; democracy integrates (mix,emerges) social organization to the individual  The extension of ethic to this third element in human environment is an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity  An ethic may be regarded as a mode of guidance for meeting ecological situations so new or intricate, or involving such deferred reactions that the path of social expediency isn’t discernible to the average individual  Animal instincts are modes of guidance for the individual in meeting such situations.  Ethics are a kind of community instinct in the making Community Concept  All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. his instincts prompt him to compete for his place in the community but his ethic prompt him to co- operate  The land ethic enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, animals and land  We are not treating the world as we should  ex: not the water because we r sending and spilling sewage into the rivers and lakes etc  A land ethic changes the role of Homo Sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it  The conqueror role eventually leads to self-defeating (makes someone think they know everything, what is valuable to the earth etc, when in reality it is the opposite that is truly valuable and truth/fact)  Citizens think that science knows everything and is what makes the community  Each recession of plant types bred erosion, each increment to erosion bred a further recession of plants The Ecological Conscience  Conservation proceeds at a snail’s pace  Obey law, vote, join organizations, practice conservation and the gov. Will do the rest  it defines no right or wrong, assigns no obligation or sacrifice, implies no change  Ppl are losing the focus of the earth, we have more edu. But less soil, fewer woods and much more floods Substitutes for a Land Ethic  Weakness in conservation=members of the land have no economic value  Wildflowers and songbirds; there are over 22,000 but only 5 % could be put to use these creature are part of the community, and if stability depends on its integrity these creature are then entitled to continuance clearly we don’t love this creature because when something we love is being threatened we give it value and economic importance (give money to make it live) and we aren’t doing that with these creatures  Species of trees have been “read out of the party” bcuz they grow slow or have too low a sale value (ex: cypress, cedar, beech, hemlock, tamarack)  We are taking certain parts of nature for granted, everything in nature gives the earth diversity and adds different landscapes and views to our community  No ethical obligation toward land is taught in certain institutions  A system of conservation based solely on economic self-interest i
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