The Challenge of Environmental Ethics Suppose putting out natural fires, culling feral animals or destroying some individual members of overpopulated indigenous species is necessary for the protection of the integrity of a certain ecosystem. Will these actions be morally permissible or even required? Is it morally acceptable for farmers in non-industrial countries to practise slash and burn techniques to clear areas for agriculture? Consider a mining company which has performed open pit mining in some previously unspoiled area.
Yes, but just what and whom do we love? In The Land Ethic, Leopold attempts to explain why people are so selfish in the use of their land.
Throughout history, people have been ruthlessly fighting each other for control of the most land possible, including forests, beaches, plains, fields, mountains and so on. Certainly not to help make use of it to serve the community, or the greater good or the future for that matter.
Instead, it is essentially squeezed for all its worth, by people who are only interested in fossil fuels and depleting resources among other things, all without regard to harming the environment, all in the name of big business.
To combat the self centered needs of individuals and corporations alike, we must not forget that the government provides subsidies and regulations on land use. He feels that private owners need to be ethically logical to the land.
In The Tragedy of the Commons, Hardin talks about the consequences of our selfish nature and attempts to find a technical solution to the land ethnic. He concludes that to this particular problem, there is no technical solution.
That is, there is no change in technique that can make people stop using the land selfishly, and instead, this requires a change in human values or ideas of morality.
While we all need some sort of rules and regulations to avoid absolute chaos, I feel that Hardin takes it to the extreme by suggesting socialistic type commons. It seems to me that, if there are to be differences in individual inheritance, legal possession should be perfectly correlated with biological inheritance??
He uses The Prisoners Dilemma to get his point across. This makes perfect common sense. As I mentioned earlier, natural human behavior possess a self-preservation mentality.
Each prisoner must assume that the other will not confess and thus be assured of only one year in jail. Hence, the behavior of self-preservation. What good does it provide one who sacrifices non discretionary income, food or personal wealth to provide for those who do not have a direct and immediate responsibility to that land?
For instance, take our current welfare system. The state of Florida recently passed legislation requiring applicants seeking Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to submit to drug testing in order to receive benefits.
This new legislation has caused many current recipients to argue that it is unfair and prejudiced. I totally disagree to this argument since many working United States citizen pay their taxes to support the welfare system.
Many of these hard working Americans must submit to company-required drug testing in order to secure their employment. This poses the question that why must honest hard working Americans submit to employers required drug testing to secure a livelihood while many social service recipients may stay home, receive free healthcare through Medicaid, receive food stamps, etc.
Once the Florida Legislation approve the bill to drug test welfare recipients inthe American Civil Liberties Union ACLU filed suit to stop it and a federal judge issued a temporary injunction. The ACLU also sued the state over a law approved to drug test current state workers, but a judge issued an injunction forbidding the tests.
Arguments for this suit are scheduled for March Florida law already denies welfare benefits to individuals convicted of drug trafficking. These cases are specifically two opposing sides fighting for their own self-preservation.
The state is trying to protect the working citizens of Florida so their hard earned dollars help the truly needy while the ACLU is fighting for many, but not all, that are looking for social assistance but do not pay the taxes to help their own cause.
I revert back to my earlier statement that during job interviews many employers require applicants to submit to drug testing and while social service recipients do not have this requirement. Where do they get the money for the phone and how do they pay for the service?
In conclusion, I feel that Leopold does have a compelling argument that we do need some regulation for The Land Ethic to sustain future generations; Hardin takes his Tragedy of the Commons to the extreme seeking a socialistic society.The Aldo Leopold Foundation was founded in with a mission to foster the land ethic through the legacy of Aldo Leopold, awakening an ecological conscience in people throughout the world.
In A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold set forth his most enduring idea, the “land ethic,” a moral responsibility of humans to the natural world. Aldo Leopold’s land ethic idea is extremely relevant in today’s society, but understanding the land ethic can be difficult.
Environmental ethics is the part of environmental philosophy which considers extending the traditional boundaries of ethics from solely called "The Land Ethic," in which Leopold explicitly claimed that the roots of the Andrew Brennan was an advocate of ecologic humanism (eco-humanism), the argument that all ontological entities, .
In The Land Ethic, Leopold attempts to explain why people are so selfish in the use of their land. Throughout history, people have been ruthlessly fighting each other for control of the most land possible, including forests, beaches, plains, fields, mountains and so on.
A land, ethic, then, reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the -health of 'the land. Health is the capacity of. the land for self-renewal. Aldo Leopold & the Land Ethic (in James White textbook, 8th ed).
1. SCIENTIFIC STARTING POINT: Humans are part of a land pyramid, and human existence depends on the stability of that pyramid.