Archive of Certificate Papers

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All, John

Positional Self-Interest and Disparate Cultural Outlooks as Limiting Factors to Agreements at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro - 1993

Abstract:
The inability of the participants at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) Rio summit to come to any agreement on a wide range of environmental and development issues is symptomatic of the participants general unwillingness to comprise. Nations constructed their positions (often along regional lines) prior to UNCED and refused to waver far from them. This positional bargaining meant that only non-substantive agreements could be reached. Compromise is not possible when nations are locked into differing rigid positions. The impasses which inhibited UNCED negotiations were primarily caused by the polarization of the world into the interest groups of the northern affluent industrialized countries and the southern developing nations. This paper examines the cause of this polarization and it's effects at Rio. It looks at what was archived at Rio, the discord which results from the maldistribution of financial resources across the world, and the rancor that developed between Northern and Southern nations over responsibility for worldwide environmental degradation. This paper shows how the gulf between nations affected specific negotiations at Rio; specifically the Forestry Accord, Climate Change Treaty and overpopulation. It is concluded that financial questions plagued the Rio negotiations and will limit future implementation of the accords.

Armstrong, Frank

Water Apportionment in Georgia: Economics, Ecology, Equity, and Future Generations

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A significant drought, interstate water conflicts, and burgeoning growth have led Georgians to think seriously about their once plentiful water supply and how it should be allocated to satisfy economic, ecological and societal needs. This paper presents an overview of Georgia water law nested within the concepts of Federalism and the potential impact of the Public Trust Doctrine on water governance in Georgia.

Askew, Wallace

Anomalies of Scientific Beliefs With Regard to Educational Practice - 1993

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The scientific paradigm, as productive as it is in many areas, spurred within my own intellect an intuition, frightful and disconcerting misgivings as I approached the study of the process of educating human beings. The model of human beings this paradigm implies is one of a machine. The misgivings I have with the "process-product" scientific paradigm is assuaged by C.J.B. Macmillan and James Garrison in their book on erotetic theory - a theory based on teacher and student questions within the teaching/learning situation. They offer an alternative to the the "process-product" paradigm, just as qualitatively based research offers another. Alternatives are in order, if not demanded, considering the abysmal results of quantitative research in making a significant difference in a field that, I believe, is more art than science. One needs only to observe that since the scientific approach has been implemented into the programs of educational investigation, education has not improved appreciably; if anything, it has deteriorated. The glut of specialized information gained from utilization of the process-product paradigm has become a smokescreen obfuscating the discovery of knowledge concerning what constitutes effective teaching/learning. What is missing is a holistic approach rather than a reductionistic separation of teacher, student, and subject matter domains. Contemporary planetary events and conditions and the subsequent conscious and subconscious reactions to these events and conditions demand a change in the paradigm used to approach education. The traditional paradigms inherent in the thinking of society at large must be altered if humankind is to prevail. Macmillan and Garrison offer one promising alternative. The questions and answers examined in their erotetic approach to education might possibly evolve meaningful answers to pressing questions of our time.

Bender, Sherri

Environmental Education and Environmental Ethics in Southeastern Summer Camps - 1992

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A common thread in many discussions about the environment is the need for education. This education is taking place at school, at home, on TV, and even in summer camp. Camp has traditionally been a place where children go to partake in outdoor recreation and learn independence and special skills. The major emphasis of activities in camp is fun and recreation. Although this has been true in the past, things are changing. Because of it's outdoor setting, camp is an ideal place for environmental education. This study attempts to find out what Southeastern camps are teaching about the environment and whether they are teaching an environmental ethic. This study used a questionnaire to find out how many Southeastern summer camps offer environmental education in their camp program. The study found that most of the camps that responded do teach environmental ethics in some way. While the amount varies if the camp is an environmental camp or a recreational camp, the same activities and concepts are taught. The results did not vary a lot between different types of camps; the general trend shown in the total responses was followed by each category of camp.

Berg, Ed

Silk Purses from Sow's Ears? Alternative Uses of Nuclear Weapons Facilities and Contaminated Areas: The Savannah River Site Example - 1993

Abstract:
Recent revelations about poorly managed nuclear facilities in the Eastern Bloc as well as the Chernobyl disaster have forcibly raised the issue of what to do with these facilities and the lands which they have contaminated. The US is by no means exempt from such questions. Contamination problems at nuclear sites limit to varying degrees the options for their future use. Without a multi-billion dollar remediation program, contaminated buildings and lands cannot be placed on the open market, for reasons of public safety and liability, and a government presence - that of the resent government and all its successors - will be required in perpetuity on any human time scale. Strange as it may seem, however, this restriction generates constructive possibilities for these facilities which might not be practical or even possible with properties that are still marketable. In this paper I examine in detail one such facility: the Savannah River Site near Aiken, SC. My basic thesis is that the site should be re-organized with a dual mission as a clean energy "think tank" and as a large-scale ecological "laboratory." The clean energy aspect could be elaborated at most of the nuclear weapons production sites, whereas the ecological laboratory concept is most suitable to the larger sites. To make my argument, I first outline the environmental impact of nuclear operations on the Savannah River Site. Next, I review a range of possible alternative scenarios for the site, and then draw out some of their environmental, social and political implications.

Bratton, Susan

Battling Satan in the Wilderness: Antagonism, Spirituality and Wild Nature in the Four Gospels - 1985

Abstract:
American attitudes towards wilderness have grown from a complex of cultural roots. Among these are the Judeo-Christian traditions, which still exert a strong influence in today's largely secularized and technological society. Although works such as Rodrick Nash's Wilderness and the American Mind have reviewed the primary trends and the most important sources, scholars have completed very little detailed work on the perceptions of philosophical writings of western culture. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship of wilderness to major themes in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; and to determine if the gospel writers portray wild nature as an adverse or favorable setting for spiritual activity and events. This study finds that the gospel writers portray wild nature as the place of spiritual encounter, both divine and satanic. The themes of prayer, rest or withdrawal, visionary experience and temptation all emphasize the personal or individual in relation to the wilderness. Since most adverse events, including verbal confrontations and bodily injury, occur in buildings or urban settings, one concludes the gospel writers do not portray wild nature as an adverse location, but rather find the synagogue, temple, and praetorium to be the proffered habitation of evil.

Causey, Ann

1988

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Choi, Joon Won

A Critique on Current Environmental Movement - 1994

Abstract:
We need cooperation on a global scale in order to solve the current environmental problems. How to obtain the global cooperation is very problematic, simply because humans have never attempted cooperation on this scale before. Cooperation theory which successfully explains how cooperative patterns of animal behaviors evolved may be applied to human environmental problems. This application is rather limited because the difference between human and animal is not considered but it gives us an insight into the current environmental movement. Given that the two requirements of reciprocity and the shadow of the future are sufficient to establish cooperation among selfish participants, we need to seriously consider the environmental movements as they are currently practiced. 1) Biocentrism is not always the best choice because it makes the environmental movement a zero sum game. This also makes cooperation much more difficult than anthropocentrism. 2) Doomsday scenario may be helpful in promoting ecological conciseness for the general public, but it can undermine cooperation when the general public has been already educated. 3) The group size is very important for the establishment of cooperation. Since we never achieved cooperation on a global scale, it could be more beneficial to set goal of cooperation on a smaller scale.

Christoph, Erica

Historic Preservation v. Human Health: Issues Raised by the Presence of Lead Paint

Abstract:
The federal government has established its interest in both protecting public health and preserving the historic built landscape of the country. What is less clear, however, is the manner in which the government should mitigate the problems that arise when these interests conflict, as they do when the danger of lead-based paint is weighed against the historical integrity of many of the homes in which it is found. While certain ethical frameworks, especially environmental justice perspectives, indicate that public health should trump historic preservation, the concrete realities of dealing with lead paint in historic homes actually suggest that in the majority of cases neither concern must be sacrificed. Through a careful analysis of historic homes -- one which recognizes varying risks of lead poisoning from architectural features that themselves carry varying levels of historical significance – the interest of public health can be served in tandem with the interest of historic preservation.

Coale, Harwell

Wetland Conservation and Mitigation: Ethical Perspectives - 1993

Abstract:
Historically wetlands were considered to be worthless land which served as an obstacle to progress and fostered disease, but they are now widely viewed as valuable natural resources and unique ecosystems. While there there has been some success in wetland mitigation, there has been a great deal of failure, especially in the area of forested wetland mitigation. Great success in wetland mitigation could be achieved if those responsible for implementing the mitigation adopted an environmental ethic towards the wetlands they destroyed. If developers embraced such an ethic then they would avoid impacts to wetlands at all costs, minimize the impacts when impacting wetlands was unavoidable, and feel an obligation to replace what they have destroyed. This holds perhaps the greatest promise for the success of wetland mitigation because developers would work to ensure that the mitigation sites successfully developed into wetlands as opposed to simply complying with the stated requirements of the permit. Such an attitude would prove especially beneficial in the case of creating forested wetlands. The long period of time associated with the development of forested wetlands requires long term maintenance and monitoring to ensure success. Much of the failure in forested wetland mitigation is due to lack of such monitoring of the progress of the sites and conducting additional modifications to the sites when they do not develop as anticipated. Regulatory agencies do not have the resources to take on actives such as these. Therefore, if real success is to be archived in forested wetland mitigation, the burden is upon the individuals responsible for the wetland destruction to take all necessary steps in order to ensure the success of the mitigation. Adoption of an environmental ethic by these individuals is a mechanism by which to achieve these goals.

Cogswell, Gini

Welcoming the Thicket: The Role of Service Learning in Environmental Education - 2001

Abstract:
Service learning is a form of experimental education where students are encouraged to apply classroom concepts in addressing community needs. Many practitioners argue that service learning fosters the growth and development of the student as a whole by encouraging their personal, interpersonal, cognitive, and intellectual growth. This holistic approach to student development parallels and complements the encompassing discipline of environmental education. In addition, the philosophical changes that service learning encourages may result in behavioral changes that reflect environmental values. My paper argues that service learning has a definite role in environmental education. It explores service learning as both a pedagogy and a philosophy and provides a historical and modern day account of environmental education.

Cowell, C. Mark

Ecological Restoration and Environmental Ethics - 1992

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Restoration ecology is a recently emerged branch of scientific ecology that challenges many of the traditional tenets of environmentalists. Restoration of ecosystems, "applied ecology," has the potential to advance theoretical understanding to such an extent that scientists may gain significant prowess in manipulating the environment. This poses fundamental problems to the widely held view that "Nature Knows Best," or as this stance has been characterized, environmental therapeutic nihilism. Instead of an overriding concern for preserving areas from human influences, philosophical discussions by restorationists are frequently optimistic about an increasingly active human participation within ecosystems. Despite the environmentally dangerous possibilities that this form of science and technology present, restoration offers an equally attractive potential for human interaction with the environment. Here I outline the primary claims that have been made for ecological restoration, examine inconsistencies with restorationists' philosophical position, and propose a reassessment of the definition of restoration that may aid in the clarification and development of a system of environmental ethics that recognizes human relationships with the environment as potentially symbiotic and positive.

Crescenzo, Daniel L.

“The Principle of Naturalistic Preservation: A Guide to Moral Interaction with Ecosystems”

Abstract:
Aldo Leopold famously argued that we are plain citizens of the biotic community, and that our relationship with this community is therefore an ethical one. In this paper I propose a normative principle to guide our interactions with ecosystems in accordance with Leopold’s ecocentrism: the principle of naturalistic preservation. According to this principle, actions which preserve the evolved dynamic relationships between species and between species and their environment within a given ecosystem should be promoted, and those which do not should be discouraged. In order to demonstrate what this principle would look like in action, I examine a hypothetical proposal to introduce mountain lions (Puma concolor) into southwestern North Carolina in order to control wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations. I conclude that it would be right to do so according to the principle of naturalistic preservation. I also discuss more generally some practical implications of following this principle and why it applies most urgently to human beings as causal agents.

Crew, Seth

Ecosystem Services, Neoliberalism, and the Shifting Values of Nature -- 2015

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This paper examines ecosystem service valuation as a market-based conservation tool, which comes as one of the numerous cost-benefit oriented environmental policies developed under the expansion of neoliberalism. Ecosystem services have been instrumental in some cases by promoting biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and poverty alleviation, but they have the potential to undermine conservation of ecosystems in some cases and neglect or exacerbate social equity concern. I argue that these concerns are inevitable under the logic of neoliberalism, because market enrollment precludes values other than an objects/functions commodity value or exchange value; aesthetic, spiritual, cultural, or other non-market values are obscured in the process of extending markets to ecosystems. The paper first gives an overview and description of ecosystem service valuation tools; second, lists the positives and drawbacks of ecosystem service valuation while referring to specific cases; and finally, discusses ecosystem valuation in the context of neoliberalism, and relates market environmentalism with environmental values. I conclude with the suggestion that ecosystem service valuation can be useful, but we should take care to package market-based policies with ethical concerns and social controls.

Curry, Betsy Ann

The State of Urban Agriculture and the Quest for Profitability -- 2014

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Over 80% of Americans reside in urban areas. With so many people flocking to these urban centers, it is vital that cities are prepared to handle food distribution and production closer to the sources of consumption. If these cities cannot provide sustainable solutions to food production, the U.S. could experience food security issues. Presently, the United States has an elaborate food distribution system but fresh food isnt always transported into urban areas. Accessibility to affordable vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and other foodstuff that make a balanced diet are less abundant in many lower income cities and neighborhoodsclassifying some areas as food deserts. To avoid or reverse the incidence of food deserts, this paper examines the best practices of seasoned veterans Seattle, WA and New York City, NY, as well as Detroit, MI which is uniquely positioned for urban agriculture due to its abundance of mostly non-contaminated, vacant lots throughout the city limits. These three cities are experiencing obstacles, such as the establishment of municipal laws to support urban farming, and advancements, such as the very intriguing profit seeking urban farmers in New York City and Detroit. Generating significant revenue is perhaps the real future for agricultural production within cities. Finally, this paper assesses our very own Atlanta, GA, which is a city actively transforming its green status through various initiatives and demonstrates that it can be a model city in a position to greatly and positively impact its future if the proper steps are taken.

Curtin, Pat

The Right to Remain Indian: A Case Study of the Adequacy of Journalistic Professional Norms to Inform Environmental Reporting - 1995

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This paper examines environmental coverage of a water-quality standards conflict between the city of Albuquerque and Isleta Pueblo as it appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. Quantitative and qualitative content analyses demonstrate that reporters presented the issue to readers in terms of short-term political conflict, with local government sources predominating and controlling the interpretation of issues. Because the actual environmental aspects of the controversy were not explored, the coverage does not examine the long-term impacts of the water-quality standards proposed, nor are scientific or environmental advocacy sources used. The result is that the Pueblo's position is marginalized in the coverage, and the import of this environmental issue to their cultural survival is lost. The coverage presented, however, does fulfill current professional norms and standards for news reporting. Although the results of one case study cannot be generalized, these results sustain those of other studies, the combined weight of which suggest that current professional news reporting standards, and therefore social responsibility theory, are inadequate to produce coverage that informs readers about environmental issues. An alternative ethical basis for determining professional reporting norms, communitarian ethics, appears to offer more promise for producing environmental coverage that examines these issues outside of a short-term political conflict frame. As a pragmatic alternative, however, communitarian ethics falls short, although it holds much promise as an informed basis for professional environmental reporting norms.

Daniel, Jenna Brown

The Agricultural and Cultural Repercussions of Mountaintop Removal -- 2011

Abstract:
Appalachia has been described as the richest and most developed ecosystem in the United States and even in North america. Juxtaposing this rich and historically important area are the large coal companies which seek the mineral that has come to power our nation and its activities for decades. Although coal mining is not beneficial for the biodiversity and agriculture in Appalachia, it does employ thousands of individuals and keeps Americans from becoming more dependent on foreign supplies of energy. Since the 1970s a new technique of coal mining, called mountaintop removal(an extension of strip mining), has become increasingly common in coal mining practices. This paper will explore the process of mountaintop removal in Appalachia and the environmental effects it has on the land and its people. The conclusion will argue for the cessation of mountaintop removal based on an ecologically sensible environmental ethic.

Draney, Michael

Ethical Obligations Toward Insect Pests-- 1995

Abstract:
This paper examines the implications of considering the values and the rights of intersect pests in determining which insect control efforts to pursue. This consideration will depend on the scale of the control effort, this is, whether the control operates at the level of individual pest organism, populations, or the entire pest species. I argue that an individual organism's rights cannot be taken into account in planning insect control, because of the practical impossibility of granting it anything but infinitesimal moral significance. However, in harming populations of insects, numbers become important and effects on local ecosystems should be considered. Given this, it still may be right to control or even eliminate a population if it's negative value to humans is sufficiently high in relation to its ecological value. Eradication of a species involves irrevocable loss. I propose that species are unique individual entities (as opposed to abstract classes of organisms) and that our ethical obligations to insect pests lie in acknowledging the right of these species to continued, if controlled, existence. At this level, they must receive moral consideration in any actions taken.

Dyer, Mary

Shifting Towards a New Environmental Ethic - 1992

Abstract:
Although they share the common goal of protecting the environment, reform environmentalism and environmental ethics have different foci. Environmental ethicists emphasize the need for a fundamental change in human attitude towards the environment, and tend to be concerned with environmental degradation as a general problem. Reform environmentalists tend to concentrate on specific, immediate problems, and work to correct them by changing policies and laws. Reform environmentalism deals with the present, while environmental ethicists attempt to develop a new environmental ethic for the future. Although the criticism that reform environmentalism fails to address the underlying causes of environmental problems is valid, a complete focus on some future ethic as an alternative to reform environmentalism may have its own shortcomings. This paper argues that some effort must be directed towards the middle ground between these two extremes, to shift human behavior and attitude along a transition from pure reform measures towards a new ethical framework. This approach must address concrete environmental problems while at the same time plant the seeds for a more fundamental attitude change. The benefits of this approach are discussed primarily with regard to the difficulties of effecting a new environmental ethic. First, some of the views presented in the environmental ethics literature regarding humanity's relationship to nature are described, as illustration of the potential new ethic to be adopted. Next, some issues are raised with respect to the concerns related to the actual adoption mentioned above. Finally, important characteristics of a transitional approach are discussed. The need to effect actual change requires more integration between present efforts and the future objectives. Instead of working only at the extremes of reform environmentalism and ethics, albeit simultaneously, some consideration must be given to making the transition from one to the other.

Ebel, Edgard

1985

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Fedewa, Luke

Do Herps Need Ethics?

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Does environmental ethics have a place in herpetofaunal conservation? Global conservation of reptiles and amphibians, or herpetofauna, is one of the many environmental problems that needs to be addressed by burgeoning human populations. The increasing number of anthropogenic interactions and the underlying social and cultural perceptions threaten amphibians and reptiles throughout the world. Environmental ethics may provide the objective tools to determine what we ought to do regarding the myriad of moral conflicts involved in herpetofaunal conservation. Three categories of environmental ethical theory (ecofeminism, animal rights/welfare, and biocentrism) were applied to three herpetofaunal conservation problems (habitat destruction, unsustainable use, and environmental pollution) to elucidate the efficacy of applying environmental ethics toward herpetofaunal conservation.

Fennel, John

Environmental Ethics Without Metaphysics - 2000

Abstract:
Those concerned with environmental ethics often bemoan the influence of enlightenment metaphysics on ethical thought. Based upon enlightenment physics, enlightenment metaphysics tell us that the individual is the primary unit of concern, and all moral worth is derived from the individual. Such a picture encourages us to think of the environment as a resource for satisfying human needs, not something worthy of respect on its own terms. To overcome the influence of enlightenment metaphysics, environmentalists like J. Baird Callicot suggest that the science of ecology should replace physics as the source of our metaphysics. Ecology tells us that the individual is not the most important element of the world; instead, the ecological whole is the unit of importance. Thus an action is right if it preserves the integrity of the environment, wrong if it doesn't. In this paper I argue that looking outside of our ethical world-view for support of our ethical concepts in metaphysics is not only unnecessary but also could lead us to make unethical decisions on our own terms. We have concepts in our language to which we can appeal to determining if our actions fit in with what is required of us to lead a human life, and these concepts don't require any metaphysical foundations. Furthermore, subjugating what is to lead a human life to the metaphysics of either physics or ecology has or would encourage us to ignore aspects of human life we already value for abstract notions. I don't know if leading a fully human life will be incompatible with preventing irreparable environmental destruction. I doubt that much of modern life that has proved to be so noxious for the environment has much to do with leading a fully human life. However, rectifying this situation is not a task for philosophy - philosophy's task is to help us get clear on what our values actually are. Whether or not our values ultimately conflict with the environment is another matter. We cannot think outside of our moral values - they are the values in which moral thought takes place. And our task as people trying to live human lives is to live in terms of the values we already have.

Frasz, Geoffrey

Intrinsic Value and Environmental Ethics - 1986

Abstract:
In this paper I focus on the idea first suggested by Richard Routley (Sylvan) that a genuine environmental ethics will feature as its core an axiology that vests intrinsic value in nature, since the dominant western ethics make use of axiologies that invest intrinsic value only in people. I first discuss the meaning of intrinsic value, how it relates to philosophic use. I then examine how the concept plays a part in the writings of contemporary thinkers in the field of environmental ethics. Finally I test a hypothesis that there is a non-contingent connection between the range of moral consideration and concepts of intrinsic value. I do this by examining various arguments for expanding the range of moral consideration. My provisional conclusion is that moral consideration can be extended to non-human entities, both biotic and abiotic, because such entities have certain interests whose realization is of intrinsic value.

Garrison, Dawn

Project Opportunity: Combining Education and Employment - 1994

Abstract:
In 1993, Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), National Trials Fund Act (NRTFA), Georgia Cooperative Extension Service (Georgia 4-H), Georgia Department of Natural Resource (DNR), Georgia Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), and United States Forest Service (USFS) combined to provide jobs for youth and a tutorial program for maintaining reading and mathematical academic levels. Project Opportunity (PO) was designed for 14 and 21 year old youth. PO had a positive impact on participants in terms of knowledge, attitude and skill development and 105 km of trails were maintained and augmented. Although PO was designed as a pilot program for youth in the North Georgia area, it can easily be modified to address the specific needs of groups in other areas on the United States.

Greene, Robert

A Critique of Cost-Benefit Analysis - 1997

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In this paper I critique cost-benefit analysis (CBA) by arguing that the continued use of CBA as the primary basis of decision-making and policy development is destructive to the self-interest of human beings. For example, I argue that CBA should not be used to decide whether to dam a river or log and old-growth forest, nor should it be used to determine how fast non-renewable resources should be consumed or determine whether to promulgate new environmental regulations. Granted, there is a fine line separating environmental from business situations, and it can even be said that the line does not exist. But, because of the strong anthropocentric nature of economics, the claim that every and all situations are environmental is too extreme and might scare or alienate the very people for whom this critique is intended. CBA is widely used in decision-making and policy development. The widespread use of CBA is evident in past as well as proposed legislation. My purpose here is to point out the inevitable consequences of using CBA as the primary basis of decision making policy development. I begin the critique with a description of the market system and the discipline of economics. Next, I discuss some of the conceptual defects inherent in this foundation that make CBA destructive to the self-interests of human beings. Then, I define CBA and point out some problems specific to CBA that add to this destructive potential. Finally, I discuss how CBA is similar to, but distinct from utilitarianism, and conclude that CBA is ethically irrelevant. We must recognize that without a healthy and functioning environment, there would be no market system or need for CBA. Therefore, the environment should be given the highest priority in the decision-making process.

Grigg, Sarah H.

Anatomy of a Bear Trap -- 2010

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To write about nature, to write about purportedly rural places, wild places, in this country, at this time, means to doom them, not because the writer intends such -- I think we all put pen to paper with only the best of intentions -- but rather because our readers are nowadays ready pilgrims, trigger-happy buccaneers ready to embrace the authors interpretation, to stake out their own tale in the seductive scenery that we have procured from experience, from hearsay. I do not say this as a judge, but as a victim of my own snare.

Guiney, Jennifer

The State of Recycling in Gwinnett County, Georgia

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Gwinnett County, Georgia is consistently one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. In the 1980s, as the county realized the implications of this growth on its resources, it began to find ways to mitigate the negative effects of the booming population. One of the ways it sought to achieve this growth was through recycling. This paper discusses recycling in the past, present, and future. It also discusses those areas that do not recycle and why. This paper emphasizes how other areas, especially those with a predictable future of heavy growth, would be wise to observe how the county’s leaders and its citizens handle the impacts of increased amounts of solid waste.

Hamazaki, Toshihide

Japanese Environmental Ethics - 1994

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Globalization of environmental problems has not only expanded the scale of the problems, but also has enhanced cultural awareness in environmental ethics. Although ethics exist in every culture, it is naive to assume that ethics in different cultures follow the same set of protocols as ethical arguments of western cultures. The ethical arguments among different cultures may have unique sets of assumptions and cognitive systems. Understanding of ethics and it's fundamental cognitive system is necessary in order to open dialogue between ethics in western and other cultures. This is especially true for understanding Japanese environmental ethics. Japanese environmental ethics appears to be chaotic, confusing, inconsistent and principle-less. On the one hand, Japanese love of nature is prevalent in art, garden, literature, religion, lifestyle, city planning, society, and even in science and technology. On the other hand, Japan's destructive force to the environment is notorious. However, those who deeply understand Japanese culture find that there is overall consistent integrity among the apparent chaotic and inconsistent mixture of Japanese culture. The difficulty in understanding Japanese culture, philosophy, and environmental ethics are in most part rooted in fundamental cognitive and philosophical differences between Japanese and Western culture. The difference in cognitive system is so fundamental that it is often overlooked or ignored, which results in denouncing the ethics of the other culture as imperfect or illogical. The objective of this paper is not to defend Japanese culture, philosophy, and environmental ethics nor to describe its uniqueness, but to show that how the difference in cognitive systems in Japan develops into a different philosophy and environmental ethics in comparison with that of the West.

Herbert, Stephanie

A Relational Approach to Protecting the Broad River - 1996

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Involving the public in watershed planning is a relational approach to natural resource protection because it moves people to consider themselves in relation to others in their human and natural communities. Only when we realize the importance of our connections to and interactions with others can we regard them as factors in our decision-making. A relational approach is vital to environmental protection efforts because if residents in a community do not appreciate the significance of a resource, it will be difficult to establish a protection program. Empowering people with knowledge and asking for their voice in decision-making is a way to create community commitment to natural resource protection. Both federal and state legislation formally recognize public involvement as an essential element in natural resource decision-making. As outreach committee chair for the Broad River Watershed Association (BRWA), I am searching for ways to make the public's right to participate a reality by involving communities throughout the Watershed in protection efforts. BRWA is a nonprofit local land trust who's mission is to preserve the Broad River as a free-flowing system and to support land use compatible with the maintenance of water quality, scenic rural character, and the preservation of sensitive natural areas and wildlife habitat. This paper presents a relational strategy meant to guide the BRWA in its efforts to reach out to the public, informing and involving them in protecting a resource we all share in "common."

Herles, Cecilia

Muddying the Waters Does Not Have to Entail Erosion: An Ecological Feminist Perspective Examination of the Logic of Purity -- 2000

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Ecofeminists call attention to the associations that have been made between "woman" and "nature," which can operate as a source of both subjugation and resistance, exploitation, and inspiration. This paper expands upon feminist critiques of "purity" by phrasing these concerns in an ecological feminist perspective. This theoretical exercise of the problematizing the ideal of "purity" sheds light upon the intersections of human and nonhuman oppression. Preservationist work has tended to employ the logic of "purity" by focusing on protection of the purity of the "wild" regions of the earth from the polluting forces of humanity. However, such approaches retain the troublesome nature/culture dualism. The author illustrates how attempts to fragment and radically separate people from the environment can prove to be highly dangerous. She connects the theoretical resistance to "purity" to the important activist work that is been done to expose environmental racism. Finally, she discusses how "muddying the waters" and resisting the logic of "purity" can offer a promising approach to pressing problems revolving around the intersections of human and nonhuman oppression.

Higbee, Wendy

The Grass is Always Greener for a Company Whose Environmental Ads Ring True - 1995

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Through environmental advertising, businesses attempt to harness consumer fear of and concern for the environment and at the same time make a profit. The strategy works well for the company, the consumer and the environment, but only so long as the environmental claims are true. Environmental ads that make false claims practice ecopornography, the term coined by ecologist Frank Golley, that means not only does the advertiser lie to the consumer, but they likewise exploit the environment by exploiting consumer interest in the environment. Several attempts have been made to regulate the advertising industry, each of which is discussed in turn: the fairness doctrine, the Green Reports I & II guidelines issued by the FTC and 11 attorney generals, other FTC attempts to regulate environmental advertising, individual state regulations and First Amendment considerations of regulation commercial communication. None of these proposed regulations, however, discuss regulating emotion-arousing ads, called psychoactive ads, which may in fact have a more detrimental impact than ads that straightforwardly state their environmental claims. Psychoactive ads use the color green and pictures of wildlife and wilderness to imply that a company or product is environmentally conscious and to provoke a consumer response through emotions and psychological associations. A long-term outlook and environmental conscience, not just profit, should motivate companies when they make environmental claims. Environmental ads can only influence consumers who trust the company making the claims, otherwise the communication link will fail: fail to inform and educate the public, fail to create a green lifestyle and fail to make money.

Johnston, Lucas F.

From Biophilia to Cosmophilia: Critique and Proposal

Abstract:
“Biophilia” is a term coined by Edward O. Wilson in his book by the same name. The basic premise of the book is that life exhibits a natural affinity for life. It seeks to evoke a respect for nature and a new foundation for ethics based on the adaptive advantages of ecosystem preservation. The theory has many supporters, as it fits in nicely with evolutionary heory and makes a great deal of common sense. Wilson, Stephen Kellert, and others are driving research on the biophilia hypothesis, demonstrating cross-cultural human affinities for certain types of animals, and for certain types of terrain, among other things. The main crux of the argument is that preservation and appreciation of life and other lifelike processes is a self-serving endeavor. In other words, the primary reason that humans should seek to preserve the environment is that it provides a competitive advantage in the struggle to pass along their own genetic material. Values, in this case, are found in nature only to the extent that nature contributes to human survival. Richard Dawkins, in discussing the importance of genetic determinants of behavior and cultural development calls this behavior “selfish.” As Kellert puts it, biophilia suggests a “self-interested basis for a human ethic of care and conservation of nature, most especially the diversity of life.” Moral reasoning, in this case, is a direct result of evolutionary processes, not some metaphysical formulation of intrinsic worth. Wilson agrees that “the constructs of moral reasoning…are the learning rules, the propensities to acquire or to resist certain emotions and kinds of knowledge. They have evolved genetically because they confer survival and reproduction on human beings.” Ethics is merely the human name for the approach/avoidance responses that are partly inherited, partly learned, and completely biologically based. Kellert claims that there are nine ways of valuing the natural world: utilitarian, naturalistic, ecologistic-scientific, aesthetic, symbolic, humanistic, moralistic, dominionistic, and negativistic ways of valuing. For example, symbolic value in this case would be described as facilitating imaginative and communicative thought. Naturalistic value would describe the satisfaction derived from exposure to unspoiled wilderness.

Jones, David

Beyond Stewardship - Toward an Ecological Ethic of Compassion - 2005

Abstract:
Aldo Leopold was the first in the West to enjoin us to develop a clearly articulated land ethic. His Land Ethic states that we ought to "preserve the integrity, stability, and the beauty of the biotic community." To achieve this goal, we need to learn to think "like a mountain." This thesis investigates what it might mean to "think like a mountain" by extending Leopold's Land Ethic to a more comprehensive ecological ethic first by rejecting the possibility that such a goal is realizable through stewardship. Stewardship, the best environmental ethic to emerge in philosophies such as Platonism or religions such as Christianity, is a palatable idea for many, but its hidden assumption of human preeminence over other species in the biotic community renders it a philosophical and practical failure. We witness this failure when the stewardship ethic gains expression through the constant seduction of other-worldly philosophies or religions. I argue the need to refocus our orientation to more immanent approaches to what it means to be a human being cohabitating with other species becomes increasingly more crucial as time passes. Through the hermeneutical lenses of phenomenology, deep ecology, chaos theory, and the science of complexity, this thesis suggests a dialogue with Asian philosophies of Daoism and particularly Buddhism situated within the early development of the western philosophical/scientific tradition is crucial and necessary in creating a viable ecological ethic that sustains "the integrity, stability, and the beauty of the biotic community."

Keller, David

Whitehead and Ecophilosophy - 1994

Abstract:
The Western worldview (epitomized by Christianity) sets humankind apart from nature and gives humans priority; only members of the species Homo sapiens have intrinsic value. In this way the Occidental tradition is anthropocentric. The repudiation of anthropocentrism is the defining feature of the environmental movement. This change in thinking amounts to a movement away from anthropocentrism to biocentrism - the view that all biota have intrinsic value by virtue of being integral parts of the lifeworld. Although there is a great deal of appeal to biocentrism, problems arise when it is pushed to its logical conclusion. While anthropocentrism is too extreme in giving intrinsic value only to human beings, and none to the natural world, biocentrism is too extreme in denying any significant valuational gradations between individual biota. To avoid the pitfalls of both anthropocentrism and biocentrism, we need a notion of selfhood which acknowledges value in all of nature, yet at the same time acknowledges differences between life forms - e.g. between nonhumans and humans, between plants and animals. Alfred North Whitehead provides a solution to this conundrum. Whitehead avoids the pitfalls of biocentrism by not giving biota equal intrinsic value. As such, Whitehead's metaphysics is naturalistic. It is my contention that Whiteheadian metaphysics can provide a basis for normatively. This is due to the fact that while humans and other biota are ontologically similar in fundamental respects (contra anthropocentrism), there are also real ontological differences (contra biocentrism). These ontological differences are also axiological differences which can be used as a basis for an environmental ethic. For these reasons, Whitehead is a prodigious resource for ecophilosophy. To understand the value of Whitehead for ecophilosophy, this paper will first delineate Whitehead's ontology of the self. Second, it will turn to his axiology, and third, his ethics. Fourth, it will sketch a Whiteheadian environmental ethic. Fifth and finally it will consider the metaphysical implications of a Whiteheadian environmental ethic vis-a-vis two other prominent attempts; specifically, that of Holmes Rolston and deep ecology.

McDevitt, John

NAFTA and the Environment - 1993

Abstract:
In December of 1992, the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The agreement was immediately hailed as the most environmentally sensitive trade pact that has ever been negotiated anywhere in the world, a claim that was quickly criticized by assertions that it was the only trade pact that even mentioned the environment. Some environmentalists also claimed that it would actually have disastrous effects on the environment. To understand these conflicting views one must look at the environmental conditions that preceded the signing of this pact and the possible controls on environmental damage. Many claim that the clearest indicators of the impact NAFTA will have are the conditions in the U.S. - Mexican border area. They believe that what has happened along the border will happen throughout Mexico if NAFTA is ratified. This paper examines this belief by looking at the environmental situation in the border region, including the pollution, the effects of pollution, and the plan to clean it up. After such an examination, one can look clearly at NAFTA and have some idea of the effect that it will have on the environment. Then one can more clearly understand the possible effects and arguments surrounding the pact itself. This paper concludes that while NAFTA is not perfect, it does mark a step in the right direction, but may not be sufficient as long as there are well devised side agreements that accompany its enactment. However, there is great promise that this pact will usher in a new environmentally conscious era in international trade.

McDuffie, David

Process Theism, Environmental Ethics, and a Christian Theology of Ecology -- 2006

Abstract:
The purpose of this essay is to present a version of Christian theology that can effectively contribute to a sound environmental ethic. In order to do this, I examine the metaphysical framework of process theology/philosophy and the potential within this framework for promoting an ecologically credible ethic. I argue that Christian theology and ecology will necessarily remain distinct disciplines but are inseparably related in that truth claims in each discipline must be validated by the critical criteria of reason and experience. Furthermore, I contend that theologians must be open to the possible influence of all modes of human knowledge if contemporary theological inquiry is to remain applicable to our contemporary existence. My goal for this project is to perpetuate a theological conception in which humanity and the natural environment, religion and science are seen as coexisting within a singular ecological worldview.

McGowan, Maureen

Guiding Attorneys General: The Role of Lawyers in Helping Citizens Protect Endangered Species - 2005

Abstract:
There are many reasons to preserve species including the fundamental belief that life is sacred, the drugs derived from plants and animals, genetic diversity essential for protecting and improving the food supply, and ecosystem stability which is vital for sustaining natural resources and energy flows that contribute to life on the planet. Even though endangered species are clearly better off with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) than without it, overall the Act may have only had a trivial impact on slowing the rate of global extinctions. With this sobering fact in mind the success of citizen suit provisions in providing private attorneys general with a means to preserve species in their environment is questionable. While citizen suits are still useful in different settings, especially those brought against the federal government under the ESA, political and pragmatic limits indicate they are not the sole tool to be used to protect endangered species. The opportunities for reaching consensual agreements and finding a middle ground between the interested parties are often lost by the time a case is brought to trial. Attorneys are not solely litigators, they can also act as negotiators, mediators, and facilitators between stakeholder groups to reach a consensus that benefits the parties involved. As an advocate hoping to guide concerned citizens in protecting species at risk it is essential to remember that litigation is never the first step to preserving species. When a suit is brought it should be brought in conjunction with matching legislation, media attention, cooperation among interested stakeholders, and increasing public awareness. Giving people a carrot to encourage the preservation of biodiversity and protect endangered species will have great success, and cause less political and public backlash, than constantly hitting people with a stick in court.

Merrill, Margaret

1986

Abstract:

Musselman, Joan S.

Ethical Considerations for Palm Oil Production in Malaysia

Abstract:
The production of palm oil in Malaysia is too costly to justify its continuation. The product of the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis), palm oil, is widely grown in Malaysia for use as oil for cooking and as an additive in processed foods, especially in many non-food products such as biofuels. These palms typically are grown in large plantations, primarily on coverted peatlands and forests of dipterocarps and mangroves. On the positive side, palm oil plantations provide coveted jobs in otherwise impoverished areas and a large source of income for the Malaysian government. On the negative side, palm oil plantations cause deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and adverse effects on indigenous populations. I argue from an ecocentrist perspective that sustainable palm oil production in Malaysia is a myth. I advocate not only for an immediate cessation of large-scale palm oil production but also restoration of peatlands and rainforest areas. The loss of jobs and income in the short term are offset by value gained from increased biodiversity and sustainability.

Neill, Warren

Naturalistic Accounts of Value in Environmental Ethics - 1995

Abstract:
Past discussions in environmental ethics have brought to the forefront questions about the ultimate foundations of ethical judgements. The idea that traditional ethical frameworks are, at a very fundamental level, sorely inadequate for determining our moral obligations with regard to treatment of the natural environment is quickly becoming the dominant orthodoxy in this field. Much of the criticism of traditional ethical thinking has been supported by naturalistic accounts of value, through which it is purportedly shown that facts about the natural world reveal the inability of traditional ethical frameworks to take into account all that is of value in the world. J. Baird Callicott and Holmes Rolston III are two writers who have adopted positions along these lines, although the details of their approaches are very different. In this paper, I will argue for a type of naturalistic ethical framework, where substantive moral norms are largely determined by facts about the empirical world. I believe that such a framework is a necessary concomitant of a scientific world-view. I also believe that spelling out the implications of such a framework forces us to radically re-assess certain moral presuppositions regarding our relations with the natural environment that too often continue to go unquestioned. However, the main thing that I wish to show here is that the naturalistic ethical framework which I am advocating in no way forces us to accept some of the more radical ideas which people such as Callicott and Rolston associate with a true environmental ethic. On the contrary, I shall argue, there are elements in Callicot's and Rolston's accounts that render them highly implausible. Thus, they are inadequate foundations upon which to base a solid framework for dealing with questions regarding our treatment of nature.

Ngwa, Fred

An Assessment of Conflicting Value Systems Surrounding African Wildlife - 1994

Abstract:
African wildlife conservation strategies seem not to be working. From and ethical perspective, can better appreciation of African wildlife values generate a feasible approach to cope with this environmental threat? The thrust of this paper is to examine how the various groups interested in African fauna value wildlife and to explore ways and means by which these different perspectives, which are often in conflict, can be resolved and converted into a policy to protect wildlife' especially on a continent characterized by population explosion, famine, poverty, with the entire development process in disarray. Is it possible to find a common focus of broad conservation practices satisfactory to all parties interested in Africa? This paper explores these an other questions regarding the conservation of African Wildlife.

Oetter, Douglas

Rivers in the City: The Ethics of Existence - 1988

Abstract:
A river is a flowing body of water. A city is an intensified human ecosystem. When a river flows into a city, a unique natural environment is created, one that exposes the richness and wonder of two very different habitats. The place that is created is the urban riparian zone, a critical buffer space between two tremendous flows: water and humanity. The purpose of this paper is to enjoin scientific an philosophical approaches to the urban riparian environment. Typically, scientists and engineers reduce flowing water to its rawest physical nature; the artists and dreamers prefer to experience the falling water and drifting current rather than measure it. When a river can be viewed in the same way by scientists and philosophers alike, then the river can be appreciated for what it is, instead of what it is made out to be. This paper is an expanded essay of opinion. It will guide the reader through a survey of the book of knowledge on urban rivers and into the author's thoughts on environmental ethics. It begins by evaluating the ecology of a river system as it flows through the urban environment. This evaluation leads to a discussion of modern approaches to land planning, as the functional technology of land science. From there, the paper bridges the gap into philosophy and religion, as necessary contrast to the scientific method. It then unites the two approaches by concentrating on the unions between religion and science due to the nature of human thought. It is seen that many of today's conflicts can be resolved when adherence to one particular point of view is abandoned in favor of a unified viewpoint based on the rudiments of existence theory. In this manner, many dire social issues, such as development along waterways, can be reduced to problems in human vision, which can then be solved with education and enlightenment.

Ormes, Libby

The Right to Environmental Education - 2004

Abstract:
Much legislation, both federal and state, is being designed to protect the environment. Examples include the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Air Act, all of which are federal statutes that are implemented through state agencies and state legislation. These and associated federal and state environmental laws give the public a right to information and to participate in agency decisionmaking. No federal and few state laws, however, provide a public right to environmental education. In this paper, I will explore the history of environmental education, addressing some of the criticisms and recommendations for improvement. I will also look into international human rights law and federal and state environmental legislation to discern what rights these laws provide to the public concerning information and participation. In conclusion, I address the need for legislation that provides the public a right to environmental education, and the steps that have been taken to make this happen.

Pate, Matthew

Environmental Design Through Symbolic Archetypes: Origins and Applications - 1993

Abstract:
Every creature in the universe is surrounded by a set of circumstances known as an environment. Environments provide the context for the actions of life. Environments are never static and always subject to the forces of order and chaos. Environments are always relative and subject to redefinition. An environment can be as close as immediate personal space or as vast as the universe. It can be a house, a neighborhood, a family, a culture or any other context into which individuals may be placed. Yet, as crucial to existence as one's environment may be, there is a series of broad miscalculations in the logic humans have begun to adopt in the assessment and design of the environs of earth. This paper looks to archetypes to help rectify this problem. It concludes that the products of environmental designers will continue to suffer until such a time that practitioners engage in the type of research needed to produce symbolically informed designs. The task at hand requires that environmental designers search for glimpses of humanity's most basic nature and interpret that onto design. Archetypal symbols may provide one such glimpse. Archetypes are not a whole answer to any design problem but it is inescapable that these deeply embedded vestiges of our former selves flow like a river through every culture and every age. It would be a grave oversight on the part of designers to sidestep this pervasive resource.

Payne, Phillip

Problems With the Power of Ecological Feminism - 1992

Abstract:
Karen Warren's formulation of a distinctive ecological feminism is illuminating and troubling at the same time. Warren argues that the domination of women and domination of nature are conceptually connected - historically, symbolically, and theoretically. Warren cites a impressive array of sources from the literature to support her claim. She presents a logical proof that establishes patriarchy as the systematic source of domination of women and nature. Warren includes a rockclimber's personal account of an experience of nature. The inclusion of first-person narrative is an unusual move in ethical discourse. According to Warren, however, first-person narrative improves ethical deliberation. Two major problems exist in Warren's formulation of a distinctive ecological feminism. First, Warren believes that the use of narrative as a reflection of and on felt, lived experiences "provides a stance from which ethical discourse can be held accountable to the historical, material, and social realities in which moral subjects find themselves." I argue that Warren's formulation of ecological feminism is unable to establish and justify accountability of the moral subject. Second, Warren's failure to take historical, material, and social realities seriously provides reasons for questioning her claim that first-person narrative most importantly has "argumentative significance." My solution is to recontextualize the rockclimber's first-person narrative in a manner that strengthens the moral subject's accountability to the historical, material, and social realities that ground ethical situations and deliberations. My critical inquiry into Warren's "power and promise" proceeds through a sequence of interrelated arguments. I conclude that Warren's justification of the distinctive form of ecological feminism as a viable environmental ethic cannot be sustained.

Rowell, Allen

1986

Abstract:

Scott, Robert H.

Grounding Obligation for the Land Ethic by Way of Phenomenology

Abstract:
While the influence of Aldo Leopold’s essay “The Land Ethic” on environmental ethics is perhaps unrivalled, debate continues over the legitimacy of its grounding for a holistic ecological obligation. This inquiry considers whether the ecological obligation claimed by the land ethic should be understood as a matter of prudence, in which case it would only establish a weak sense of obligation, or as a matter of deontology, in which case it aims to establish a strong ethical obligation to follow its precepts. While the land ethic principle, formulated by Leopold, invokes a strong ethical obligation, the question of whether the argument of “The Land Ethic” provides adequate support for a strong ethical obligation is put into question. My aim, first, is to explain why neither “The Land Ethic” nor later defenses of it, such as that by Baird Callicott, provide adequate grounds for establishing a strong ethical obligation. Second, I will propose a solution for grounding a strong sense of obligation for the land ethic by using the conceptual tools of phenomenology. A phenomenological analysis of the intentionality of thought, I argue, discloses an indeterminate aspect involved in the intentional understanding of all entities, from which a demand for respect asserts itself. It is in view of the demand for respect, stemming from all entities and uncovered by way of phenomenology, that I propose to ground a strong ethical obligation for the precepts of the land ethic. In the final section of the paper, I will test the viability of the phenomenologically grounded land ethic by applying it to a recent environmental controversy in Fray Bentos, Uruguay over the construction and operation of a paper mill on the Rio Uruguay.

Snelgrove, Chelsea

Holism and the Possibility of Environmental Ethics

Abstract:
Environmental ethics depends upon the extension of ethical consideration beyond the human/nature division. A holistic view of the ecosphere could serve as the basis for such an extension. This essay considers two holistic views: the land ethic of Leopold and Callicott; and the deep ecology of Naess, and Devall and Sessions. These views propose some ecological unit larger than the individual human as the proper locus of moral considerability. I argue, rather, that holistic views are an inadequate basis for ethical deliberation because they fail to provide a means for arbitrating between the incompatible interests of individuals or smaller groups.

Straehla, Laura

Toward an Ecosophy: Historic Preservation and Deep Ecological Norms

Abstract:
I believe that, using deep ecological norms, historic preservation can be used as a vehicle to develop a personal environmental ethic, an ecosophy. Naturally, not all deep ecology writings support this thesis, nor do all works done in the name of historic preservation promote an ecosophy. I believe, however, that a movement that connects humans to their habitat – historic preservation – is one that can assist in a quest for connection to the larger environment – an ecosophy. As the founder of the deep ecology movement, Arne Naess believes everyone must come to an ecosophy in their own way. This paper explores one way to increase this possibility through deep ecology’s two intuitive norms: biocentric equality and self-realization, via the vehicle of historic preservation. It may seem unclear how historic preservation can lead to an ecosophy. How can an environmental ethic that has as its norms biocentric equality and self-realization be related to bricks and mortar? How can an ethic that proscribes increasing wilderness and living closer to nature be gained through preservation of the human habitat? A closer study of deep ecology and historic preservation shows the parallels that exist between the two.

Tuominen, Lindsey Kay

Cottonwoods and Chestnuts: Ecosystem Modeling as a Scientific Tool to Help Address Public Concerns Surrounding the Field Release of Genetically Modified Trees

Abstract:
The scientific underpinnings and impacts of biotechnology are well-understood from the perspectives of molecular biology, physiology, and population genetics; however, the use of this technology in a field context remains socially controversial. A commonly cited concern of individuals opposing the use of transgenic organisms is the difficulty of predicting indirect environmental effects of field releases a priori, a concern that is difficult to counter using traditional, reductionistic experimental approaches. Nevertheless, scientists would do well to work towards methods of understanding likely follow-on impacts of particular transgenic traits in order to help gain public acceptance. I provide a proof of concept for the use of systems-based ecological modeling as a risk assessment tool for trait-based, indirect ecological effects of transgenic organisms. In particular, I consider three different scenarios involving the use of transgenic trees, each embodying a different level of concern from an environmental ethics perspective. Generating a conceptual ecosystem model for each scenario as well as simulation results from one of these models, I give evidence for how a holistic approach can allow users to see indirect effects and generate new hypotheses for field research. While this method requires additional development and does not yield an all-encompassing determination of the risk factors involved in transgenic field releases, it provides an additional framework from which scientists can help to address public concerns regarding biotechnology.

Vancura, Joseph

The Carrot or the Stick?

Abstract:
A Look at Incentive-Based and Command-and-Control
Environmental Laws Implementing RCRA Subtitle D


This paper provides an examination of two general types of environmental laws and possible methods of implementation, while addressing the ethical issues which invariably arise when tackling environmental crises. The paper begins with an explanation of the two most common types of environmental law schemes, command-and-control and incentive-based implementation. The National Ambient Air Quality Standards promulgated under the Clean Air Act serve to demonstrate implementation of the command-and-control type of system. Supporting this analysis is a brief synopsis of the clean air and transportation crisis currently existing in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The Clean Air Act then serves to offer examples of incentive-based systems, through the threat of loss of federal funds and changes in living standards. The discussion concludes with a brief look at how rationality and self-interest affect individual decision-making. In order to better understand the ethical concerns surrounding choices in environmental law schemes, Part II delves into the history of Subchapter D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), including the reasons for its passage and the benefits expected to arise, taken directly from the statutory language. This is followed by a complete explanation of the statutory compliance requirements, which address such issues as open dumps and solid waste management plans; additionally, a distinction is drawn from Subchapter C, which addresses waste disposal. The heart of the paper begins with a discussion and explanation of the two types of schemes as applied in different communities in Georgia: the pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) incentive-based plan implemented in Athens-Clarke County (ACC) and the command-and-control mandatory recycling program used in Union City. The PAYT system, a form of variable rate pricing, charges a fee to the consumer based on the amount of refuse generated, calculated either as a function of the weight of the waste or of the volume of waste. The ACC system, in place since Fall of 1995, uses a hybrid of four methods in conjunction with a facility to process recyclable materials and sell the end-product. The Union City program is a simple mandatory recycling law with financial penalties for noncompliance. Both these systems are examined in detail. In Part III, I have attempted to take this information and draw conclusions regarding the appropriateness of each scheme for reaching stated objectives. The results of each program are outlined, in terms of volume of waste reduction, economics, and consumer participation. Both communities saw a significant drop in volume of waste landfilled with a correlating increase in level of recycled materials. Similar advances were made in terms of economic savings and community participation in the programs. Based on these results, ethical concerns are addressed in three areas: paternalism and the need to address the issue of self-serving actions with broad-reaching consequences; majoritarianism and the concept of unrepresented minority viewpoints; and teleology, or the ends justifying the means. Practical concerns are also addressed, such as the costs of monitoring compliance, creation of perverse incentives, enforcement, community size, public buy-in, and community values. All these factors are considered in developing an answer to the question of implementation plans. In brief, the command-and-control policy appears most appropriate on a national or relatively large scale, with the incentive-based system becoming more preferable as specific factors change, such as the size of the community, probability of buy-in, and the environmental values of the population.

Wehlau, Doris

Historical Background and Today's Relevance of the Book "Forest Aesthetes" by Heinrich von Salisch - 1983

Abstract:
The book "Forest Aesthetics" by Heinrich von Salisch was first published in Berlin in 1885. A second revised enlarged edition was published in 1902, and a third in 1911. The book covered a topic on which not much had been written before, as the author claimed, and he sees the urgent need for a publication like this, although it can be only a modest beginning in his eyes. Aesthetics in general was a field of philosophy and was connected to the Fine Arts, like poetry, music, sculpture, painting, dancing, architecture, and recently gardening. But it was not applied to the fields where utility reigned. The economic areas and crop production were fields where only usefulness and purposefulness were regarded as acceptable. He was not the first one to speak up for consideration of aesthetic aspects while pursuing economic goals, but in his book he put together much information which previously had not been accessible like this. Also his argumentation and the relation in which he puts things towards each other seem to be original, although he relies a lot on publication of other authors. Heinrich von Salisch was a German nobleman living in rural Silesia on his estate, surrounded by his lands. He started a career as a professional forester in administration, but later quit it and wrote this book after many years of observation and thinking. His whole worldview and attitude can only be understood in view of the historical background and his contemporary surrounding in terms of material facts and political, religious and philosophical ideas. So this comment tries to explain and examine the author's ideas in view of his background and contemporary intellectual environment. Finally I will try to evaluate his ideas for their relevance for the world of today, with special consideration of the situation in the US.

Williams, Kevan J.

GMOs in the Landscape - 2013

Abstract:
Genetically modified crops, like corn and soybeans, have become a strong component of the American agricultural industry. Criticism and activism related to biotechnology has also focused heavily on GM food products. Less well known is the emerging interest in biotechnology in the ornamental and landscape industries. Within the Landscape Architecture profession, an important client-base and trendsetter for these industry, there is little clear guidance regarding biotechnologys use in the environment. This paper identifies genetically modified ornamentals as an emerging phenomenon, supporting this with case studies of several ornamental biotechnology projects, and the opportunities and potential liabilities they present.

Zwerling, Eric

1987

Abstract:

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