Volume 2, No. 2, Summer 1991
There will be an ISEE session at the Joint Session of the Mind and Aristotelian
Societies, Saturday, July 13, Durham, England.
Frederick FerrÇ will chair a session at the World Congress of Philosophy, meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, with the theme "Man and the Environment," July 21-25, 1991. Participants were uncertain at press time, owing to various complications. Robin Attfield, Cardiff College, University of Wales, will present a major conference address, "Development and Environmentalism," as well as present a paper addressing some of the issues in Eugene Hargrove's book, FOUNDATIONS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS.
The Eastern Division APA, in December in New York, will feature three ISEE sessions. Session I, contributed papers, will feature Gary E. Varner, Texas A&M University, "A Critique of Environmental Holism," with Peter S. Wenz, Sangamon State University, as commentator and David Abram, SUNY at Stony Brook, "On the Ecological Consequences of Alphabetical Literacy," with Bruce Morito, University of Guelph, as commentator. The session will be chaired by Eric Katz, New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Session II will be held jointly with the Society for the Philo- sophic Study of Genocide and Holocaust and the Radical Philosophy Association on the theme, "Holocaust, Genocide, Ecocide." The speakers are Roger Gottlieb, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Eric Katz; and Alan Rosenberg, CUNY Queens College.
Session III will be held jointly with the American Society for Value Inquiry on the theme, "Value and Advocacy." This session will be chaired jointly by John M. Abbarno, D'Youville College, Buffalo, NY and Laura Westra. The speakers are Tom Regan, North Carolina State University and Kristin Shrader-Frechette, University of South Florida, Tampa. Commentators are Robert K. Fullinwider, University of Maryland and William Aiken, Chatham College.
Central American Philosophical Association meets in Louisville, Ky in April. There will be two ISEE sessions, the first of contributed papers. Send papers and proposals to Laura Westra, by September 15.
The second session will feature a critical analysis of Max Oelschlaeger's new book, THE IDEA OF WILDERNESS FROM PREHISTORY TO THE PRESENT (Yale University Press, see ISEE Newsletter, Winter, 1990, p. 10). Commentators will include Holmes Rolston and Eugene Hargrove, with a response by Oelschlaeger. Chair of the session will be Laura Westra.
Deadline for contributed papers for the 1992 Pacific APA, in March, is also September 15. Send papers and proposals to Ernest Partridge, Department of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton, CA 92634.
Papers are encouraged not only from philosophers but from ISEE members with other specialties such as engineering, forestry, biology, political science, theology, geography, and so forth.
The ISEE Program for AAAS, Chicago, February 6-11, 1992 is "International Law and Environmental Ethics." The principal organizer for the day-long panel is John E. Carroll, Department of Natural Resources, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH and the co-organizer is Laura Westra, Department of Philosophy, University of Windsor, Ontario. Additional speakers are: Lynton K. Caldwell, Indiana University; Edith Brown-Weiss, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency; Mark Sagoff, University of Maryland; Henry Regier, University of Toronto; and Margaret Mellon, National Wildlife Federation.
Environmental Philosophy Down Under. The University of New England in Armidale, Australia offers graduate work in environmental philosophy, including an Master of Arts, a Master of Letters, and Ph.D. programs. Two leaders in the program are Robert Elliot and William Grey (formerly William Godfrey-Smith). Contact: Department of Philosophy, University of New England, Armidale, N.S.W. 2351, Australia.
The Second International Conference on Ethics and Environmental Policies will be held at the University of Georgia on April 5-7, 1992. The Conference is sponsored by the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program of the University of Georgia and the Fondazione Lanza (Padua, Italy). The theme of the conference is "Theory Meets Practice" and its objective is to bring new environmental thinking (e.g. ecofeminism, deep ecology) to a practical basis. For more information, please write Peter G. Hartel, Department of Agronomy, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. Phone 404/542-0898. Fax 404/542-0914.
The Faculty in Environmental Ethics at the University of Georgia is proposing an undergraduate Certificate in Environmental Ethics. This would complement their graduate Certificate Program in Environmental Ethics, which has been operating for several years. In the graduate program 14 students have complete requirements and received certificates; 17 are currently enrolled. About 25 students are expected initially in the undergraduate program, which, if approved, could begin Fall 1992. Contact Frederick FerrÇ, Department of Philosophy, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. Phone 404/542-2823.
The International Development Ethics Association (IDEA) announces a call for papers to be presented at its Third International Conference on Ethics and Development, to be held at the Universidad Nactional Autonoma de Honduras, June 21-27, 1992. The theme of the meeting is "The Ethics of Development: Culture, the Environment, and Dependency." Contact David A. Crocker, Department of Philosophy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Phone: 303/484-5764. Fax 303/491-0528.
Ernest Partridge announces a call for papers for two anthologies. The first is a new version of his RESPONSIBILITIES TO FUTURE GENERATIONS, which has sold out and is now out of print. It will have a new title and publisher, both of which are yet to be announced.
The second anthology, FROM BOTH SIDES OF ONE EARTH: RUSSIAN AND AMERICAN ESSAYS IN ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS, is to be co-edited by Anton Struchkov of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and will be published simultaneously in both languages and countries. Submissions for both books should be directed to an educated but non-technical audience, and in the second case, an audience not familiar with Western environmental philosophy. While finished papers will be considered, preliminary abstracts and inquiries are recommended. Partridge is on a six weeks visit, summer 1991, to the U.S.S.R interviewing leading figures in the Soviet government and legislature and in the independent environmental movement. Contact Ernest Partridge, Department of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton, CA 92634.
A new academic journal in Britain, ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES, is planned. The journal will be interdisciplinary, with particular reference to philosophy, economics, and law. Papers are invited, to be sent to the editor designate: Alan Holland, Department of Philosophy, Bowland College, University of Lancaster, Lancaster LA1 4YT, United Kingdom. Another contact is Andrew Johnson, The White Horse Press, 10 High Street, Knapwell, Cambridge CB3 8NR, United Kingdom. Phone 095 47 527.
The topic of the 1991 Mountain-Plains Philosophy Conference will be "Nature and Value." The conference will be held at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, October 10-12, 1991. The invited speaker is Margaret Wilson, Princeton University, who will speak on "Pascal and Spinoza on Salvation: Two Views of the `Thinking Reed'." Contact: Michael Losonsky, Department of Philosophy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Phone 303/491- 6734 or 6315.
Holmes Rolston has been invited by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of Philosophy, to give a series of lectures on environmental ethics in Bejing, October 7-24.
Matthew McKinney has available an outline for a class in Environmental Theology suitable for use in church groups. Contact: Matthew McKinney, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, State of Montana, Lee Metcalf Building, 1520 East Sixth Avenue, Helena, MT 59620. McKinney is Water Resources Planner for the State of Montana.
The top five environmental law schools in the country, according to a report in the April 29 issue of U. S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, are Vermont Law School, University of California at Berkeley, Lewis and Clark College, University of Michigan, and University of Colorado at Boulder.
Dr. Jan Wawrzyniak of the Institut Filozofii, Poznan, Poland, has received a grant to study environmental ethics in the United States and will be at Colorado State University in the fall semester, 1991. He is concerned about the application of environmental ethics in the ravaged sections of Eastern Europe.
Joan Martin-Brown taught a course on environmental ethics and international environmental policy at the American University, Washington, Spring 1991. Texts were Lynton Caldwell, INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, and Holmes Rolston, ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS, with supplementary materials. Martin-Brown is Special Advisor to the Executive Director, Chief Washington Office, United Nations Environment Programme. For a syllabus contact her: United Nations Environment Programme, 1889 F Street, N. W., Washington, DC 20006. Phone 202/289-8456. Fax 202/289- 4267.
Professor Andrew Brennan is the contact person in the United Kingdom. Department of Philosophy, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland. Telephone (0786) 73171. Dues can be sent to Brennan, with checks made to the Society in amount ú6.50.
Robert Elliot is the contact person for Australia and New Zealand. Send membership forms and dues in amount $ 15.00 Australian ($ 7.50 for students) to him. Address: Department of Philosophy, University of New England, Armidale, N.S. W. 2351, Australia. Telephone (087) 7333. Fax (067) 73 3122.
Persons elsewhere in Europe, Asia, and South America may remit to any of the above persons, as seems convenient in any of the four currencies.
Members are invited and encouraged, in consultation with the officers and governing board, to arrange programs and presenta- tions at appropriate learned societies and other suitable forums. Members and others are encouraged to submit appropriate items for the newsletter to Holmes Rolston, Department of Philosophy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, who is editing the newsletter. Phone 303/491-5328 (office) or 491-6315 (philoso- phy office) or 484-5883 (home). Fax: 303-491-0528, 24 hours. E- mail: email@example.com. News may also be submitted to Laura Westra, Department of Philosophy, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4, and Canadian news especially is best directed to her. Items may also be submitted to other members of the Governing Board. Include the name of an appropriate contact person, where relevant and possible. International items are especially welcomed.
Recent Books, Articles, and Other Materials
--INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS: A JOURNAL FOR RESEARCH AND POLICY is published by the University Press of New England, 17 1/2 Lebanon Street, Hanover, NH 03755. Now in its second year. Sample articles: Diana Page, "Debt-for-Nature Swaps: Experience Gained, Lessons Learned"; Eckard Rehbinder, "U.S. Environmental Policy: Lessons for Europe?" The editor is Konrad von Moltke, professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College.
--"Earth SOS," SEVENTEEN, April 1991. Get ecological. How you can protect the planet. Green behavior for teens, all the way from environmentally safe cosmetics, to actors who support conservation, to a the famous Bentham quotation about animals, "Can they suffer?"
--CREATION SPIRITUALITY is "a magazine to sustain the earth--with creativity, reverence, celebration and prophetic vision." There are "regular features on creating ritual, art as meditation, mysticism, science, ecology and psychology." Matthew Fox is editor-in-chief. Six issues a year, $ 20. Contact: CREATION SPIRITUALITY, 160 E. Virginia Street, # 290, San Jose, CA 95112.
--David Ehrenfeld, "Environmental Protection: The Expert's Dilemma," REPORT FROM THE INSTITUTE FOR PHILOSOPHY AND PUBLIC POLICY, Vol. 11, no. 2, Spring 1991, pp. 8-12. "We believe implicitly in our models. The more specific the predictions are, the more we believe in them, no matter how scientifically preposterous and absurd that specificity is." "Every project with an environmental component should make provision for public education about that work. Why should the public value what we do if it does not know what it is for?" An address given to the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society at a conference on science and advocacy. Ehrenfeld is professor of biology in the Department of Environmental Resources at Cook College, Rutgers University, and the editor of CONSERVATION BIOLOGY.
--"Judaism and Ecology: Our Earth and Our Tradition," is a theme issue of THE MELTON JOURNAL, a publication of the Melton Research Center for Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, no. 24, spring 1991. Included is an article by Eric Katz, "Are We the World's Keepers? Toward an Ecological Ethic for Our Home Planet." Other articles are on a Jewish theology of creation, animal life in Jewish and Christian traditions, kosher vegetarianism, a high school curriculum on Judaism and ecology, and environmental organizations in Israel.
--Bruce K. Omundson, "Pluralism and Prospects for a Land Ethic," MICHIGAN ACADEMICIAN 23(1991):191-200. Omundson doubts whether Callicott's basis for a land ethic is viable and proposes that many versions of a land ethic can grow out of what Stuart Hampshire calls "ways of life" by coupling them to a sustainability factor. A useful model is found in Wendell Berry's model of the farmer, developing an analogy between farming and marriage. Omundson teaches philosophy at Lansing Community College, Michigan.
--The Tropical Resources Institute, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, publishes a newsletter, TRI NEWS, with short articles reporting conservation issues, usually by their Ph.D. candidates who are working internationally. For example: Vasant Saberwal, "Lion-Human Conflicts in the Gir Forest and Adjoining Areas (a Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park in India)" in the Spring 1991 issue. There were 70 human injuries and 16 deaths in the last year in this area, much escalated from previous years. Part of the problem is baiting lions for tourist viewing, which decreases lion wariness; part of the problem is compassionate feeding and medically assisting old or wounded animals, rather than letting them starve, again decreasing lion wariness. Saberwal concludes that lions need to be culled and hunted to make them more wary. Tropical Resources Institute, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 205 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511.
--Colin Allen and Marc D. Hauser, "Concept Attribution in Nonhuman Animals: Theoretical and Methodological Problems in Ascribing Complex Mental Processes," PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 58(1991):221-240.
The demise of behaviorism has made ethologists more willing to ascribe mental states to animals. However, a methodology that can avoid the charge of excessive anthropomorphism is needed. Allen and Hauser describe a series of experiments that could help determine whether the behavior of nonhuman animals towards dead conspecifics is concept mediated. The behavior of some animals is clearly guided by complex mental processes. The techniques developed by comparative psychologists and behavioral ecologists are able to provide us with the tools critically to evaluate hypotheses concerning the continuity between human minds and animal minds. Allen is in the Department of Philosophy at Texas A& M University. Hauser is in the Department of Zoology at the University of California, Davis.
--Tibor R. Machan, "Do Animals Have Rights," PUBLIC AFFAIRS QUARTERLY 5(April 1991): 163-173. "Animals have no rights and need no liberation. .... To think that they do is a category mistake." "Rights and liberty are political concepts applicable to human beings because human beings are moral agents." "There is a scale of importance in nature, and among all the various kinds of being, human beings are the most important..." "With human nature a problem arose in nature that had not been there before-- basic choices had to be confronted, which other animals do not have to confront. The question, `How should I live?' faces each human being. ... For this reason we are very different from other animals--we also do terrible, horrible, awful things to each other as well as to nature, but we can also do much, much better and achieve incredible feats nothing else in nature can come close to." "There is plainly no valid intellectual place for rights in the non-human world, the world in which moral responsibility is for all practical purposes absent." "Animals are not the sort of beings with basic rights to life, liberty and property, whereas human beings, in the main, are just such beings. Yet we know that animals can feel pain and can enjoy themselves and this must give us pause when we consider using them for our legitimate purposes. We ought to be humane, we ought to kill them and rear them and train them and hunt them in a fashion consistent with such care about them as sentient beings." Machan is in the Department of Philosophy at Auburn University.
--Marc Reisner, GAME WARS: THE UNDERCOVER PURSUIT OF WILDLIFE POACHERS. Viking, 294 pp, $ 19.95. Features Dave Hall, a special agent with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recounting the exploits, dangers, and sheer adventure of undercover work to prevent the incredible destructive, cruel, and illegal slaughter of animals. Also some philosophizing about the American hunting ethic: "To a starving European peon, who was shot on sight if he entered the duke's wildlife preserve, a game law was simply another instrument of oppression. ... In a nation of immigrants just liberated from landlessness and crowdedness and monarchy, game laws, like forestry laws and zoning laws and gun-control laws, were resisted with a singular passion. The yeoman American citizen, intoxicated by his right to bear arms, made giddy by the omnipresent wildlife he could hunt at will, could not recalibrate his values as the game ran out, could not constrain his impulse (always described as a God-given right) to hunt." Reiser and Hall also explore the absence of a hunting ethic in Asia, the largest market for ivory and the destination of 98 percent of the illegal elephant ivory.
--THE TRUMPETER, vol. 8, spring 1991, no. 2, is on the theme "Meaning, Ecocentrism, and Ecosophy," featuring five articles on ecofeminism.
--Werner A. Gallusser, UMWELTGEFéHRDUNG UND UMWELTSANIERUNG IN DEN USA. Fragenkreise 23571. Paderborn; Mönchen, 1984. Glausser is at the UniversitÑt Basel, Geographisches Institut.
--Werner A. Gallusser, "Landethik - Verantwortung aus Einsicht in die Mitwelt," in ALBERT SCHWEITZER-STUDIEN, 1989, pp. 31-49.
ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY REVIEW, vol. 15, no. 1, spring 1991, contains the following articles:
--Jeffrey K. Stine, "Environmental Politics in the American South: The Fight over the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway." Stine is at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
--Ronald H. Limbaugh, "Stickeen and the Moral Education of John Muir." Stickeen was a dog who crossed a dangerous Alaskan glacier with Muir; Muir's account is interpreted as a classic commentary on the rights of animals and their place in nature. Limbaugh is professor of history at the University of the Pacific and a Muir authority.
--Thomas B. Rainey, "Siberian Writers and the Struggle to Save Lake Baikal." Rainey is professor of history and environmental studies at the Evergreen State College, Olympia Washington.
--Christine L. Thomas, "One Hundred Twenty Years of Citizen Involvement with the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board." Thomas is a professor of resource management at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
--Jay A. Anderson, "A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating and Quantifying Naturalness," CONSERVATION BIOLOGY, vol. 5, no. 3, September 1991. "Naturalness is a scientific concept that can be evaluated and quantified. Intactness or integrity of ecosystems can be defined and assessed in similar ways. Three indices of naturalness are proposed: 1) the degree to which the system would change if humans were removed, 2) the amount of cultural energy required to maintain the functioning of the system as it currently exists, and 3) the complement of native species currently in an area compared to the suite of species in the area prior to settlement. These indices are complementary and provide a conceptual framework for evaluating naturalness. The latter two can be quantified. Anderson is in the Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello.
--James P. Grant, ed., THE STATE OF THE WORLD'S CHILDREN 1991, published for UNICEF by Oxford University Press, 1991. Of particular interest is the section on "The Population Question," where Grant argues that reducing infant mortality through better nutrition and health care today will NOT lead to greater population increases tomorrow, nor to increased environmental degradation, but, to the contrary, will reduce the future birthrate and contribute to environmental conservation. A careful, nuanced claim, based on statistical data showing that, whereas early declines in morality rates typically do not reduce birthrates, later declines in mortality do reduce them sharply, and that most developing nations are now at this point. This is important reading for anyone concerned with population growth, children, and the environment. James P. Grant is executive director of UNICEF.
--Thomas Tanner, ed., ALDO LEOPOLD: THE MAN AND HIS LEGACY. Published in 1987, this book is still available from a somewhat atypical publisher and many interested in environmental ethics have probably neglected to obtain it. This volume resulted from an Aldo Leopold Centennial Celebration at Iowa State University. Contains 13 essays by Susan Flader, Baird Callicott, Roderick Nash, Curt Meine, Raymond Dasmann, Bruce Babbitt and others, and reminiscences by members of Leopold's family, Carl Leopold, Estella Leopold, Luna Leopold, Nina Leopold Bradley, and Frederic Leopold. Published by the Soil Conservation Society of America, 7515 Northeast Ankeny Road, Ankeny, Iowa 50021. $ 10.00. Phone 515/289-2331 or 1-800-THE-SOIL.
--Betsy Carpenter, "A Panther by Another Name: Should the Government Protect Imperiled Animals That Fool Around Outside the Species?" U. S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, June 17, 1991. How pure does an animal have to be before it merits protection? Illustrated by the Florida panther problem and the wolf-coyote interbreeding. The panther carries some genes of a South American cousin. Wolves and coyotes rarely interbreed "Merely possessing a smidgen of coyote blood does not automatically transform a wolf into a woyote (half-breed hybrid)." "The biological significance of the crossmating is nearly nill," quoting Timm Kaminski, U.S. Forest Service wolf expert. Given the high rates of extinction among some species, "There will be more and more times when hybridization will be the only way to hold on to a least a chunk of a species's rich library of genes." "When a hybrid is all we've got, we should go for it," quoting geneticist Stephen O'Brien.
--A. T. Easley, Joseph F. Passineau, and B. L. Driver, compilers, THE USE OF WILDERNESS FOR PERSONAL GROWTH, THERAPY, AND EDUCATION. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report RM-193. July 1990. 197 pages. Published at Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO 80526. 32 papers, from the Fourth World Wilderness Congress, Estes Park, Colorado, in September 1987. Papers are summary, cover the field, are state of the art and full of references. Easely is at Sir Sandford Flemming College, Lindsay, Ontario; Passineau is at the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station, Amherst Junction, WI; and Driver at the Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins.
--Alan Patterson, "Debt for Nature Swaps and the Alternatives," ENVIRONMENT 32(no. 10, December 1990):4-13. Reasoned assessment of their potential and limits. Patterson is an environmental planner and policy analyst and writing a dissertation on debt- funded environmental activities at Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts.
--JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, Winter 1991 issue is devoted to the theme "The Politics of the Global Environment." Eight contributors investigate international cooperation, economic development and the environment, and the role of the market in fashioning sound environmental policies. Single issue is $ 7.00, JIA, Box 4, International Affairs Bldg, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.
Michael Frome, REGREENING THE NATIONAL PARKS (Tuscon, University of Arizona Press, 1991). $ 29.95. Claims that the Park Service has been transformed from a professional to a political agency and betrayed its own values by emphasizing recreation and "short-order wilderness served like fast food" rather than the preservation of the nation's natural heritage. Claims that personnel are being forbidden to criticize public policy in which they have found conflict with conservation principles, and contends that, as the Park Service has become more bureaucratic, those for whom the environment deeply matters scarcely rise within its ranks. Frome is currently writer-in-residence at the Huxley College of Environmental Studies, Western Washington University. His earlier NATIONAL PARK GUIDE sold over half a million copies.
--Lisa Mighetto, WILD ANIMALS AND AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS (Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1991). $35.00 cloth, $ 17.95 paper. A historical study of the roots of present attitudes. Americans now stand at a critical point in wildlife protection with inherited attitudes that are only partially adequate to meet the crisis. Mighetto teaches environmental and western history at the University of Puget Sound.
--Wendell L. Minckley and James E. Deacon, eds., BATTLE AGAINST EXTINCTION: NATIVE FISH MANAGEMENT IN THE AMERICAN WEST (Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1991), $ 40.00 cloth. Nearly a third of the native fishes of North America live in the arid West; nearly all are threatened or of concern. Holmes Rolston contributes an article on duties to endangered fishes. Minckley is professor of zoology at Arizona State University. Deacon is professor of biology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
--Patrick C. West and Steven R. Brechin, eds., RESIDENT PEOPLES AND NATIONAL PARKS (Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1991). $45.00 cloth. Addresses the rights of third world peoples faced with relocation or blocked access to essential resources in the name of conservation.
--Donald G. Schueler, INCIDENT AT EAGLE RANCH: PREDATORS AS PREY IN THE AMERICAN WEST (Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1991). $ 17.95 paper. Shooting of eagles sets the stage for discussion of predator control versus endangered species protection.
--J. Mittelstrass, "Umwelt und Gesundheit: Von der Schwierigkeit, sich mit Umwelt- und Gesundheitsstandards in einer Kulture-Natur zurechtzufinden [Ethics of Environment and Health: On the Difficulty of Determining Environmental and Health Standards in a Cultural Nature]," in WIENER KLINISCHE WOCHENSCHRIFT 101 (no 17, 1989): 563-571. Scientific cultures, i.e. modern industrial societies, create their own environment. The expression denoting such a creation is a Kultur-Nature (cultural nature) determined by environmental and health standards. These standards are neither natural laws nor can they be derived from nature. They are instead a part of human rationality. They also have an ethical dimension. The argument focuses on the following aspects: scientific and technological rationality as problem solver and problem producer, exploration of the concept of the Kultur-Natur, the status of environmental and health standards, presenting the case for the concept of rational ethics (Vernuftethik) against the concept of ecological ethics and the supplementation of a research imperative by an ethical imperative. Mittelstrass is at the Zentrum Philosophie und Wissenschaft Theorie, University of Constance, Germany.
--Gene C. Wilken, SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IS THE SOLUTION, BUT WHAT IS THE PROBLEM, Occasional Paper No. 14, Board for International Food and Agricultural Development and Economic Cooperation, Agency for International Development (AID), Washington, D. C. 20523, April 1991. "The concept of sustainability recognizes that agriculture is governed as much by economics as by ecology, by laws of supply and demand as by principles of system maintenance." "Few agroecosystems are ecologically or economically self-contained; most rely on inputs that make them vulnerable to external influences." "The demand to which the world's agroecosystems must respond is made up of two components. Population is not likely to stop growing soon and income may never stop." "The message is clear: The lands and technologies now in use are not adequate to meet present requirements, much less those of the future." "Providing for twice as many people at higher rates of consumption, yet avoiding disastrous impacts on the environment are bold objectives. It is not clear how they will be achieved." Wilken is a geographer at Colorado State University, Fort Collins.
--Donella Meadows, THE GLOBAL CITIZEN (Corvelo, CA: Island Press, 1991). 300 pages. $ 24.95 cloth, $ 14.95 paper. By the co- author of LIMITS TO GROWTH. Meadows teaches at Dartmouth College.
--Tim Horton and William M. Eichbaum, TURNING THE TIDE: SAVING THE CHESAPEAKE BAY (Corvelo, CA: Island Press, 1991). 250 pages. $ 22.95 cloth, $ 14.95 paper.
--Tensie Whelan, NATURE TOURISM (Corvelo, CA: Island Press, 1991). 250 pages. $ 34.95 cloth, $ 19.95 paper. The first book to be devoted entirely to nature tourism as a conversation strategy. Nature tourism amounts to $19.5 billion annually and is growing at 30 percent per year.
--Bob Hall and Mary Lee Kerr, 1991-1992 GREEN INDEX: A STATE-BY- STATE GUIDE TO THE NATION'S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH (Corvelo, CA: Island Press, 1991). $ 22.95 cloth, $ 18.95 paper.
--BEYOND 40 PERCENT: RECORD-SETTING RECYCLING AND COMPOSTING PROGRAMS (Corvelo, CA: Island Press, 1991). 270 pages. $ 39.95 cloth, $ 25.00 paper.
--Herman Daly, STEADY-STATE ECONOMICS: SECOND EDITION WITH NEW ESSAYS (Corvelo, CA: Island Press, 1991). 300 pages. $ 34.95 cloth, $ 19.95 paper. Updated from the celebrated 1977 edition. Daley is an economist with the World Bank.
--Lynne T. Edgerton, THE RISING TIDE: GLOBAL WARMING AND WORLD SEA LEVELS (Corvelo, CA: Island Press, 1991). 200 pages. $ 29.95 cloth, $ 17.95 paper.
--Katherine H. Reichelderfer, "The Expanding Role of Environmental Interests in Agricultural Policy," RESOURCES (Resources for the Future), Winter 1991, No. 102.
--Peter Singer, ed., A COMPANION TO ETHICS (Colchester, VT: Basil Blackwell, 1991). 560 pages. $ 79.95 cloth. Contains sections on environmental ethics and animals. Forty seven entries by some distinguished philosophers. Another very expensive British book.
--MONDAY MORNING, a periodical for Presbyterian pastors, has been running a series of short articles, "Restoring Creation: What the Churches Are Doing," that features specific local churches, for example the New Providence Presbyterian Church of Maryville, TN in the May 6, 1991 issue, and the Outdoor Ministries Unit of the Presbytery of Detroit at the Howell Conference and Nature Center, in the June 1991 issue.
--Holmes Rolston, III, "Respect for Life: Christians, Creation, and Environmental Ethics," CTNS BULLETIN (Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley), vol. 11, no. 2 (Spring 1991):1-8. An autobiographical account of a would-be philosopher and theologian gone wild, rediscovering a creation lost to both philosophy and theology. "There is something unChristian, something ungodly about living in a society where one species takes itself as absolute and values everything else relative to its national or personal utility."
--Elwood L. Shafer and James B. Davis, "Making Decisions about Environmental Management When Conventional Economic Analysis Cannot Be Used," ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, vol. 13, no. 2 (1989):189-197. A process is described for making comparative valuations of a wide range of environmental management activities when the combined social, economic, managerial, and political benefits of some (but not all) of these activities cannot be adequately described in economic terms and when budgetary constraints do not permit funding of all activities under consideration. The process accounts for subjective judgment and contains a formal rigorous decision strategy that takes the place of intuition when quantitative and qualitative values of environmental activities need to be evaluated. Shafer is in the Department of Recreation and Parks, Pennsylvania State University. Davis is at the Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Riverside, CA.
--Frederick Turner, REBIRTH OF VALUE: MEDITATIONS ON BEAUTY, ECOLOGY, RELIGION AND EDUCATION (Albany: SUNY Press, 1991). 188 pages. $ 12.95 paper. A holistic approach, with an emphasis on universalism. The common features of myths and works of art the world over militate against relativistic, historicist interpretations of culture. The experience of beauty is a feedback from nature. Turner is professor of arts and humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas.
--Anita Gordon and David Suzuki, IT'S A MATTER OF SURVIVAL (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991). 288 pages. $ 19.95 cloth. The environmental crisis is forcing us to reexamine the entire value system that has governed our lives for the past two thousand years. Gordon and Suzuki rebut technological optimism and the belief that continued economic growth is a prerequisite for environmental reform. Sustainable development is an intellectual fog; the only answer is a conserver society.
--John Young, SUSTAINING THE EARTH (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990). 200 pages. $ 19.95 cloth. Only a powerful synthesis of political, economic, and moral ideologies will move world societies into a relationship with the environment that maintains the best democratic values. Even the most radical environmentalists must recognize the reality of questions about equity and poverty, technology and energy, and aid and trade between wealthy and impoverished countries.
--D. James Baker, PLANET EARTH: THE VIEW FROM SPACE (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990). 192 pages. $25.00 cloth. An introduction to Earth-observing satellite technology and its relevance to understanding global environmental changes.
--WORLD PLANT CONSERVATION BIBLIOGRAPHY. Published by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. This 645 page volume includes more than 10,000 citations to literature published during the last ten years about plant conservation at local, national, and international levels. Its scope ranges from highly specific papers on individual threatened plant species to more general papers tackling conservation strategy, policy, and law. Available from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, United Kingdom.
--J. Baird Callicott, "Conservation Ethics and Fisheries Management," FISHERIES: A BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN FISHERIES SOCIETY, vol. 16, no. 2, (March-April 1991):22-28. Leopold's land ethic applied to fisheries management, with attention to whether we ought to stock exotic fish. "While the first commandment of the Leopold Land Ethic, thou shalt not extirpate species or render them extinct, is categorical; the second is hypothetical: thou mayest introduce exotics provided thou exerciseth great caution in doing so." A case in point: "California's Clear Lake, `one of the oldest lakes in North America,' originally had 12 native fish species. It is now home to 23. Thus, it is presently nearly twice as diverse as in its historical (`natural') condition and presumably ecologically stable." Regrettably, "the introduction of 16 species has made Clear Lake a much richer fishery than formerly, but five of the natives were extirpated, of which two are now globally extinct. In absolute terms the planet is poorer." Callicott is professor of philosophy, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.
--William M. Alexander, "A Sustainable Human Ecology: Kerala."
Kerala, a state in India, is a sustainable human ecology. Paper presented at the Conference on Human Responsibility and Global Change, Gothenberg, Sweden, June 9-14, 1991. Copies available from the author, 30 El Mirador Ct., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.
--Gilbert F. Lafreniere, "Rousseau and the European Roots of Environmentalism," ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY REVIEW 14(no. 4, 1990):41-72. Rousseau deserves particular consideration as an example of an early modern "pre-environmentalist" and is more important than commonly supposed in the formation of American environmentalism.
--Susan K. Jacobson, "Graduate Education in Conservation Biology," CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 4(1990):431-440. Evaluates 16 programs: Colorado State University, University of Colorado, Cornell University, Duke University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Hawaii, Iowa State University, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, Montana State University, Stanford University, Texas A&M University, Tufts University, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin. The development of programs in conservation biology is inhibited by long-standing academic constraints, including disciplinary structure, communication barriers among disciplines, and lack of reward systems, research funds, model curricula, and evaluation of techniques for cross-disciplinary work. Jacobson is in the Department of Wildlife and Range Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville.
--"1991 Directory to Environmental Organizations," BUZZWORM, May/June 1991. A useful, compact list, with vital statistics.
THE REPORT FROM THE INSTITUTE FOR PHILOSOPHY AND PUBLIC POLICY, vol. 10, no.3/4, Summer/Fall 1990, contains the following four short articles:
--Mark Sagoff, "The Greening of the Blue Collars."
--H. P. Young, "Sharing the Burden of Global Warming." "The fact that the atmosphere is currently treated as a global commons, whose use is largely unregulated, does not imply that nations, firms, or individuals have the right to continued free access to it."
--Peter G. Brown, "Greenhouse Economics: Think Before You Count." "There are some things that are not, and should not be, discounted. No one asks, `What is the optimal rate of shredding for the U. S. Constitution?'"
--Leo Marx, "Post-Modernism and the Environmental Crisis." "There may be more than coincidence involved in the simultaneous discovery of the global and social nature of environmental degradation and the skeptical, anti-foundationist drift of contemporary philosophy and critical theory."
--Nelson G. Hairston, Sr., ECOLOGICAL EXPERIMENTS: PURPOSE, DESIGN, AND EXECUTION (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989. 370 pages. $ 52.50 cloth, $ 24.95 paper. A review of the status of ecology as an experimental science. At best generalizations can be made at the level of specific environments (forests, successional communities, deserts, freshwater, or marine systems), but there is nowhere in view a grand unified field theory for ecological systems. Mathematically derived theory is relegated to "giving the appearance of scientific rigor to what in principle is a more sophisticated version of the same process of explaining what has been observed" (p. 11).
--Jeremy Rifkin, BIOSPHERE POLITICS (New York: Crown Publishers, 1991). 388 pages. Rifkin "offers a radical new interpretation of Western history and proposes a revolutionary vision of the twenty- first century."
Videotapes and media
SAFE PLANET: THE GUIDE TO ENVIRONMENTAL FILM AND VIDEO has been released by Media Network, 121 Fulton Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10038. Phone 212/619-3455. $ 11.50. 40 pages. Selects, annotates, the best and most current from over 500 considered. Where to rent, purchase, prices, and much information.
BLUE PLANET, now playing at many IMAX theatres, is well worth seeing, simultaneously an environmental education at global level and a religious experience. Breathtaking shots of Earth taken by astronauts on five space shuttle missions and other space missions. Action moves from Earth seen from space to the ground-- the Serengeti plains, rainforests on fire, a hurricane, lightning and a thunderstorm, the San Francisco earthquake, frozen arctic lands, crowded cities, and a computer simulated ride along the San Andreas fault. A vision of trying to live in harmony with our sometimes turbulent planet, and an alarm about tampering with the very fabric of life, altering the strands than bind us all together. About 40 minutes.
ETHICS IN VIEW: ETHICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT, 60 minute discussion. Aired on PBS in May 1991. Moderated by J. A. Cragwell, Jr., lawyer with Warner, Norcross and Judd, an environmental law firm. Panelists are Patrick Nixon, Environmental Quality, Ford Motor Company; Carl Zichella, Sierra Club; Wilma Delaney, Director of Environmental Affairs, Dow Chemical Company; Stephanie Mills, author, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ECOLOGY; Noel J. Brown, United Nations Environment Programme; William Stough, environmental consultant and engineer. The moderator proposes an imaginary country, Peninsula, with a council of six in environmental affairs, advisors to the king. Two main cases are discussed, each with several variations. I. Whether to log a virgin forest in order to obtain nationwide health care. Or perhaps to obtain considerable economic benefits. What if the forest has an endangered red-toed chickadee? An endangered blue mosquito. II. Whether to build a factory that produces a pollutant that risks producing disease in the population. A toy factory, or a factory producing a drug that cures AIDS?
What if the risks are higher, lower? If Peninsula decides not to build the factory, but a poor nation desires it, can the risks be exported to a third-world country? In general the moderator tries to force extremes and the panel tries to find middle paths and alternatives. The tradeoffs faced are all between goods well intended with costs attached; the decision-makers are assumed to be rational, just, and benevolent. No attention is paid to waste, greed, wealth inequitably distributed, wrong-headed goals, entrenched powers. The excellence of a developmental Western lifestyle is unquestioned. The program is all talking heads, but serious issues are raised. Either half of the video could be used to set up a role play to be continued in class. Holmes Rolston has a copy.
SPIRIT AND NATURE, a one-hour Bill Moyers documentary of a conference held at Middlebury College, Vermont. Featured are: (1) a native American woman, on the Indian sense of the sacred Earth. (2) An Islamic scholar (Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University) on how anthropocentric science, since the Renaissance, excludes the sense of the sacred, and profanes nature, while Islam retains the sense of the sacred. (3) A feminist Protestant theologian (Sallie McFague, Vanderbilt Divinity School) on how better science inspires a new creation theology, also on how God as father and monarch is less ecologically sensitive than maternal models. (4) A Jewish rabbi on Judaism's sense of the sacred constraining the use of the environment. (5) The Dalai Lama on Buddhist respect for nature. Also various student questions and musical interludes by the Paul Winter consort. Played on PBS on June 5, 1991. Useful but there are plenty of talking heads.
THE GREAT TOXIC LAKES, Audubon documentary scheduled for broadcast, Sunday, August 25, 10.00 p.m. EST, on TBS, with rebroadcasts Monday, August 26, Saturday, August 31, and Monday, September 2. The Great Lakes contain one fifth of all the surface fresh water on Earth. Industrial pollution has ravaged them, leaving a trail of toxic effects up and down the food chain.
The New England Society of American Foresters has been trying to formulate a land ethic statement, now in its third draft. The three drafts are:
FIRST DRAFT NESAF FORESTRY MISSION STATEMENT: Our mission is the preservation of life on earth. As foresters we willingly accept this mission within our role as protectors and managers of forest ecosystems-perhaps the most critical third of our planet's surface. We accept the challenge of providing for humankind's vital needs while maintaining the integrity and health of these ecosystems and will accomplish this through the planned management of the impacts of human and natural forces on the forest. Our decisions will be guided by our compassion and affection for the entire forest ecosystem, our reverence for all life, our understanding of the interconnectedness of all things, our desire to improve the lives of all citizens of Earth, and our courage to affect change with the forest.
SECOND DRAFT: Our mission is to contribute to the preservation of life on earth through the protection and management of forest ecosystems. As foresters we accept the challenge of providing for humankind's vital needs while maintaining the integrity and health of these ecosystems and will accomplish this through the planned management of the impacts of human and natural forces on the forest. Our decisions will be guided by our compassion and affection for the entire forest ecosystem, our reverence for life, our understanding of the interconnectedness of all things, our desire to improve the lives of all citizens of Earth, and our courage to affect change with the forest.
Transfer interrupted! ers is the enhancement of life on earth
through stewardship of forest ecosystems. We accept the challenge of providing
for society's needs while maintaining the integrity and health of these
ecosystems. We will accomplish this through the planned management of the
impacts of human and natural forces on the forest. Our decisions will be
guided by our professional knowledge, compassion and affection for forests,
reverence for life, understanding of the interconnectedness of all things,
desire to improve the lives of all citizens of earth, and our courage to
effect change within the forests. NESAF will provide leadership to achieve
this mission through advancement of the science, education, technology,
and practice of forestry. (JOURNAL OF FORESTRY, April 1991)
A working draft of the BIODIVERSITY AND STRATEGY ACTION PLAN (1991) being formulated by the World Resources Institute (WRI), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the United Nations Environmental Programme, contains ten strategic principles, of which the following is first:
"Principle # 1: Every form of life is unique, warranting respect regardless of its worth to humanity. Work on ethical dimensions of biodiversity conservation must therefore be accorded higher priority, and its objective must be to develop a moral code of ethics and put it into practice." Underscoring, the text continues, "Biodiversity is both a fact and a value--its meaning varies as a result of diverse human perceptions and cultural orientations. The is no `biodiversity ethic' extant in the modern world, and such an ethic must be nurtured if biodiversity conservation efforts are to succeed" (p. 10 of April 20, 1991 draft).
Elsewhere, the draft notes, "A major obstacle hindering biodiversity conservation is inequity in the distribution of costs and benefits of the conservation and use of biodiversity and biological resources" (p. 22).
IUCN, UNEP, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have now in second draft, CARING FOR THE WORLD: A STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY (June 1990). This is the proposed successor to the WORLD CONSERVATION STRATEGY of 1980. In the opening, overview paragraphs, the document reads:
"To achieve sustainability, three main obstacles must be overcome: --Lack of an ethical commitment to sustainability.
--Inequitable distribution of power and of access to information and resources, within and among nations.
--The notion that conservation and development can be managed separately." (p. 4, also p. 16). "All species have a right to exist" (p. 5, p. 58).
The essential problem is not "People vs. Earth: a no-win situation" (p. 9), but People vs. people: the main block to sustainability" (p. 16). "Greed and the maldistribution of power among people are major causes of environmental degradation and human suffering. They are the chief obstacle to achieving sustainability" (p. 16). "Only a new worldview and morality can change the basic relation of people to the earth" (p. 20).
"Every society that has treated the land and the people well has had an effective conservation ethic, ... [but] there is no longer an effective ethic of sustainability in any major society in the world. The chief value for large numbers of people today is growth in personal levels of consumption. This value is reinforced by powerful commercial interests who use the mass media very effectively. Reductionist and mechanistic views of the world prevent people from seeing earth as a whole." (p. 20).
The document offers nine "elements of a world ethic of sustainability," divided into sections on "people and nature" and "people and people." Among the nine: "People are part of nature. They should respect nature at all times, for nature is life." "Every life form warrants respect and preservation independently of its worth to people. People should ensure the survival of all species, and safeguard their habitats" [including those going naturally extinct?] ... People should treat all creatures decently, and protect them from cruelty and avoidable suffering" (feeding wildlife in winter?). ... The needs of all individuals and societies should be met, within the constraints imposed by the biosphere; and all should have equal opportunity for improving their lot" (p. 21).
The document also explores the possibility of an "Amnesty for Earth," modeled after Amnesty International. Such an institution would include "international panels of ethicists, jurists, and scientists who would establish criteria for determining `serious breaches'; verify allegations; and assess whether they qualified" (p. 22).
Saving rare breeds? The American Minor Breeds Conservancy seeks to preserve endangered breeds of livestock. "Like Noah gathering his animals before the flood, the members of the Conservancy want to preserve endangered and minority breeds as insurance against the loss of certain genes which may have either commercial or cultural utility in the future." Presumably this is based on an anthropocentric resource ethic and does not involve any duty to rare breeds for what they are in themselves. The Conservancy also seeks the protection of feral populations (usually disliked by environmentalists) where they believe there may be potentially useful genes in such populations. This is not often the case in feral populations, since most are too recent to be genetically different from domestic populations. Nevertheless, it was the case, they argued, with the San Clemente goats, now (nearly) exterminated by the U. S. Navy and U. S. Fish and Wildlife to protect endangered endemic plant species on the island. These goats had been feral for several centuries and contained genes not elsewhere available. The Conservancy has sought (but largely failed) to maintain this breed. Story in the AMBC News, Jan.-Feb. 1990. Contact the Secretary, American Minor Breeds Conservancy, Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312. An environmentalist also interested in rare breeds, especially of sheep, pigs, and goats, is I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr., Research Professor and Senior Ecologist, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802.
The London Zoo is threatened with closure, and one of the issues is the ethical treatment of animals. The Zoo is the largest in the world, with 8,000 animals, quite expensive to operate, and the principal practical issue is financial. But critics argue that the issue is also moral. Christopher Booker says, "Our attitude towards animals has changed and the idea of the menagerie now belongs to history." "There is something profoundly distasteful about going to stare at animals pacing about in cages or concrete pens. ... It seems almost as barbarous as the idea of our ancestors gawping at the lunatics in Bedlam." People have a "growing conviction that the proper place for animals is their own natural setting." "So far from being a disaster, the closing down of London Zoo should be regarded as a `giant step for mankind'." Story in the DAILY TELEGRAPH, April 6, 1991.
U. S. Congress urges Leopold's Land Ethic. Environmental ethicists might note that the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution, August 11, 1988, to give special recognition to the birth and achievements of Aldo Leopold. The short resolution quotes Leopold's advice about HOMO SAPIENS being a citizen of the land community, not its conqueror, and cites his land ethic that "enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land." "Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress of the United States ... urges Federal land management agencies to model their activities after the conservation ethic he has inspired." Public Law 100-389. 102 Stat. 963.
Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico Senator, conducted an inquiry whether federal agencies had done anything to respond to this urging, and received mixed replies, often rather pro forma. Bingaman spoke to the New Mexico Wildlife Federation in Albuquerque, May 3-5, 1991, summarizing the results. For a copy of the materials involved, contact Phil Pister, Desert Fishes Council, P. O. Box 337, Bishop, CA 93514.
Owls over loggers. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed designating 11.6 million acres of the Pacific Northwest as prime owl habitat, to be added to about 3 million acres already designated. Designated areas could be largely off limits to loggers. This is by far the largest amount of land ever placed off limits to industry in order to save an animal under the Endangered Species Act or other conservation laws. Mark Rey, a leading timber lobbyist replied, "With this insane proposal the government has placed the interest of owls above the interest of thousands of logging families and communities." Keven Brett, of the American Forest Resource Alliance, a trade group, said, "The proposal is mind-boggling and we will fight it every way we can." The debate will continue in Congress and the courts. Story in WALL STREET JOURNAL, April 29, 1991.
Environmental Bills in the U. S. Congress:
NATIONAL FOREST TIMBER SALES COST RECOVERY ACT OF 1991 (H. R. 2501), sponsored by Rep. Jim Jontz (D-IN) would amend the National Forest Management Act to prohibit below-cost timber sales.
FOREST BIODIVERSITY AND CLEARCUTTING PROHIBITION ACT OF 1991 (H. R. 1969), sponsored by Rep. John Bryant (D-TX), would ban clearcutting on all federal lands and requires the all federal agencies to maintain native biodiversity.
ANCIENT FOREST PROTECTION ACT OF 1991 (H.R. 842), sponsored by Jim Jontz, would designate a National Ancient Forest Reserve System to project significant ancient forest stands on federal lands in Washington, Oregon, and California and would prohibit logging and road building within these areas.
ANCIENT FOREST ACT OF 1991 (H. R. 1590), sponsored by Rep. Bruce Vento (D-MN) would designate approximately 5 million acres of Forest Service land and 660,000 acres of BLM land to an Ancient Forest Reserve System. Yet the act mandates the logging of 2.2 billion board feet per year between 1991 and 1994 in the Douglas fir region.
FOREST AND FAMILIES PROTECTION ACT OF 1991 (H.R. 2463), sponsored by Rep. Jerry Huckaby (D-LA).
FEDERAL LANDS AND FAMILIES PROTECTION ACT (S. 1156), sponsored by Sen. Bob Packwood (R-OR). Both bills mandate timber harvest levels, allow entry into Wilderness areas, restrict citizen access to the courts, override Endangered Species Act protection for timber protection, and create a bogus system of Ancient Forest Reserves.
NATIONAL FOREST REDWOODS ACT OF 1991 (H. R. 2274), sponsored by Pete Stark (D-Ca) seeks to protect the remaining old growth redwoods, now on private land, from being cut at a pace that is based on paying high interest rates on junk bonds and not at a pace that is based on sound forest management practices.
NORTHERN ROCKIES ECOSYSTEM PROTECTION ACT, formerly the WILD ROCKIES NATIONAL LANDS ACT) is expected to be introduced and would designate about 13.5 million acres of National Forest lands in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
CALIFORNIA DESERT PROTECTION ACT (S. 21), sponsored by Sen. Alan Cranston (D-CA) would designate 4.5 million acres of BLM land as wilderness in the California desert. It would create the Mojave National Park, comprising 1.5 million acres now managed by the BLM.
Cattle grazing. A rider on H.R. 944 would raise cattle grazing fees from the current level of $ 1.97 per AUM (animal unit, cow and calf per month) to fair market value, at least $ 8.70 per month by 1995. It would require expenditure of a higher proportion of range betterment funds on wildlife habitat and watershed restoration. The Senate is expected to remove this rider from the bill, thus throwing the conflict to the conference between the two houses.
The U. S. Endangered Species Act faces reauthorization in 1992 and the Senate may begin hearings this fall. There will be many attacks, efforts to modify it, weaken it, strengthen it, and so forth.
The listing of U. S. endangered plant species, though slow, has speeded up somewhat, thanks largely to environmental activists in Hawaii and California who brought suit against the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Between June 1990 and mid-May 1991, FWS listed 22 plant species, and proposed 82 plant species. The listing pace remains slow in the U. S. Southwest and Rocky Mountain States, and in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. A contact is Faith T. Campbell, Natural Resources Defense Council, 1350 New York Ave., N. W. Washington, DC 20005. Phone 202/783-7800.
Michael Werikhe, a black Kenyan, is walking 1,500 miles in the U.S. and Canada this summer to raise funds to save rhinos. In 1985 he walked 1,250 miles through Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, and in 1988 he walked 1,800 miles in Europe. He says, "There's no way man can survive on this planet alone. We have to protect nature as well as protect man." Story in CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, June 11, 1991.
Exotic Species in the United States. The Office of Technology Assessment is undertaking a study of exotic species with a view to assessing whether new legislation is needed in their management and control. The study is prompted by the spectacular invasion of the zebra mussel in the Great Lakes. It was requested by the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee and others. The study runs two years, concluding in late 1991. Contact: Peter Jenkins, Office of Technology Assessment, Washington, DC. Phone 202/228- 6518.
Mexico has joined CITES, the international convention on threatened and endangered species, and this is hoped to result in much better control over the imports of wild-collected cacti and orchids from Mexico into the United States.
Environmental impact is emerging as the key issue in water use in the American West. "The era of surface water development in the West is over," former Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt insists. "The cost in environmental terms is now higher than most people in the West want to pay. And in many places it's not just a question of not taking more water, but of giving water back." There are 65,000 dams on U. S. rivers, plus another 2 million impoundment structures, and LaJuana Wilcher, the top Environmental Protection Agency Water Official, says, "These unnatural flows are affecting our natural environment--the fish, the wildlife, and complex ecosystems as a whole." "As we focus more on ecosystems and biological integrity, the challenges of accommodating both water quality goals and water quantity rights loom large and innovation becomes critical." Values are changing. Story in CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, June 18, 1991.
Experiments on four of the celebrated "Silver Spring Monkeys" have found that the brain's capacity to rewire itself is much more complex and extensive than previously thought. Researchers found that twelve years after nerves in the animals' arms were cut, a half-inch long stretch of brain tissue normally devoted to handling impulses from the arm had been reorganized to process signals from the face. The rewiring, which took place over a distance ten times larger than previously observed, was far greater than before thought possible. Scientists claim the findings are relevant for treating persons who are disabled by damage to the brain or spinal cord. Animal rights groups that tried to stop the experiments said the findings have no practical value and do not justify the suffering inflicted on the monkeys. The monkeys were seized from a Maryland laboratory ten years ago, following charges of animal cruelty. Somewhat ironically, the delay resulting from the seizure and the subsequent court process, finally ruling in favor of a National Institute of Mental Health group seeking to conduct the experiments, extended the study period longer than first planned and made the unexpected findings possible. Critics claim that the findings were serendipitous and unrelated to the original protocols of the experiment.
Animal rights activists have stopped Michael Carey, a Louisiana State University neurosurgeon, from using cats to study the type of brain wounds that soldiers get in combat. Carey has received word that his work, already temporarily halted by Congress, will no longer receive funding from the Army, previously a $ 350,000 budget. A key figure has been Louisiana Representative Bob Livingston (R-LA). Story in SCIENCE, May 3, 1991. Animal rights activists are pressing the University of Minnesota to open the meetings and records of their Animal Use and Welfare Care for scrutiny by animal rights groups and others. University officials reply that the meetings and experimental details must be kept closed because trade secrets are discussed during the evaluations. Animal rights activists reply that this is a coverup. Story in Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, April 29, 1991.
Sharp decline in poaching elephants. Richard Leakey reports that last year only 55 elephants were slaughtered by poachers in Kenya, down from a high of 5,000 elephants a year in the late 80's. The sharp drop in poaching came immediately after an international ban on commercial trade in ivory was implemented in 1989. The price of ivory has dropped from $ 30 a kilogram in 1989 to about $ 3 today. African nations are pressing for an end to the ban to regain the profits from a legal ivory trade. Story in SCIENCE, May 3, 1991.
Was underwater shot harmful to the whales? A large experimental sonic shot promised to measure precisely temperature changes over entire ocean basins, a key to understanding global warming. But mammalogists complain it will disturb many species of endangered marine mammals. Story in SCIENCE, May 17, 1991.
Animal Rights Food Groups. A physicians' group, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, proposed a radical revamping of the United States Department of Agriculture's Four Food Groups. The new groups contain no mention of animal protein, not even fish or dairy products. Initial advocacy of the new groups was proposed on the basis of nutritional requirements alone (NEW YORK TIMES, April 8), but further investigation has revealed close alliances with animal rights concerns. "Milk and meat "are simply not necessary in the human diet," says Virginia Messina, formerly of George Washington University's Health Service. Alicia Moag- Stahlberg, a nutritionist at Northwestern University Medical School, replies that it is "potentially dangerous" to swear off meat, fish, and dairy products. It is "very, very difficult for the average person to plan a healthy vegetarian diet." Story in SCIENCE, May 17, 1991.
U. S. National Parks under increasing duress, due to climbing visitor use and decreased funding, resulting in steady degradation of their natural systems. Series of stories in CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, beginning May 28, 1991.
Recent and Upcoming Events
--June 19-22. Symposium: History of Agriculture and the Environment, National Archives Building, Washington, DC. Contact: Douglas Helms, USDA Soil Conservation Service, P. O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013.
--July 12-14. Environmental Ethics Curricula Development Workshop, Denton, Texas.
--July 12-15. Joint Session of the Mind and Aristotelian Societies, Durham, England, with ISEE session on July 13.
--July 14 and following. World Congress of Landscape Ecology, the professional meeting of the International Association of Landscape Ecology, in Ottawa, Canada.
--July 21-25. World Conference of Philosophy, Nairobi, Kenya, on "Philosophy, Man and the Environment."
--July 29-31, Conference on the Discourse of Environmental Advocacy, Alta, Utah. Contact: James G. Cantrill, Department of Speech, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI 49855.
--August 12-16, "Global Consultation on the Development and Enforcement of International Environmental Law with a Special Focus on the Preservation of Biological Diversity," organized and hosted by the Netherlands National Committee for IUCN, Peace Palace, the Hague, Netherlands.
--August 12-26. World-wide Decline in Hunting Session at the 20th World Congress of the International Union of Game Biologists in Godollo, Hungary. Contact: Fern Filion, Session Chair, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, Ottawa, K1A OH3, Canada. Fax 819/953-6283.
--August 15-September 4. "Christian Ecology in Russia." "Three Weeks of Spiritual and Ecological Enlightenment in Russia." Tour presented jointly by the North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology and the Soviet "Save Peace and Nature" Ecological Collective. Contact NACCE, P. O. Box 14305, San Francisco, CA 94114.
--August 18-25. Wittgenstein and Environmental Ethics. The Fifteenth International Wittgenstein Symposium will be held at Kirchberg/Wechsel, Lower Austria. The main theme will be "Applied Ethics and its Foundations," and one of six sections is "Environ- mental Ethics and Bioethics"; another is "The Ethics of Science and Technology." Participants include, Brenda Almond (Hull), Robin Attfield (Cardiff), Dieter Birnbacher (Essen), Stephen Clark (Liverpool), R. M. Hare (Florida), Tom Regan (North Carolina State), Nicholas Rescher (Pittsburgh), Peter Singer (Clayton), Richard Sylvan (Canberra) and many others. Contact the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, A-2880 Kirchberg/Wechsel, Markt 2, Austria. Phone 02641 or 2557. A United States contact is Philip Hugly, Department of Philosophy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588-0321. Phone 402/472-2425. Up to six graduate or undergraduate credits may be earned in conjunction with attending this conference. Contact Ronald L. Burr, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5015. Phone 601-266-4518.
--September 10-12. Conference on "International Arrangements for Reaching Environmental Goals, September 10-12, at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. Contact: Anthony Clunies Ross, Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0LN, Scotland, United Kingdom.
--September 27-29. Conference on "Biology, Ethics, and the Origins of Life," at Colorado State University. Contact Holmes Rolston, Department of Philosophy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Phone 303/491-6315.
--October 4-6. Triangle Animal Awareness 1991 Festival, in the Raleigh-Chapel Hill-Durham, NC area. This will include an art exhibition, music, theatre, literature, and speakers. Speakers include Randy Hayes, Rainforest Action Network, and Marti Kheel, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. Contact Tom Regan, Philosophy, North Carolina State University.
--October 4-6. Conference on "The Boreal Forest: What Is It: How Should It Be Managed, Will It Survive?" Contact Mary Richardson, Humanities, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta T0G 2R0, Canada. Phone 403/675-3144.
--October 15-17, 1991. "Stewardship: Managing Resources for a Common Future," at Duluth, Minnesota. A national conference sponsored by local, state, and federal agencies, recreation and conservation organizations, and agricultural and natural resources industries. Contact: National Stewardship Conference Information Center, 330 Canal Park Drive, Duluth, MN 55802. Phone 218/722- 6125. Fax: 218/722-2335.
--October 17-19. God, Earth and Human Community: The Post-Modern Religious Philosophy of John Macmurray, at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On the centenary of Macmurray's birth. Papers are invited on many topics, including ecology and environ- mental philosophy. Contact Stanley Harrison, Department of Philosophy, Charles S. Coughlin Hall, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI 53233.
--October 1991. Henryk Skolimowski conference at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland. This conference was earlier announced but details could not be confirmed. Professor Henryk Skolimowski, 1002 Granger, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Phone 313/665-7279.
--October 10-12. Mountain-Plains Philosophy Conference, "Nature and Value," at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, details earlier.
--November, dates unavailable, Workshop on the Ethics of Ecological Sustainability, Simon Frazer University, Burnaby, British Columbia. Contact: Institute for the Humanities, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada.
--November 3-7, session on "The Importance of Ethics in Environ- mental Research and Decision Making" at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Seattle. Papers are invited. Contact Brad Marden, c/o METI/USEPA, 200 SW 35th Street, Corvallis, OR 97333. Phone 503/757-4604. Fax 503/420-4799.
--November 4-8. Global Assembly of Women and the Environment-- Partners in Life, Miami, Florida. Success stories on women in environment are especially invited to the attention of the assembly. Contact Worldwide Network: World Women in the Environ- ment, 1331 H Street, NW, Suite 903, Washington, DC 20005. 202/347-1514. Fax 202/347-1524. Waafas Ofosu-Amaah is the project director.
--November 7. 1991 American Veterinary Medical Association, Animal Welfare Forum, on the theme "The Veterinarian's Role in the Welfare of Wildlife." Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. With sessions devoted to philosophical and ethical issues. Holmes Rolston will give an opening address. Contact: John R. Boyce, D. V. M., Ph. D., Assistant Director of Scientific Activities, American Veterinary Medical Association, 930 N. Meacham Road, Schaumburg, IL 60196-1074. Phone 708/605-8070.
--November 23-26, American Academy of Religion at Kansas City, MO. One of the sections is "Religion and Ecology." Contact Eugene C. Bianchi, Department of Religion, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322. Phone 404/727-7598.
--January 20-22, 1992. Ethics and Simulation in the Service of Society, part of the 1991 Society for Computer Simulation Multiconference on Computer Simulation, Hyatt Newporter, Newport Beach, CA. Papers are invited on the simulation of ecology and environmental issues, including risk assessment and evaluation, and the relations of computer simulation to biological conservation ethics and policy. Contact Helena Szczerbicka, Institut fÅr Rechnerentwurf und Fehlertoleranz, UniversitÑt Karlsruhe, 7500-Karlsruhe, Postfach W-6980, Germany, Tel: Europe (.+49) 721 608 4216, or SCS, P. O. Box 17900, San Diego, CA 92177.
--February 10-21, 1992. 4th World Congress on Protected Areas, Cacacas, Venezuela.
--April 5-7, 1992. "Theory Meets Practice," International Symposium on Environmental Ethics, at the University of Georgia, Athens. Sponsored by the University of Georgia and the Fondazione Lanza (Padua, Italy). See details under announcements.
--May 17-20, 1992. Fourth North American Symposium on Social Science in Resource Management, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Contact: Donald R. Field, School of Natural Resources, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, 1450 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706.
--June 1-12, 1992. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development to be held in Brazil. See announcement earlier.
--June 21-27, 1992. International Development Ethics Association (IDEA), Third International Conference on Ethics and Development, Universidad Nactional Autonoma de Honduras, June 21-17, 1992. See details earlier.
--July 13-17, 1992. Second World Congress on Violence and Human Coexistence, Montreal. Papers are invited on violence against the environment and against the rights of future generations. Contact Professor Venant Cauchy, Chair, Organizing Committee, University of Montreal, P. O. Box 6128, Succ. A., Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7. Fax (514) 343-2252.
--July 1992, last week? "Global Ecology and Human Destiny," will be the theme of the Star Island Conference, the annual conference of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS), held on Star Island, a Unitarian retreat center off the coast of Portsmouth, NH. Contact the conference chair, Karl Peters, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL 32789.
--July 20-23, 1993. Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference, Philosophy and the Natural Environment, Cardiff, Wales. Contact Robin Attfield and Andrew Belsey, Philosophy Section, University of Wales College of Cardiff, P. O. Box 94, Cardiff CF1 3XE, U.K.
--August 22-28, 1993, 19th World Congress of Philosophy, Moscow. This will include sessions on environmental ethics and philosophy. ISEE has been invited to organize sessions also. Roundtable discussions can have no more than two persons from the same nation. Deadline for submitted general papers is August 30, 1992. Contact Congress Secretariat, Volkhonka 14, Moscow 119842. Fax (7095) 200-32-50.