Volume 2, No. 4, Winter
At the Eastern Division, American Philosophical Association, meeting in
New York, in late December, ISEE held three sessions, two of which were
joint sessions. The first session, on December 28, chaired by Eric Katz,
New Jersey Institute of Technology, had an overflow crowd of about sixty
people and heard papers by 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 second session, chaired by Laura Westra, University of Windsor, and
John M. Abbarno, D'Youville College, Buffalo, NY, was held jointly with
the American Society for Value Inquiry on the theme, "Advocacy and
Values." Tom Regan, North Carolina State University, spoke on "The
Proper Business of the Moral Philosopher, and Kristin Shrader-Frechette,
University of South Florida, Tampa, spoke on "Ethical Advocacy and
Environmental Values." The commentators were Robert K. Fullinwider,
University of Maryland and William Aiken, Chatham College. Both speakers
related personal episodes of persecution and unpleasantness with either
academia or government officials, arising from their philosophical stances
and research, in an effort to define the relation between philosophical
beliefs and both advocacy and activism. This session, on December 28, had
a crowd of about 90 persons, started at 7.30 p.m. and continued until after
10.00 p.m., over an hour past the stated ending time.
The third session was held jointly with the Society for the Philo- sophic
Study of Genocide and Holocaust and the Radical Philosophy Association,
December 29, on the theme, "Holocaust, Genocide, Ecocide." Eric
Katz argued in "The Death of Nature" that a comparison of genocide
with ecocide raises questions about the basis of a nonanthropocentric environmental
ethics. Other papers were by Alan Rosenberg, CUNY Queens College, "Notes
for the Left on the Holocaust," and Roger Gottlieb, Worcester Polytechnic
Institute, "How Can We Face the Truth?" About forty persons attended.
Central American Philosophical Association meets in Louisville, KY April
24-25, 1991. There will be two ISEE sessions, the first Friday, April 24,
7.30 p.m. - 9.30 p.m., 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.
The Second Session, of contributed papers, will be Saturday, April 25, 7.00
p.m. - 9.00 p.m. The papers are Ned Hettinger, College of Charleston, SC,
"Bambi Lovers vs. Tree Huggers: Are Environmentalists Plant Chauvinists:
Must Animal Activists Hate Nature?" (a critique of Holmes Rolston);
Vincent Medina, Seton Hall University, South Orange, N. J., "The Nature
of Environmental Values," Peter S. Wenz, Sangamon State University,
"Shaking the Land Ethic's Foundations," and William Vitek, Clarkson
University, Potsdam, NY, "Aristotle and Agriculture: Outlines of an
There will be an ISEE session at the Pacific APA, Portland, Oregon, March
25-28, 1992. Contact: Ernest Partridge, Department of Philosophy, California
State University, Fullerton, CA 92634.
The ISEE Program for the American Academy for the Advancement of Science
Annual Meeting, Chicago, February 6-11, 1992 is "International Law
and Environmental Ethics." The session is Saturday, February 8, at
2.30 p.m. The speakers are: John E. Carroll, Department of Natural Resources,
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, "International Ethics, Sustainability,
and Natural Resources Development"; Laura Westra, Department of Philosophy,
University of Windsor, Ontario, "International Law and the Question
of Integrity"; Mark Sagoff, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy,
University of Maryland, "Overlapping Consensus in International Regime
Transfer interrupted! of Toronto, "A Great Lakes
Dilemma: Lake Trout Restoration Leads to Contamination of Humans";
Lynton K. Caldwell, Indiana University, "Ethics of Economics in Transnational
Environmental Affairs", Edith Brown-Weiss, U. S. Environmental Protection
Agency, "International Law and Environmental Ethics."
ISEE will hold a meeting in conjunction with the American Catholic Philosophy
Association, San Diego, CA, on March 28, 1992. There will be a joint panel
on the "Fate of the Earth and Human Responsibility. The chair, also
a commentator, will be Kenneth Schmitz, who is the 1992 Aquinas Medalist.
Speakers will include Thomas Berry, "The Fate of the Earth and Human
Responsibility," Bill Devall, "Integrity, Biodiversity, and Deep
Ecology," and Laura Westra, "Integrity of Creation and Sustainability."
ISEE will hold a joint meeting with the Society for Conservation Biology,
June 28-July 2, 1992, at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,
Blacksburg, VA. The Society for Conservation Biologists is the largest world-wide
organization of conservation biologists, with over 4000 members. Attendance
is expected to exceed 500. The ISEE joint program will include one session
on "Facts and Values in Conservation Biology," with three or four
papers and commentators, and a roundtable on "Environmental Ethics
and Conservation Biology," with a panel of three environmental ethicists
and three conservation biologists. Paper submissions and proposals are invited.
Especially desired are papers examining the implications of recent developments
in epistemology and philosophy of science as they relate to conservation
biology (for example, the demise of logical positivism and its implications
for conservation biology). Contributions by philosophers, conservation biologists,
and related disciplines are welcome. Authors should keep in mind that most
of the audience will not be trained in philosophy. Preferred length is 10-14
pages; send three copies in a format suitable for blind review. Include
a brief CV. Materials will not be returned. Persons interested in being
commentators should send a brief CV. Nominations for the roundtable are
welcome. Deadline for papers: March 1, 1992. Send papers, inquiries, and
other correspondence to Jack Weir, ISEE-SCB Program Chair, Department of
Philosophy, UPO Box 0662, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY 40351.
Phone 606/784-0046. Fax 606/783-2678. Another contact is Bryan G. Norton,
Georgia Institute of Technology, Fax 404/853- 0535.
ISEE will hold two sessions at the International Conference on Human Violence
and Coexistence, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, July 11- 13. The first is "Ecofeminism
and Environmental Violence," with speakers Mary Anne Warren, Michael
Fox, and Mary Mahowald. Paper topics to be announced. The second session
is of contributed papers, send paper proposals to Laura Westra by February
28. Contact Laura Westra, address below.
A "Conference on Earth Rights and Responsibilities: The Confluence
of Human Rights and Environmental Protection," sponsored by the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, and hosted by Yale Law School,
will be held at Yale University, April 3-5. The conference will seek strategies
for broader recognition of the right to a healthy and sustainable environment
and mechanisms to implement this right. The conference call notes that "Tragically,
the less powerful and affluent people of virtually all societies suffer
disproportionately from environmental risks and often experience severe
government suppression of their views. A series of panels and action oriented
workshops will focus on conceptualizing, developing standards, and implementing
rights to a healthy and sustainable environment, or environmental rights."
The conference immediately follows the final preparatory meeting in New
York for the UNCED Rio de Janeiro conference, and will be coordinated with
it. Other sponsors include the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Churches
Center for Theology and Public Policy, the Center for International Environmental
Law, and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund. Holmes Rolston is a participant.
Contact Amy Crumpton, Science and Human Rights Program, American Association
for the Advancement of Science, 1333 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005.
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, write Peter G. Hartel, Department of Agronomy, The University
of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. Phone 404/542-0898. Fax 404/542-0914.
The School of Philosophy of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, in cooperation with the Center for the Advancement
of Applied Ethics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, will hold
the "International Conference on Ethics, University and Environment,"
May 24-29, in conjunction with UNCED in Rio de Janeiro. The conference will
be in Porto Alegre, a coastal city about 800 miles south of Rio de Janeiro,
and the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Participants include
Dr. Jose Lutzenberger, Secretary of State for Environment in Brazil, Maurice
Strong from the United Nations, Dr. Jean-Pierre Dupuis from France, Holmes
Rolston and J. Baird Callicott from the United States, Andrew Brennan from
the United Kingdom (and Australia), Laura Westra from Canada. The conference
organizer is Dr. Fernando Jose R. Da Rocha. Contact: Professor Fernando
Jose R. da Rocha, Instituto de Filosofia e Ciencias Humanas, Federal University
of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Goncalves, 9500 - Campus do Vale, 91500
Porto Alegre, RS, BRAZIL. Fax: 55 (512) 36.17.62. A U. S. contact is Peter
Madsen at Carnegie Mellon,
See in "Issues," below, for comment on UNCED in Rio de Janeiro.
The Third International Conference on Ethics and Development will be held
at the Universidas Nacional Autonoma de Honduras, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras,
June 21-27, 1992. Sponsored by the International Development Ethics Association
(IDEA), the theme of the meeting is "The Ethics of Ecodevelopment:
Culture, the Environment, and Dependency." This conference follows
UNCED in Rio de Janeiro, about a week later. The deadline for advanced registration
is April 30, 1991. Contact David A. Crocker, IDEA, Department of Philosophy,
Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 80523. Fax 303/491-0528. Telephone
"The Global Village: Ethics and Values in a Shrinking, Hurting World,"
will be held February 27-29 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Miami, FL, sponsored
by Barry University, Miami Shores, FL. A main emphasis is higher education
and the environment and the keynote address is "Crisis in Values and
Ethics in Higher Education and the Environment." Contact Center for
Applied and Professional Ethics, Barry University, 11300 NE 2nd Avenue,
Miami Shores, FL 33161-6695.
"Stability and Change in Nature: Ecological and Cultural Dimensions,"
a biophilosophical analysis of concern for the environment, will be held
March 16-18 in Budapest, Hungary. The conference is sponsored by the International
Forum for Biophilosophy in collaboration with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society (USA). Contact Guido Van Steendam,
Conference Coordinator, International Forum for Biophilosophy, Craenendonck
15, B-3000 Leuven, BELGIUM. Phone +32 (0)16 23.11.74. Fax +32 (0)16 29.07.48
Mark Sagoff has been chosen a 1991 Pew Scholar, one of ten chosen for this
prestigious award, bringing $ 50,000 a year for three years. Sagoff will
work on moral, aesthetic, and cultural issues in preserving biodiversity.
Sagoff is Director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, University
of Maryland. Holmes Rolston is an independent nominator for the Pew Scholars
Foundation for the 1991 awards.
Patricia Werhane, Loyola University in Chicago, and the Society for Business
Ethics invite the ISEE to cosponsor with them a special issue of the BUSINESS
ETHICS QUARTERLY, March 1993, devoted to "Business and the Environment."
ISEE members and others are encouraged to submit papers, from which about
five will be selected for publication in this theme issue. Send papers and
address inquiries to Laura Westra, Department of Philosophy, University
of Windsor, address below.
A new academic journal in Britain, ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES, is planned. The
journal will be interdisciplinary and international, with particular reference
to philosophy, economics, and law. The first issue is expected in early
1992. An editorial board has been named with persons from the United Kingdom,
the United States, Australia, Canada, Poland, Germany, and from the fields
of geography, philosophy, economics, politics, and natural resource policy.
Papers are invited, to be sent to the editor: 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
The 1991 American Veterinary Medical Association's Animal Welfare Forum,
November 7, in Chicago, was on the theme "The Veterinarian's Role in
the Welfare of Wildlife." Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. Holmes Rolston
gave an opening address, "Ethical Responsibilities to Wildlife."
Papers from this symposium with be published in a March issue of the JOURNAL
OF THE AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.
Nicolas M. Sosa, teaching at the University of Salamanca, Spain, announces
a master's program in "Environmental Science" there.
The two-year program has two major components in the first year: The environmental
problem and the natural environment; the second year concentrates on the
human environment, treating human impact on the environment. Professor Sosa
is the author of ETHICA ECOLOGICA, see recent books below.
The Cajun Prairie Preservation Society has been formed by Bruno Bursari,
who teaches biology at Louisiana State University at Eunice, in collaboration
with colleagues. They publish a journal and organize meetings devoted to
conserving natural Cajun Prairie plants and wildlife. Contact Bruno Bursari,
Biology Department, Louisiana State University at Eunice, P. O. Box 1129,
Eunice, LA 70535. Phone 318/ 457-7371.
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICAL JOURNAL OF INDIA will publish a special 1993 issue
on "Environmental Ethics and Power of Place." Article proposals
should be submitted to Professor Rana P. B. Singh, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICAL
JOURNAL OF INDIA, No. B29/12A Lanka, Varanasi, U. P. 221005, India.
The Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has adopted
a strategic funding program for Applied Ethics, and about a quarter of the
grants under that program over the last two years have been on environmental
topics and sustainable development.
The McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law has received a major grant
of $ 750,000 over five years from Hydro Quebec for work in environmental
ethics. Contact Margaret A. Somerville, Director, McGill Centre for Medicine,
Ethics and Law, 2020 University, 24th Floor, Montreal, Quebec H#A 2A5, Canada.
The Canadian Society for the Study of Practical Ethics (CSSPE) has pursued
environmental themes in recent programs in conjunction with ISEE. The next
meetings of the CSSPE will take place at the Learned Society meetings at
the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, PEI, on May 27-30.
A major theme of these meetings will be normative issues related to "Aboriginal
Self- Government and Land Claims and Canadian Land Use Decisions: Social
and Environmental Implications." Papers or abstracts may be sent to
Professor Sylvie Tourigny, Sociology Department, Western Michigan University,
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5189.
CSSPE also publishes a newsletter three times a year. Contact: Peter Miller,
Department of Philosophy, University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave., Winnipeg,
Manitoba R3B 2E9, Canada. E-mail: MILLER@UWPGO1.UWINNIPEG.CA. Membership
costs $ 10. (Thanks to Peter Miller for the Canadian items.) Schumacher
College, Dartington, Devon, UK, is holding two short courses this spring.
The first is on Deep Ecology, led by Arne Naess, with contributions from
a number of others. The systematic basis of deep ecology will be explored,
both as a philosophy and a social movement. The course is running from January
6 - February 6. The second course is Bioregionalism, led by Kirkpatrick
Sale, from March 16 - April 3. The course investigates the organization
of communities according to natural formations rather than political boundaries.
Contact: The Administrator, Schumacher College, The Old Postern, Dartington,
Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EA, United Kingdom.
The Annual Business Meeting and Election of Officers will be held this year
at the Central Division APA in Louisville, KY. The Nominations Committee
is making the following recommendations this year: President: Holmes Rolston,
III, term to expire spring 1994
Vice-President: Eric Katz, 1994
Secretary, Laura Westra, 1995
Treasurer, Peter Miller, 1993
The Nominations committee also recommends a constitutional change to separate
the office of President from the Editorship of the Newsletter.
Members of the Nominations Committee are: Jack Weir, Chair (Department of
Philosophy, UPO Box 0662, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY 40351,
phone 606/784-0046, fax 606/783- 2678), Kristin Shrader-Frechette (Department
of Philosophy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620-5550, phone
813/974- 2447), George Sessions (Department of Humanities, Sierra College,
Rocklin, CA 95667, phone 916/624-3333, Department of Humanities, ext. 2264,
office), Robin Attfield (Philosophy Section, University of Wales, P. O.
Box 94, Cardiff CF1 3XE, United Kingdom, phone (0222) 874025, fax (0222)
371921. Members represent Eastern, Central, and Pacific Divisions of APA,
and an International member. This committee will continue in 1993, when,
pending the outcome of the April business meeting, only one officer (Miller)
may need to be replaced.
Andrew Brennan has accepted a position as professor of philosophy at the
University of Western Australia. Address: Department of Philosophy, University
of Western Australia, Perth WA 6009, Australia. Phone 09 380 2107. Fax 09
380 1057. E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Brennan was formerly the
contact person for ISEE in the United Kingdom, and his replacement will
be announced in the next newsletter.
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. Arrangements
are underway to have a special contact person for Eastern Europe, Russia,
and the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Persons elsewhere in Europe, Asia, and South America may remit to any of
the above persons, or to Laura Westra, address below, as seems convenient
in any of the four currencies.
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 this newsletter. Phone 303/491-5328
(office) or 491-6315 (philosophy office) or 484-5883 (home). Fax: 303-491-0528,
24 hours. News may also be submitted to Laura Westra, Department of Philosophy,
University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4, and Canadian news 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.
Dues for 1992 are now payable. See form at the end of the news letter. Members
with dues unpaid for 1991 will find a pink slip accompanying your newsletter.
About 220 persons have paid 1991 dues. In addition, $ 87 was received in
donations. The balance before reproducing and mailing this newsletter is
about $ 800.00. A financial statement will be published in the next newsletter.
Jobs in Environmental Ethics, Philosophy,
Policy, and Conservation
Three positions that involve environmental ethics have been recently advertised.
Other positions have been advertised in related areas. In some cases the
application deadlines may have passed, but others are still open.
University of North Texas, Denton, TX. Senior level position, starting fall
1992, with an applied specialty in the field of environmental ethics, and
a traditional specialty in either philosophy or religious studies. Contact
Dr. Eugene C. Hargrove, Chair, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies,
University of North Texas, P. O. Box 13525, Denton, TX. Phone 817/565-2266.
University of Colorado, Boulder. AOS: Any area of moral, social, political,
or legal philosophy. AOC: Bioethics, environmental philosophy, feminism.
Preference to candidates at the assistant level, but other levels considered.
Contact: Professor James W. Nickel, Search Committee Chair, Campus Box 232,
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0232.
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, Department of Philosophy, has
listed a position at the assistant professor level. AOS: applied ethics,
open to business ethics, environmental ethics, gender and ethics, computer
ethics, ethics and religion, but excluding bioethics. AOC philosophy of
law or social philosophy preferred.
Tulane University has endowed a chair in environmental policy and is seeking
the first person to fill the chair. They are seeking a senior person with
a national reputation for research on environmental policy. Salary and related
matters are negotiable. Contact Professor James Wright, Chair of Search
Committee, Department of Sociology, 220 Newcomb Hall, Tulane University,
New Orleans, LA 70118.
University of California, Santa Cruz. The Board of Environmental Studies
at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is recruiting for a full-time
tenure track position in the field of applied environmental policy analysis.
Rank: Assistant Professor. Position available September 1992. Contact Michael
SoulÇ, Environmental Studies Board, University of California, Santa
University of California, Santa Cruz. Third World Ecological Sustainability.
A second position is available in this area.
New Jersey Institute of Technology has up to five positions open:
1. Social scientist in environmental policy with specialization
in environmental economics.
2. Environmental studies, specialization open.
3. Social scientist, political theorist, or philosopher in
technology, environment, or public health policy.
4, Historian with specialization in history of technology/enviro- nment/engineering.
5. Global studies historian.
These positions are part of a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary undergraduate
and graduate program in Science, Technology, and Society. Contact: Personnel
Office, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102.
Recent Books, Articles, and Other Materials
--THE MONIST, April 1992, is a special issue on values in the natural world,
edited by J. Baird Callicott.
--Freya Mathews, THE ECOLOGICAL SELF. London: Routledge, 1990, is also being
published in the United States by Barnes and Noble. Savage, Maryland, 1991.
Mathews claims here the first book-length treatment of the metaphysical
foundations of ecological ethics. The author seeks to provide a metaphysical
illumination of the fundamental ecological intuition that we are in some
sense "one with" nature and that everything is connected to everything
else. She considers and rejects the dominant atomistic metaphysics implicit
in Newtonian physics. Drawing on Einsteinian cosmology, modern systems theory,
and the philosophy of Spinoza, she elaborates a new metaphysics of interconnectedness.
The normative implications of this new metaphysics for our conceptions of
nature and the self are analyzed in this provocative study.
A sample passage, on intrinsic value. "A being may be said to be endowed
with telos, self-interest and agency even if it is not in the ordinary sense
conscious at all. The criteria for these features are systems theoretic
rather than intentional. ... A further categorically new feature of such
beings, which needs to be emphasized here, is their power of self-envaluation:
a being with self-interest--which is to say, a being with an interest in
its own perpetuation--is a being which values its own existence. Again,
this value which the being in question may be said to have for itself may
not be a function of consciousness, or conscious awareness. Rather, it is
constituted by the being's actively seeking to maintain itself in existence.
Self-realizing beings, in other words, embody value, just as they embody
telos. To be actively self-maintaining is just what it is, on this account,
to be valuable to oneself. Such activity is the primitive form of value,
the preconscious form in which value first enters the world. It is not that
an organism seeks to maintain itself because it values it existence, but
rather that seeking to maintain itself is constitutive of its valuing itself.
Since the very existence or continued existence of such beings is mute testimony
to the value that they possess for themselves, I propose that such beings
be described as intrinsically valuable" (pp. 104- 105). A fine study
with a terrible price, $ 62.50 for 200 pages.
--Nicolas M. Sosa, ETICA ECOLOGICA, Universidad Libertarias/Prodhufi, S.
A., 1990. This is billed as the first book in Spanish to treat environmental
problems from the standpoint of ethics. More details when available.
--ZWIERZETA I MY [ANIMALS AND US], a Polish journal devoted to animal welfare
issues, published its first issue, Number 1, in September 1991. The editor
and founder is Alina Kasprowicz, and a supporting group is the Polish Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The editorial statement says that
the purpose of the journal is to change present social consciousness and
attitudes toward nonhumans and to promote a new way of thinking about the
nonhuman environment, a new approach called an ecological conscience. Opening
articles include one by a Catholic author and one on law and animals. Jan
Wawryzyniak has a short article, "Podstawowe informacje dla obroncow
nieludzkich istot zywych" [Basic Information for Defenders of Nonhuman
Living Beings], directing Polish readers to many sources available in the
West. There will be six issues a year, one in English. Editor's address:
ul. Dabrowskiego 25 m 3, 60-840 Poznan. Phone 462-85.
Routledge announces plans to publish a series, ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHIES,
edited by Andrew Brennan. Written as discussions of the theoretical and
philosophical underpinnings of current environmental thinking, volumes in
the series will be addressed to a wide readership. They will be critical
and informed; the authors will mainly be philosophers chosen for their ability
to communicate clearly and effectively. Each book will be about 65,000 words
in length and will be a complete introduction to its field within (or related
to) environmental philosophy. Volumes commissioned so far, with provisional
contents and dates of publication, are:
1. ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHIES, 1992, Andrew Brennan (Western Australia).
The title volume briefly surveys the whole area to which the series is devoted.
A feature of this volume is an overview of likely future trends.
2. DEEP ECOLOGY, 1992, Eric Katz (New Jersey Institute of Technology). Over
the last twenty years, a clear schism has developed between those thinkers
labelled `light green' and others who are `deep green.' Katz brings readers
up to date with this debate, considering the issue of whether our ethical
and political thinking can ever take seriously the deep ecologists' claims
on behalf of interspecies equity. Katz focuses critically on some of the
key themes of deep green thinkers, assessing the metaphysical as well as
practical strengths and weaknesses in their positions.
3. ECOLOGICAL FEMINISM, 1993, edited by Karen J. Warren (Macalester College).
The only edited collection among the initial volumes, this consists of a
series of new essays on the connections between feminism and ecology. Karen
Warren writes a substantial editorial introduction.
4. ECOLOGY, POLITICS AND POLICY, 1993, John O'Neill (Sussex). In the wake
of the Brundtland and Pearce reports on the environment, and the management
of our common resources, there is need for a sober analysis of the underpinnings
of environmental policy. Among others, O'Neill considers such critical issues
as the relationship between liberalism and the new environmentalism, and
the ethical limits of the market.
5. ETHICS, AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, 1984, Paul B Thompson (Texas
A & M). Food production sustains all human society, while the food and
agrochemical industry is also implicated in some of our most severe environmental
problems, as well as problems in social and international relations. Thompson
considers whether it is time to consider a new ethic of farming and land-use.
Plans for future volumes include foundational studies of environmental education,
ecology and war, ecology and religion, and risk analysis. For further information
about the series or suggestions about future volumes, please contact the
editor at the Department of Philosophy, University of Western Australia,
Perth, WA 6009, Australia. Proposals for volumes in English by authors outside
North America and outside the United Kingdom are especially welcomed.
--R. J. Berry, ed., ENVIRONMENTAL DILEMMAS. London: Chapman and Hall, forthcoming
1992. Contains Andrew Brennan, "Environmental Decisions." More
----Roberta Kalechofsky, AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A REVOLUTIONARY: ESSAYS ON ANIMAL
AND HUMAN RIGHTS. Marblehead, MA: Micah Publications, 1991. 200 pages. $
11.95. Fourteen essays, including, "The Animal Rights Movement and
Religion," "The Women's Movement and Anti-vivisection in the 19th
century," and "Humans and Animals as Victims."
--Conrad G. Brunk, Lawrence Haworth, and Brenda Lee, VALUE ASSUMPTIONS IN
RISK ASSESSMENT: A CASE STUDY OF THE ALACHLOR CONTROVERSY. Waterloo, Ontario:
Wilfred Laurier University Press, 1991. Increasing reliance by public policymakers
on scientific advisors is motivated in part by an assumption that such advice
can be value-free. This study, based on the alachlor pesticide case, shows
that risk assessors were divided by the fact that they held differing values,
not by differences concerning the purely empirical aspects of the risk assessment.
The authors concludes that risk assessment is as much a normative as it
is a scientific enterprise. (Thanks to Peter Miller).
--David S. Toolan, "Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire: Reflections on Cosmology
in an Ecological Age," STUDIES IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF JESUITS 23/5,
November 1991. Address: 3700 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108. Phone
--EARTHKEEPING NEWS is a newsletter of the North American Conference on
Christianity and Ecology, recently launched. Address: North American Conference
on Christianity and Ecology, 1522 Grand Ave., #4C, St. Paul, MN 55105.
--INSIGHTS ON GLOBAL ETHICS is a newsletter published by the Institute for
Global Ethics, Box 563, 21 Elm Street, Camden, ME 04843. Phone 207/236-6658.
--CARING FOR CREATION: VISION, HOPE AND JUSTICE is a study booklet, 28 pages,
by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Environment Task Force, released
August 1991. Contact: ELCA Distribution Service, 426 South Fifth Street,
Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440. Phone 800/328-4648.
--Vera K. White, and others, HEALING AND DEFENDING GOD'S CREATION: HANDS
ON! PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR CONGREGATIONS. Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) informational,
loose-leaf booklet, about 60 pages, with sections on "Discipleship
and Worship," "Learning and Teaching," "Lifestyle,"
"Reusing, Reducing and Recycling," and "Legislation, Public
Policy, and Community-Involvement." Supplements will be issued periodically.
$ 4.95. Contact: Office of Environmental Justice, Social Justice and Peacemaking
Ministry Unit, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville,
KY 40202. Phones 502/569-5809 and (for orders only) 800/524-2612.
--Ansel Adams, THE AMERICAN WILDERNESS. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co.,
1991. 146 pages. 107 black and white duotones. Hardcover $ 100. The first
book of this type since the 1970's and probably the last for a long time.
Majestic photographs of landscapes, with selections from Adams' letters
that form a powerful statement on the imperative of wilderness conservation.
--Richard Sylvan, "Mucking with Nature," 31 page typescript. Revision
of an earlier version of this paper, criticizing Robert Elliot's "Faking
Nature," Eric Katz, "The Big Lie: Human Restoration of Nature,"and
Eugene Hargrove on "therapeutic nihilism."
--Richard Sylvan, "War and Peace IV: Tao and Deep-Green," 23 page
typescript. Taoism and deep-green environmental theory diverge over war.
Taoism is not a pacific doctrine but is committed to skilful defensive militarism,
limited defensive military operations for specific purposes. Deep-green
theory stands opposed to professional militarism, and is committed to a
principled pacifism. Conveniently, a route through Taoism leads to problems
of pacifism and toward a deep green theory. Both papers are available from
Richard Sylvan, Department of Philosophy, Research School of Social Sciences,
Australian National University, P. O. Box 4, Canberra ACT 2600, Australia.
--W. L. Minckley and James E. Deacon, eds., BATTLE AGAINST EXTINCTION: NATIVE
FISH MANAGEMENT IN THE AMERICAN WEST. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press,
1992. Includes, "Fishes in the Desert: Paradox and Responsibility"
by Holmes Rolston; articles by Phil Pister, James Deacon, and others on
fish conservation in the American West. $ 40.00.
--Ruth Kirk with Jerry Franklin, THE OLYMPIC RAIN FOREST: AN ECOLOGICAL
WEB. Seattle: University of Washington Press, June 1992. Franklin was chief
plant ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service and is now professor of ecosystem
analysis at the University of Washington.
--John Kleinig, VALUING LIFE. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.
The main aim is to argue for the value of life in various human settings
(chapter 7, "Towards a Morality of Life"), but Kleinig analyzes
"organismic life" (chapter 3), "plant life" (chapter
4), and "animal life" (chapter 5).
--Peri Knize, "The Mismanagement of the National Forests," ATLANTIC
MONTHLY, October 1991, pp. 98-112.. The U. S Forest Service, protected from
congressional scrutiny by pork-barrel politics and imaginative booking,
is devastating America's national forests through needless and unprofitable
timber sales. A feasible and inexpensive policy alternative is available.
The once-proud and formerly revered U. S. Forest Service, the administrators
of the national forests, are losing credibility as forty years of forest
devastation come to light.
--Riley E. Dunlap, "Trends in Public Opinion Toward Environmental Issues,"
SOCIETY AND NATURAL RESOURCES 4 (July-September 1991):285-318.
--Riley E. Dunlap, "Public Opinion in the 1980's: Clear Consensus,
Ambiguous Commitment," ENVIRONMENT 33(October, 1991): 10-15, 32- 37.
--Riley E. Dunlap and Rik Scarce, "The Polls--Poll Trends: Environmental
Problems and Protection," PUBLIC OPINION QUARTERLY 55(Winter, 1991):
Copies of the above three articles, for those who do not have access to
these journals, can be obtained from Riley E. Dunlap, Departments of Sociology
and Rural Sociology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4006.
--THE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, Winter 1991, vol. 44, no. 2, is
an entire issue devoted to "The Politics of the Global Environment."
Contributors: Maurice F. Strong, "Eco '92" (anticipating Rio de
Janeiro); Dean E. Mann, "Environmental Learning", Sheldon Kamieniecki,
"Political Mobilization"; Helmut Schreiber, "Eastern Europe";
Gary S. Hartshorn, "Developing Countries"; Richard Sandbrook,
"Environment and Development"; Ernst U. von WeizsÑcker,
"Sustainability for the North"; Peter S. Thacher, "Multilateral
Cooperation"; Oscar Schachter, "International Law"; Kilaparti
Ramakrishna, "The Convention on Climate Change." THE JOURNAL OF
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS is published by the School of International and Public
Affairs, Columbia University.
--Larry Rasmussen, "Toward an Earth Charter," CHRISTIAN CENTURY
108 (no. 30, October 23, 1991):964-967. The Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro
is inviting NGO's, including Christian Churches, for guidance in formulating
an Earth Charter. What might Christian say, drawing on the World Council
of Churches' Canberra Assembly? Models are dominion, stewardship, partnership,
sacramentalism, ecofeminism, a prophet-teacher model, and an evolutionary.
Rasmussen proposes an evolutionary sacramentalist cosmology. The Rio conference
is really an assignment in philosophical metaphysics that can be made operational
on a global scale. Rasmussen is professor of social ethics at Union Theological
Seminary, New York. Donal Dorr, THE SOCIAL JUSTICE AGENDA: JUSTICE, ECOLOGY,
POWER, AND THE CHURCH. Orbis, 1991. 201 pages. $ 9.95. The role that the
institutional church can play in responding to issues of justice, ecology,
and the social forces of power.
--Clifford W. Cobb and John B. Cobb, Jr., "The Costs of Free Trade,"
CHRISTIAN CENTURY 108 (no. 30, October 23, 1991):967-969. The General Agreement
on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) will allow transnational corporations to escape
environmental responsibility. The transnationals are subject to no government,
and move to another country if they dislike the standards of one. They push
standards down; no developing nation has the power to raise them higher
than the average. Corporations control governments, rather than governments
regulating corporations. Clifford Cobb is a free-lance writer; John Cobb
is recently retired from Claremont Graduate School in theology.
--Brad Knickerbocker, "Biodiversity: Top Concern in Saving Species,"
December 23, 1991; "Extinctions `Reduced to a Trickle'", December
24, 1991; and "Species Act Pits Property Rights Against Nature,"
December 27, 1991, in CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. "The political battle
over the Endangered Species Act reaches far beyond the wisdom or cost of
saving this or that plant or animal. It involves deep philosophical questions
of mankind's place in nature and the rights of a free society--the responsibilities
that come with the power to exploit natural resources and the freedom to
use private property for economic gain with as little government interference
--W. Michael Hoffman, "Business and Environmental Ethics," BUSINESS
ETHICS QUARTERLY 1(no. 2, 1991):169-184. Argues for biocentrism in environmental
ethics. Business has obligations to protect the environment over and above
what is required by law. There is danger in "good ethics is good business"
as a basis for environmental ethics in business, and both business and environmentalists
need to be wary of this. Business and environmental ethicists ought to promote
deeper moral perspectives than ones based on mere self-interest or human
interest. The environmental movement must find ways by which business can
incorporate and protect the intrinsic value of animal and plant life and
other natural objects that are integral parts of ecosystems. This article
was originally the president address to the Society for Business Ethics,
--F. Herbert Bormann and Stephen R. Kellert, eds., ECOLOGY, ECONOMICS, ETHICS:
THE BROKEN CIRCLE. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991. 233 pages. With
contributions by F. Herbert Bormann; William A. Butler; Paul H. Connett;
David Ehrenfeld, "The Management of Diversity: A Conservation Paradox";
Thomas Eisner; Malcolm Gillis; William Goldfarb; Wes Jackson, "Nature
as the Measure for a Sustainable Agriculture; Stephen R. Kellert; Gene E.
Likens; Norman Myers, "Biodiversity and Global Security"; David
Pimentel; Holmes Rolston, III,"Environmental Ethics: Values in and
Duties to the Natural World"; and Edward O. Wilson, "Biodiversity,
Prosperity, and Value."
--Dale Jamieson, "Rights, Justice, and Duties to Provide Assistance:
A Critique of Regan's Theory of Rights," ETHICS 100(January 1990):349-362.
Regan's CASE FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS solves the predation problem by claiming
that we humans are required to assist those who are victims of injustice,
but we are not required to help those in need who are not victims of injustice.
We have no duty to assist the sheep about to be eaten by the wolf, since
the wolf is not committing an injustice. But that is an inadequate reply.
Consider a case where a human is about to be injured by a boulder rolling
down a hill? If the boulder is set in motion deliberately by another human
wishing to kill the victim, we are required to assist. But if the boulder
is set in motion by an animal inadvertently, we are not required to assist.
We are required to help those about to be harmed regardless of whether moral
agency in present at the source of harm. But with this Regan's reply about
predation fails, and the predation problem is unsolved in the animal rights'
view. Jamieson is at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
--Dieter T. Hessel, ed., AFTER NATURE'S REVOLT: ECO-JUSTICE AND THEOLOGY.
Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 1991. 240 pages. $ 14.95 paper. John
B. Cobb, Jr., Paul Santmire, Larry Rasmussen, Heidi Hadsell, George Kehm,
Holmes Rolston, III, George Tinker, Carol Johnston, and Phil Hefner rethink
aspects of doctrine, spirituality, and lifestyle in ways that are critical
of anthropocentrism in Christianity. Rolston's article is "A Christian
Understanding of Wildlife and Wildlands."
--James A. Nash, LOVING NATURE: ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY AND CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITY.
Nashville, Abingdon Cokesbury, 1991, 256 pages. Paper $ 16.95. Outlines
the major dimensions of today's ecological crisis and the accompanying ethical
issues. Claims that the precepts of Christianity offer a strong foundation
for a responsible environmental ethic.
--David Abram, "The Ecology of Magic," ORION NATURE QUARTERLY,
summer 1991. "The traditional shaman ... is in many ways the `ecologist'
of a tribal society. He or she acts as intermediary between the human community
and the larger ecological field, regulating the flow of nourishment, not
just from the landscape to the human inhabitants, but from the human community
back to the local earth. By his or her constant rituals, trances, ecstacies,
and `journeys' the shaman ensures that the relation between human society
and the larger society of beings is balanced and reciprocal, and that the
village never takes more from the living land than it returns." "Sadly,
our society's relation to the living biosphere can in no way be considered
a reciprocal or balanced one. ... From an animistic perspective, the clearest
source of all this distress, both physical and psychological, lies in the
... violence perpetrated by our civilization; only by alleviating the latter
will we be able to heal the former. ... We are human only in contact and
conviviality with what is not human. Only in reciprocity with what is Other
will we begin to heal ourselves."
--Michael Satchell, "Any Color but Green," U.S. NEWS AND WORLD
REPORT, October 21, 1991, pp. 74-76. The "wise-use" alliance rising
to battle the environmental movement, now organized as a coalition, and
said by some to be the most serious challenge to environmentalism in two
decades. The wise-use movement regards "wilderness, wetlands, and endangered
species as an unholy trinity responsible for most of its gut worries."
Charles Cushman, a spokesman, says, "The preservationists are like
a new pagan religion, worshipping trees and animals and sacrificing people.
It's a holy war between fundamentally different religions."
--ENVIRONMENTAL AND ARCHITECTURAL PHENOMENOLOGY. The winter 1992 issue marks
the start of this multidisciplinary newsletter's third year. This issue
focuses on "place and place experience" and includes book reviews
and poetry as well as essays by composer R. Murray Schafer, philosopher
Antony Weston, and geographers Edward Relph and J. Douglas Porteous. The
theme of the spring 1992 issue is "phenomenology and environmental
ethics." Contributors include naturalist Paul Krapfel and philosophers
Ralph R. Acampora, Joseph Grange, and Jeffrey Wattles. Annual subscription
$ 6 ($ 8 foreign). Contact: Dr. David Seamon: Architecture Department, Seaton
211, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
--John Bellamy Foster, "Capitalism and the Ancient Forest," MONTHLY
REVIEW 43(no. 5, October 1991):1-17. Summary of events in the Pacific Northwest
over recent years, with a focus on capital's destruction of the forest,
"a story of how capital has sought to weather a growing political crisis
associated with the destruction of the ancient forest by turning its two
main enemies--the workers and the environmentalists--against each other."
Foster teaches sociology at the University of Oregon.
--Jacklyn Cock, "Towards the Greening of the Church in South Africa:
Some Problems and Possibilities." 26 page typescript, in press, available
from the author, who is at the Department of Sociology, University of the
Witwatersrand, 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Johannesburg, South Africa. Probably
the principal paper available for assessing the power and prospects for
Christianity as a force for environmental conservation, as well as for human
development, in South Africa. The author has also formed, with Eddie Koch
of the Johannesburg WEEKLY MAIL, GEM, Group for Environmental Monitoring,
that seeks to do research in and provide education for environmental issues
in South Africa, especially as this affects those who have been the victims
--U. De V. Pienaar, "An Overview of Conservation in South Africa and
Future Perspectives," KOEDOE: RESEARCH JOURNAL FOR NATIONAL PARKS IN
THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA 34 (no. 1, 1991):73-80. With particular concern
for a national environmental plan and policy that will arrest and reverse
current resource and environmental deterioration while at the same time
promoting approaches to attaining a better quality of life for all South
--M. G. L. Mills, "Conservation Management of Large Carnivores in Africa,"
KOEDOE: RESEARCH JOURNAL FOR NATIONAL PARKS IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
34 (no. 1, 1991): 81-90. Problems and opportunities in keeping people in
reasonable harmony with big predators on a landscape.
--Vicki Hearne, "What's Wrong with Animal Rights," HARPER'S, September
1991. An animal trainer claims that many domestic animals gain their fullest
satisfaction from the right kind of training. Animals benefit from demanding
work that challenges their potential. "The logic of the animal-rights
movement places suffering at the iconographic center of a skewed value system."
"The problem with the animal-rights advocates is not that they take
it too far; it's that they've got it all wrong." "Work is the
foundation of the happiness a trainer and an animal discover together."
Of her dog, Drummer, she says, "I have enfranchised him in a relationship
to me by educating him, creating the conditions by which he can achieve
a certain happiness specific to a dog." "Only Drummer's owner
has the power to obey him--to obey who he is and what he is capable of--deeply
enough to grant him his rights and open up the possibility of happiness."
--Thomas Berry and Thomas Clarke, edited by Anne Lonergan and Stephen Dunn,
BEFRIENDING THE EARTH: A THEOLOGY OF RECONCILIATION BETWEEN HUMANS AND THE
EARTH. 158 pages, paper $ 7.95. Two Catholic priests discuss the role of
religion in the ecological movement. Religion has failed to address the
despoiling of Earth, which is the greatest crisis in the history of the
planet. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 1991.
--Andrew Linzey, "The Theological Basis of Animal Rights," CHRISTIAN
CENTURY, October 9, 1991. An Anglican priests criticizes humanocentric theology.
--Larry Rasmussen, "The Late Great Planet Poll," CHRISTIAN CENTURY,
October 9, 1991. A satire relating a poll among Earth's species whether
the arrival of humankind was a good thing.
--Michael Frome, REGREENING THE NATIONAL PARKS. 250 pages. $ 19.95. Tuscon:
University of Arizona Press, 1992. The original mission of the U. S. National
Parks has been undermined by politicization and bureaucratization. Visitor
enjoyment is a higher priority than the protection and perpetuation of natural
--Bret Wallach, AT ODDS WITH PROGRESS: AMERICANS AND CONSERVATION. 255 pages,
$ 24.95. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1991. How ambivalence toward
progress is a distinctively American expression of uneasiness about the
character of the modern world.
--Patrick C. West and Steven R. Brechin, eds., RESIDENT PEOPLES AND NATIONAL
PARKS: SOCIAL DILEMMAS AND STRATEGIES IN INTERNATIONAL CONSERVATION. 443
pages. $ 35.00. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1991.
--Bonnie J. McCay and James M. Acheson, eds., THE QUESTION OF THE COMMONS:
THE CULTURE AND ECOLOGY OF COMMUNAL RESOURCES. 439 pages, $ 14.95 paper.
Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1991. The problems that arise in using
--Rolf Edbert and Alexei Yablokov, eds., EAST MEETS WEST ON GLOBAL ECOLOGY.
210 pages. $ 14.95. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1991. A Swedish
statesman and a Soviet biologist focus on mutually perceived threats to
the survival of life on earth.
--Calvin B. DeWitt, ed., THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE CHRISTIAN: WHAT WE CAN
LEARN FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1991.
The ethics of environmentalism and its place in Christian teaching are joined
in the teaching of Jesus about the Kingdom of God. Calvin DeWitt is professor
of environmental studies at the Institute for Environmental Studies, University
of Wisconsin. He directs work at the Au Sable Institute of Environmental
--Art and Jocele Meyer, EARTHKEEPERS: ENVIRONMENTAL PERSPECTIVES ON HUNGER,
POVERTY, AND JUSTICE. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1991. 264 pages. $ 12.95.
The root causes of environmental degradation and what Christians can do
to reverse this.
--Susan Milius, "Art with a Conscience," NATIONAL WILDLIFE, June-
July 1991, vol. 29, no. 4. Animals artists are looking for ways to help
their beleaguered subjects. Artist Chuck Ripper has painted 458 paintings
for a National Wildlife Federation conservation stamp program. Roger Tory
Peterson oversees the stamp effort and has painted 192 himself. Similar
efforts by other artists. (Thanks to Barbara Allen).
--Ed McGaa, Eagle Man, MOTHER EARTH SPIRITUALITY: NATIVE AMERICAN PATHS
TO HEALING OURSELVES AND OUR WORLD. 230 pages. $ 14.95. San Francisco: Harper
and Row, 1990. A Sioux Indian with a law degree from the University of South
Dakota, also a Marine Corps veteran of over 100 combat missions in Viet
Nam, argues that "a reversal of world values, a spiritual concept of
the earth as God- created and sacred, is in order before we two-leggeds
can be environmentally effective on a global basis." (Thanks to Nick
--Karen Warren and Nancy Tuana, eds., and others, "Feminism and the
Environment," in American Philosophical Association, NEWSLETTER ON
FEMINISM AND PHILOSOPHY, Issue no. 90:3. Fall 1991. Includes an overview
of the issues by Karen Warren, with a long bibliography; an interview with
Eco-feminist Susan Griffin; Roger J. King, "Noddings, Care, and Environmental
Ethics" (a discussion of Nel Noddings, CARING: A FEMINIST APPROACH
TO ETHICS AND MORAL EDUCATION); Laura Westra, "Towards Integrity in
the Great Lakes Region: Some Feminist Considerations"; Carol J. Adams,
"Developing Courses that Integrate Animal Rights and Feminism,"
with long bibliography; sample courses: Stephanie Lahar, University of Vermont,
"Ecology and Women: The Ecofeminist Movement (1989)"; Karen J.
Warren, Macalaster College, "Environmental Ethics and Feminism (1989)";
Greta Gaard, University of Minnesota-Duluth, "Ecofeminist Theories
and Practices"; Carol J. Adams and Karen J. Warren, "Feminism
and the Environment: A Selected Bibliography," ten pages long; and
abstracts of HYPATIA issue on ecological feminism. A second issue of the
newsletter devoted to ecofeminism will follow.
--SOCIETY AND NATURAL RESOURCES is an international journal for the conservation,
preservation, and management of natural resources. Some forthcoming article
titles: Robert D. Bullard and Beverly H. Wright, "The Quest for Environmental
Equity: Mobilizing the African-American Community for Social Change";
Keith Hollinshead, "The Ethics of Ennoblement: A Review of Leopold
on Leisure and of Callicott on Leopold"; John Wargo, "Science,
Values, Control, and Equity: Foundations of Multiple Use Resource Policy";
Bill Devall, "Deep Ecology and Radical Environmentalism." Vol.
4, no. 1 is a special issue on "Women and Natural Resources in Developing
Countries," Nancy Lee Peluso, guest editor.
ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS IN INTRODUCTORY ETHICS CLASSES. Environmental ethics
and animal rights issues are appearing with increasing frequency as sections
in introductory textbooks on ethics. Some samples follow. Perhaps an analysis
of such texts, an account of the adequacy or inadequacy of readings and
issues chosen, and commentary on the role these issues play in teaching
introductory ethics would make a good discussion article in ENVIRONMENTAL
ETHICS or in TEACHING PHILOSOPHY.
--Jeffrey Olen and Vincent Barry, eds., APPLYING ETHICS: A TEXT WITH READINGS,
4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1992. 470 pages. Introductory text. Chapter
9 is "Animal Rights." Readings are Peter Singer, "All Animals
are Equal;" Tom Regan, "The Case for Animal Rights"; Christina
Hoff, "Immoral and Moral Uses of Animals"; Bonnie Steinbock, "Speciesism
and the Idea of Equality." Chapter 10 is "Environmental Ethics."
Readings are Aldo Leopold, "The Land Ethic"; Paul W. Taylor, "The
Ethics of Respect for Nature"; William F. Baxter, "People or Penguins";
J. Baird Callicott, "An Ecocentric Environmental Ethic" (an extract
from "The Search for an Environmental Ethic" in Regan, ed., EARTHBOUND.
The chapter on environmental ethics is new to the fourth edition. Other
issues are sexual morality, pornography, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment,
job discrimination, and corporate responsibility.
--Raziel Abelson and Marie-Louise Friquegnon, ETHICS FOR MODERN LIFE, 4th
edition. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991. Chapter 7 is "Environmental
Ethics." Readings are Ruth Macklin, "Can Future Generations Correctly
be Said To Have Rights?"; Joel Feinberg, "The Rights of Animals
and Unborn Generations."
--Thomas A. Mappes and Jane S. Zembaty, SOCIAL ETHICS: MORALITY AND SOCIAL
POLICY, 4th ed., New York: McGraw Hill, 1992. Chapter 11 is on "The
Environment." Readings are: William F. Baxter, "People or Penguins:
The Case for Optimal Pollution"; William Godfrey-Smith, "The Value
of Wilderness"; Bernard E. Rollin, "Environmental Ethics";
Peter S. Wenz, "Ecology and Morality"; Lily-Marlene Russow, "Why
Do Species Matter?"; "Ramachandra Guha, "Radical American
Environmentalism and Wilderness Preservation: A Third World Critique."
--Claudia Mills, VALUES AND PUBLIC POLICY. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,
1992. Chapter 2 is on "Nature, the Environment, and Animal Rights."
Short articles, drawn from the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy's
quarterly, QQ, by Claudia Mills on endangered species; Mark Sagoff on biotechnology,
property rights and environmental law, and animal liberation and environmental
ethics; C. A. J. Coady defending human chauvinism; and Robert Wachbroit
on patenting animals. Chapter 1 is on "Technology, Risk, and the Environment."
Two introductory texts still in print are:
--Richard A. Wasserstrom, TODAY'S MORAL PROBLEMS, 3rd edition. New York:
Macmillan; London: Collier Macmillan, 1985. Chapter 7 is "Humans and
the Nonhuman Environment." Readings, Tom Regan: "Ethical Vegetarianism
and Commercial Animal Farming"; H. J. McCloskey, "Moral Rights
and Animals"; John Passmore, "Preservation"; John Rodman,
"The Liberation of Nature."
--Tom Regan, ed., MATTERS OF LIFE AND DEATH. First published by Random House,
now bought by McGraw Hill. 2nd ed., 1986. Chapter 9 is Peter Singer, "Animals
and the Value of Life." Chapter 10 is J. Baird Callicott, "The
Search for an Environmental Ethic."
In the first edition this chapter was by William T. Blackstone.
--Michael D. Bayles and Kenneth Henley, RIGHT CONDUCT: THEORIES AND APPLICATIONS.
First published by Random House, now bought by McGraw Hill. The first edition,
1983, had a section, "Population, Hunger, and the Environment,"
but the second and current edition, 1989, has dropped that, substituting
a section on "Future Generations."
Videotapes and media
The Video Project has a catalog of environmental videotapes with a focus
on global and international problems. There are 30 new releases and several
hundred videos and films in the 1992 catalog. Phone 800/475-2638.
WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAMED. Loss of wildlife, due to the dramatic changes
in Great Plains and Rocky Mountain landscapes since Europeans arrived, in
contrast to the American Indian harmony with nature. Part I is a summary
history. European attitudes of conquest and exploitation. Plains Indians
relationship to the bison. Anasazi culture and agriculture. Indian use patterns
shifted often and Indians could be opportunists. Part II is on contemporary
hunting, antihunting, and a land ethic. Hunting by Indians a necessity,
but hunting today a recreation. But the same contact with nature can be
there; hunters defending the benefit of hunting in understanding nature.
Poachers convicted and jailed. Convicted American Indian poacher defends
his right to hunt. Trophy hunter defends trophy hunting even violating laws.
Bambi attitudes toward nature, urban attitudes to wildlife can be unrealistic.
Needed, some return to the old natural rhythms constraining development.
Need for balance, in the human self- interest as well as for welfare of
wildlife. Produced by Colorado Division of Wildlife and Denver Museum of
Natural History. 56 minutes.
"The Wrong Stuff," placing Sam Beckett of "Quantum Leap"
into the body of a laboratory chimpanzee was aired on NBC November 6, 1991.
The hero, Sam Beckett, projected back into the 1970's where he inhabited
the body of a research chimpanzee set to die or suffer severe injuries in
a crash-impact test. Biomedical research advocates, especially the Foundation
for Biomedical Research, had requested NBC to cancel or alter the program.
Holmes Rolston has
Environmental Ethics in China
CHINA'S ENVIRONMENT. China has 1/14th of the total land area on Earth, 1/4
of the world's people. The land area is approximately the size of the United
States, the population over four times that of the United States. There
is immense variation in topography, climate, soils, ecology, and ethnic
peoples. The altitude ranges from 300 meters below sea level (in the Turpan
Depression of northern Xinjiang) to 8800 meters (in the Himalayas, the "roof
of the world"); ecosystems range from tropic to alpine, rainfall varies
from over 250 cm. annually to under 1 cm. China is unique in Eurasia in
having an unbroken forest from the tropics to boreal regions. The flora
is among the richest in the world, some 30,000 species (U.S. about 20,000),
including 5,000 woody species, 2,800 tree species (U.S. less than 700).
China has three of the longest rivers in the world, rivers that do not always
flow peacefully, due to enormous catchment basins, often steep and barren,
that shed water rapidly, and due to the erosion of loess soils that build
up downstream deposits subject to periodic breakthrough and flooding. The
Huang (Yellow) River ("China's Sorrow") has killed more people
than any other feature of Earth's surface. In China, forestry is especially
important in relation to soils and sedimentation and downstream water flow.
Although the Chinese have lived more or less in harmony with their landscape
for millennia, they today more nearly press the carrying capacity of their
landscape than do most other peoples. Human development and environmental
conservation are as integrally related in China as anywhere else on earth.
The immense Chinese population is very unevenly distributed on the landscape,
due to the variation in climate and topographic features. In general China
is about twice as elevated in landscapes as is the United States. Eastern
China is densely populated, but the interior is often lightly populated
and some parts are almost unpopulated. Some 90% of China's population live
on little more than 15% of the land surface. The massive size of the population,
together with the large and diverse land areas, pose problems of governability
faced by no other country in the world. The climate is regarded as being
more erratic and unpredictable than in most other nations.
China as a nation is not especially well-watered; the runoff is about one-fifth
what it would be in other large nations. The actual water caught and used
in the United States is about the same as the total amount of rain that
falls on China, areas of comparable size. The result is a large population,
unevenly distributed, an uneven rainfall, and strain on water resources.
The United Nations Environment Program reports that there are over 300 environmental
awareness groups in China. There are also over 60 universities in China
teaching courses on environmental engineering and ecology. A monthly English
language journal, CHINA ENVIRONMENT NEWS, is published with UNEP assistance,
together with a quarterly Chinese language journal, WORLD ENVIRONMENT.
ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS IN CHINA. Holmes Rolston visited China in October 1991
at the invitation of the Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social
Sciences, Beijing, to speak at several Beijing Universities and governmental
agencies on environmental ethics. The comments that follow result from a
brief visit and are inevitably impressionistic.
For most leaders and intellectuals in China, environmental ethics, if a
legitimate inquiry at all, is rather simple theoretically, though sometimes
complex operationally in practice. The problem is maintaining an environment
that will support human development. Old China was a backward nation due
to the exploitation of the masses by the elite, but New China (Marxist China,
since 1949) is- -so the official argument runs--ideally competent at large-scale,
long-term planning, and citizens can be expected and even required to put
the common good first. Environmental pollution and the
inequitable distribution of resources is capitalism's problem.
Nevertheless China discovered that it had problems in the sixties and seventies,
and the current Marxist account is that leaders then mistakenly assumed
a maximum exploitation mode, sometimes through ignorance of the feedback
loops between nature and culture, sometimes through overweening greed. That
has since been rectified, a model of "rational use of nature"
has replaced an irrational model. Society in harmony with nature is a better
model than society exploiting nature.
The ethical issues are thought to arise mostly with distribution of what
is desired and undesired. Much of China is subject to erratic and uncertain
rainfall; usually there is either too much water or not enough. The question
is who gets it when there is not enough and who gets it when there is too
much. Likewise with food and pollutants. Especially with the Marxists, these
may not be considered ethical questions, but questions of sound scientific
management. Managers, it can be assumed will know and seek the optimal common
good. Citizens do not have the expertise to follow technical analyses of
pollution distribution, although they may have to be educated what to do
in the required cleanup.
Such issues at once intersect with the population problem, which is perhaps
China's number one problem. This IS thought of as an ethical problem, though
not particularly a problem in environmental ethics. Again early leaders
of the New China made a serious mistake, thinking that rapid exploitation
of nature under the new socialist regime would automatically take care of
the population problem. Now, stern measures are required. Policies differ
in regions of the country, especially in the autonomous regions, but the
following is typical. One child is permitted and will receive a free high
school education, free health care, and other benefits. With the second
child, such benefits are canceled. With a third child various punitive measures
begin; adverse pressures in the work unit step up; with a fourth child the
parents are subject to being dismissed from their jobs. Reports (which need
to be verified from better sources) are that in sections of the country
where boy children are particularly desired, this sometimes means that girl
babies are less well cared for in early infancy, or even let die, in the
hopes of having a son the second time around.
In "urban management" style environmental ethics, wildlife, wildlands,
endangered species, ecosystem integrity, animal rights will never be mentioned.
The native wildlife has been gone for centuries, although the pariah species
of civilization remain (English sparrows, pigeons, magpies, mice, rats).
The streams do need to be kept pure enough for edible fish and invertebrates
(prawn, shrimp) that the Chinese enjoy. The markets are full of animals
to eat, still alive or recently slaughtered (no refrigeration), including
dogs. If asked whether there any vegetarians by conviction, one gets the
reply that some Buddhists formerly believed this (following from AHIMSA,
non-injury, the first Buddhist commandment), but that Buddhism is gone,
and that the vegetarian Buddhists were mostly under the excessive sway of
Indian Buddhists anyway. Most Chinese Buddhists were too practical to be
Dogs are not permitted in the cities, though cats can be kept as pets.
Many fox skins were for sale in the stores.
THE CHINESE ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY. The
Chinese Academy of Sciences was one unit until 1977, when, for political
reasons, it was separated into the Chinese Academy of (Natural) Sciences
and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. There are about 80,000 persons
in the Chinese Academy of Sciences. There are about 5,000 persons now attached
to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and it does not receive particularly
good support as the government is not altogether happy with some of the
free-thinking elements there. Within the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
there are various institutes, one of which is the Institute of Philosophy.
The Chinese do not have any field called the humanities, though they do
have art, music, and literature, outside the social sciences.
The Institute of Philosophy contains about 260 philosophers in about ten
departments: Department of Historical Materialism, Department of Dialectical
Materialism, Department of History of Traditional Chinese Philosophy, Department
of Dialectics of Nature, Department of Ethics, Department of Aesthetics,
Department of History of Western Philosophy, Department of Modern Western
Philosophy, Department of Logics.
The Chinese do philosophy of nature under the term "dialectics of nature,"
which for them also includes philosophy of science. In addition to the Department
of Dialectics of Nature in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Chinese
Academy of Sciences has a Department of the Dialectics of Nature in the
A principal philosopher interested in environmental ethics is Professor
Yu Mouchang, who is a research professor with the Institute of Philosophy,
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He has been there over thirty years,
been reading environmental philosophy for ten years. See bibliography below.
Rolston lectured at the following places:
(1) Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. (2) People's University.
(3) Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of Philosophy. Hosts included:
Professor Chen Ying, Director, Department of Ethics, Institute of Philosophy,
and Secretary, Chinese Society of Ethics; Professor Luo Guojie, Vice- President
of the People's University of China and Chairman, Chinese Society of Ethics;
Professor Wei Ying-Min, Director, Section of Ethics, Department of Philosophy,
Beijing University, and Vice-Chairman of the Chinese Society of Ethics;
Dean Li Bochun, Department of Dialectics of Nature, Graduate School, Chinese
Academy of Sciences; Qiu Renzong, Senior Researcher, Institute of Philosophy.
(4) Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Department of Systems
Ecology. Host: Dr. Zhao Jungshu, Professor and Deputy Director. The Research
Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences has about 700 persons, with about
30 in the Department of Systems Ecology. These thirty mostly study facets
of human ecology.
(5) Qinghua University. Hosts: Professor Liu Yuang-Liang, Vice- Chairman,
Department of Social Science, Tsinghua University; Professor Quan Yi, Department
of Environmental Engineering, Director National Laboratory of Environmental
Simulation and Pollution Control; Zeng Xiaoxuan, Department of Social Science.
(6) Beijing Agricultural University. Hosts: Professor Han Chun- Ru, Department
of Agronomy; Professor Wang Hong Kang, Director of the Environmental Protection
Major; Professors Zhang Xiang-Qin and Zheng Wufu, Social Science Department.
(7) Suzhou Institute of Urban Construction and Environmental Protection,
with dinner at Suzhou University. Suzhou is a city about 50 miles inland
from Shanghai. Host: Professor Xu Guangming, Marxism Teaching Office.
--Qiu Renzong, editor-in-chief, GUOWAI ZIRANKEXUE ZHEXUEWENTI 1990 (INTERNATIONAL
PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS IN NATURAL SCIENCE 1990), Chinese Academy of Social
Sciences, Institute of Philosophy. Bejing: Social Science Press, 1991. ISBN
7-5004-0885-4/B 181. There are section introductions, but all the articles
are translations from Western books and journals. Section I is on Philosophy
of Science: Scientific Materialism. Section II is on Science and Society:
The Relationship between Human Beings and Nature. The section editor is
Yu Mouchang, Institute of Philosophy, who gives an introduction to environmental
ethics, "Current Focus of the Study of the Relationship between Human
Beings and Nature." The section contains three articles (1) G. A. Davedova,
"Problems of the Relationship between Human Beings and Nature in Marxist
Historical Philosophy" (pp. 104-129, translated from Russian; (2) M.
B. Kushkova, Human Beings and Nature (pp. 130-145, translated from Russian;
(3) Holmes Rolston, III, "Is There an Ecological Ethic? (pp. 146-157,
translated by Ye Ping (Northeast Forestry University, Harbin) from English
in PHILOSOPHY GONE WILD, originally in ETHICS. Section III is on Philosophical
Problems of Nature: the Self-Organization of Nature. It contains a dozen
articles, for example Ilya Prigogine on irreversible thermodynamics and
several articles inquiring how evolutionary creation has taken place through
the self- organization of nature. The book has just been released; they
claim it has sold well, though many books of this kind in China are as much
"distributed" to libraries and agencies as sold. Already about
3000 copies have been sold or distributed.
--Yu Mouchang, SHENG TAI LUN LI XUE (ECOLOGICAL ETHICS). Xi'an (in Shaanxi
Province): Science and Technology Press, forthcoming. The manuscript was
completed in 1988, but is still in press.
--Yu Mouchang, SHENG TAI XUE ZHE XUE (ECOLOGICAL PHILOSOPHY). Kunming: People's
Press of Yunnan Province. The manuscript was completed in 1991, and the
work is likely to be in press several years.
--Yu Mouchang, SHENG TAI XUE DE XIN XI (ECOLOGICAL INFORMATION) Shenyang
(in Liaoning Province): Science and Technology Press of Kiaoning Province,
1982). Written for a popular audience to introduce some fundamental ecological
ideas, at a time when ecology was a new subject in China.
--Yu Mouchang, DAN DA SHEHUI YU HUAN JING KE XUE (CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE AND
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE) Shenyang (in Liaoning Province): People's Press of
Liaoning Province, 1986. 300 pages.
--Yu Mouchang, "Sheng Tai Lun Li Xue," ("Ecological Ethics").
Chapter 12, pages 297-308, in Chen Ying, XIAN DAI LUN LI XUE (MODERN ETHICS).
Chong Qing (in Sichuan Province): Chong Qing Press, 1990. Introduces Aldo
Leopold's land ethic, as interpreted by Holmes Rolston and J. Baird Callicott.
--Two articles from ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS have been translated into Chinese.
The first is Richard Cartwright Austin, "Beauty: A Foundation for Environmental
Ethics" (Fall 1985), translated by Yu Hui (the daughter of Yu Mouchang,
above, who teaches English at Bejing University) and appeared in ZIRANKEXUE
ZHEXUEWENTI (PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS IN THE NATURAL SCIENCES) 1988, no. 1,
--The second is J. Baird Callicott, "The Metaphysical Implications
of Ecology" (Winter 1986), translated by Yu Hui, and appeared in ZIRANKEXUE
ZHEXUEWENTI (PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS IN THE NATURAL SCIENCES) 1988, no. 4,
This journal was published by the Institute of Philosophy from 1978-1990,
but they were forced to stop publication when their financial support from
the government was withdrawn.
--Wang Rusong, editor in chief, Zhao Jingzhu and Dai Xiaolong, editors,
HUMAN ECOLOGY IN CHINA: ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SYSTEMS ECOLOGY
1989, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of
Sciences. Bejing: China Science and Technology Press, 1990. 251 pages, all
in English. The reports are apparently seldom printed in English but this
one was made possible by a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere grant.
--NONG YE ZHE XUE JI CHU (THE BASIS OF A PHILOSOPHY OF AGRICULTURE), by
a Working Group of the Chinese Society of Dialectics of Nature. Bejing:
Science Press, 1991. 361 pages. Entirely in Chinese. A contact and one of
the working group is Zhang Xiang-gin, Bejing Agricultural University, Bejing
China. She is also one of the authors.
--Holmes Rolston, III and James E. Coufal, "A Forest Ethic and Multivalue
Forest Management," translated into Chinese, and used in an inside
staff news source, INFORMATION ABOUT ECOPHILOSOPHY, at Northeast Forestry
University. Publication forthcoming. Translated by Ye Ping, Social Science
Department, Northeast Forestry University, 150040 Harbin, China.
--Leopold, Aldo, "The Land Ethic," translated by Ye Ping, a philosopher
at Northeast Forestry University.
--Rolston, Holmes, III, "Values in Nature," translated by Yu Goping,
an economist at Northeast Forestry University
Both are translated into Chinese in a special issue of INFORMATION OF ECOPHILOSOPHY,
an occasional publication of the Research Office in Ecophilosophy of the
Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, 1989, No. 2.
--Ye Ping (see above), "Man and Nature: A Review of Western Ecological
Ethics" (in Chinese), TZU-JAN PIEN-CHENG-FA YEN-CHIU (STUDIES IN DIALECTICS
OF NATURE) 7(no. 11, 1991):4-13, 46. Published by the Chinese Association
for the Dialectics of Nature.
--Ye Ping (see above) has a series of six short articles on environmental
ethics in LIN-YEH YöEH PAO (FORESTRY MONTHLY) (in Chinese) running
from August through December 1991. "1. What Is an Ecological Ethics?",
July, no. 7; "2. The Conception of an Ecological Ethics," August,
no. 8; "3. The Growth of an Ecological Ethics," September, no.
9; "4. The Present Situation in Ecological Ethics," October, no.
10; "5. Ecological Ethics Applied to Forestry Management," November,
no. 11; and "6. Ecological Ethics and `Two-Crisis' Countermeasures,"
December, no. 12. The two crises are that waste materials in air pollution
harm the Earth in two ways: destroying forests and creating a greenhouse
--Lester Ross, ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY IN CHINA. Bloomington, ID: Indiana University
Press, 1988. 240 pages. Ross maintains that "exhortation and environmental
ethics" (p. 60) have been massively tried in China and massively failed.
By this he means that earlier Marxist environmental campaigns, such as those
for reforestation, exhorted the Chinese to good environmental citizenship,
to do what was in the larger public interest, such as plant trees for future
generations, and that, although this resulted in the largest tree planting
program in human history during waves of enthusiasm, the tree programs failed
because there was no sustained monitoring and interest waned as soon as
the enthusiasm passed. The trees died for lack of care. No one owned them;
everybody owned them. In contrast, all that will work is programs that appeal
to the self-advantage of the person over a foreseeable future, such as woodlot
planting for fuel. Somebody owns the trees. Or at least is entitled to the
wood and responsible for their care. Incentive changes behavior, not moral
exhortation. Richardson, see below (p. 180), is not so sure.
--S. D. Richardson, FORESTS AND FORESTRY IN CHINA (Corvelo, CA: Island Press,
1990). 353 pages. Excellent, thorough, by a New Zealand forester who has
observed forestry in China over thirty years. Balanced portrayal of the
successes against the massive failures. An earlier book, of which this is
a major revision, is FORESTRY IN COMMUNIST CHINA, 1966.
--Vaclav Smil, THE BAD EARTH: ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION IN CHINA. Armonk,
NY: M. E. Sharpe, Inc. and London: ZED Press, 1984. 245 pages. Extensive
account of serious environmental degradation and highly critical of the
Maoist government and massive, bumbling Chinese bureaucracy. Deforestation
and resulting erosion and flooding is China's most serious environmental
problem. Much of this results from Marxist idealism about growing grain
in unsuitable areas. The land use mistakes, when coupled with population,
growth, have China on a disaster course. The silting of the Huang (Yellow)
River is one of the most intractable environmental problems on Earth. The
most fundamental problem is not population size, or relative poverty, or
political instability; it is a staggering mistreatment of the environment,
which will prove the most serious check on China's reach toward prosperity.
Smil is a geographer at the University of Manitoba.
--Li Wenhua and Zhao Xianying, CHINA'S NATURE RESERVES (Bejing: Foreign
Languages Press, 1989), 190 pages. Li Wenhua is one of China's foremost
ecologists; Zhao Xianying is a geobotanist who has studied in the United
States. Quite useful general introduction to nature reserves in China. The
rationale they give: resources, aesthetics, scientific research, environmental
protection, education, tourism. Humans have, in the past, had the wrong
attitude toward nature, one of exploitation. "We once judged our ability
to squeeze nature for all its worth as an important indication of humankind's
civilization and progress. Often as not, the cost of our conquests over
nature was the devastation of those elements so vital to our own existence--the
earth's environment and natural resources. We were, in effect, destroying
our own life-support system. Living in harmony with our planet means cherishing
and protecting the natural world" (pp. 1-2).
China was late forming any conservation strategy. The first reserve was
in 1956, and nineteen reserves were set up by 1966, but most of these gains
lost in the Cultural Revolution. Since 1976 there has been steady improvement.
By late 1981 there were 76 reserves, by 1986 there were 383. A goal is 500
reserves by 2000. But one must use considerable care; many of these are
paper reserves only (the designation as a reserve of the forests that remain
on a former Buddhist temple site, although the area may be much used).
--Xu Weishu, BIRDS IN CHINA (Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 1989). 72
pages. Short introduction to the birds of China.
URBAN ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. China never had and still does not have a long-distance
food transportation system. Energy costs are too high and spoilage too great,
without refrigeration. Farmers near the big cities supply locally, and most
of what is eaten in Beijing is grown within 100 kilometers of the city.
For several thousand years the urban wastes, mostly food wastes and excrement,
all easily biodegradable, was recycled on the fields near the cities. Farm
animals ate the garbage and the nightsoil went on the fields. Repeated crops
of rice and vegetables did take their toll on soil nutrients and farmers
were often eager to go to the cities and receive the free fertilizer. All
that changed when the cities industrialized. Chemical fertilizer is available,
cheaper if one takes into account the time and cost spent collecting the
natural mature. Herbicides and insecticides are available and can be combined
with the fertilizer (all applied by hand or with very simple machines. And
the stuff coming down the sewers from the industries is toxic or not biodegradable.
Momentum is gathering for the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, June 1-15. Organizers are predicting
that between 25,000 and 40,000 persons will attend the Earth Summit, or
any of the dozens of pre, post, and simultaneous meetings taking place.
There are delegations from 150 countries. The head of the U. S. delegation
is E. U. Curtis (Buff) Bohlen, Assistant Secretary of State. Bohlen was
formerly a Senior Vice-President with the World Wildlife Fund-U.S. The U.
N. planning group is a Secretariat, operating out of Geneva, Switzerland,
and New York. Three results have been hoped for, in particular: An Earth
Charter, Agenda 21, and several Conventions. The Earth Charter will be a
Magna Carta for the planet. Agenda 21 will be an environmental/development
framework for institutional modification over the next decade, as the millennium
turns to the 21st century. Four conventions have been attempted: (1) Forests,
(2) Biodiversity, (3) Biotechnology, and (4) Climate, but it seems unlikely
that more than two will survive the negotiating process. The U.S. has pushed
for a binding agreement on forests, but developing nations meet this with
some skepticism, the U.S. effort being undercut by the deliberately vague
Bush position on the U.S. old growth forests. The principal stumbling blocks
on biodiversity and biotechnology conventions revolve around questions of
access to genetic resources and technology transfer. The principal impediment
to a climate convention is the U.S. unwillingness to accept the need for
setting specific CO2 reduction targets as part of a strategy for stabilizing
greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2000. The other major industrialized
nations have all agreed to setting explicit national targets. Four meetings
of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) have been or are being held, in Nairobi,
Kenya in August 1990, in Geneva in March 1991, in Geneva, August-September
1991, and in New York, March 1992. AN INTRODUCTORY GUIDE TO THE EARTH SUMMIT
is available from U. S. Citizens Network on UNCED, 300 Broadway, Suite 39,
San Francisco, CA 94133.
President Jean Mayer of Tufts University convened an international meeting
of presidents and other high administrative officers from twenty-two different
nations. An outcome of this conference that has become known as the Talloires
Declaration invites each University to subscribe to ten actions in the interest
of environmental conservation and a sustainable future. The declaration
is being widely circulated and many universities are adopting it.
The President's Environment and Conservation Challenge Awards are designed
to recognize and encourage innovative solutions to environmental concerns.
The President of the United States will present the awards annually at a
White House ceremony, in connection with a symposium on the winning programs.
Featured are quality in environmental management, building partnerships
for environmental quality enhancement, innovative technology, and education
and communication, with an "emphasis on educational programs that contribute
to the development of a conservation and environmental ethic." Associated
groups are the Council on Environmental Quality, the National Geographic
Society, the Hearst Corporation, The Business Roundtable, and the World
Wildlife Fund. Application forms and information from: President's Environment
and Conservation Challenge Awards, The White House, Council on Environmental
Quality, 722 Jackson Place, N. W., Washington, DC 20503. Phone 202/395-1154.
National Environmental Networks. A list of electronic networks, for computer
modem access, is supplied by Douglas M. Smith, Phone 202/547-5171, and the
list can be downloaded via computer. The list is divided into public access
systems and private (at cost) systems. About a dozen networks, such as Econet,
Global Action Network, and Environet (Greenpeace) are discussed, their advantages
and disadvantages. (Thanks to Michael Losonsky.)
The Educational Testing Service has dropped an animal use question, under
protest from Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, especially the University
of Iowa chapter. The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Text/National Merit
Scholarship Qualifying Test is used to test high school students for their
vocabulary. The 1990 version of the test contained the following question:
Viewed against a century of public apathy, these long overdue
stirrings of concern about the abuse of animals in scientific
research are nothing short of ____________________.
A. a travail.
B. an oversight.
C. a breakthrough.
D. a legacy.
E. an eon.
The ETS considers "C" correct. The Iowa Chapter President, Dr.
JosÇ Rodr·guez, protested, "The teaching of biology in
public schools is in danger of being hampered by those `animal rights' activists
who disseminate the emotionally charged and erroneous message conveyed by
your [the ETS] question. When an assertion of this type appears in a test
distributed by a nationally respected company, it might be regarded as validation
of the opinion expressed." More in SIGMA XI NEWSLETTER, November 1991,
vol. 2, no. 1.
A "National Biodiversity Conservation and Environmental Research Act"
has been proposed by Representative James Scheuer and Senator Daniel Moynihan,
both New York Democrats. The proposal would make biological diversity a
national goal, require that all federal programs be consistent with that
goal, set up a senior interagency group to develop strategies to carry out
the goal, and establish at the Smithsonian Institute a national center for
biological diversity and conservation research.
Stephen Jay Gould on nature and ethics. "The pathways that have led
to our evolution are quirky, improbable, unrepeatable and utterly unpredictable."
We are here by a series of outrageously lucky accidents. "We may yearn
for a `higher' answer but none exists. This explanation, though superficially
troubling, if not terrifying, is ultimately liberating and exhilarating.
We cannot read the meaning of life passively in the facts of nature. We
must construct these answers ourselves--from our own wisdom and ethical
sense. There is no other way." From THE MEANING OF LIFE by David Friend
and the editors of LIFE, Little, Brown.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Commission
on Plant Genetic Resources, has drafted an INTERNATIONAL CODE OF CONDUCT
FOR PLANT GERMPLASM COLLECTING AND TRANSFER, growing out of a meeting in
Rome, April 15-19, 1991, continued in a meeting in Rome, November 9-28.
The draft is 13 pages long, with chapters on licensing, responsible collecting,
responsibilities of users, and monitoring the code. "Without prejudicing
the concept of Farmers' Rights and in order that the caretakers and the
host country may also benefit directly from such collecting, the users of
the germplasm should consider providing ... some form of compensation for
the benefits derived from the use of its germplasm in the development of
new, improved varieties and other products, on mutually agreed terms"
(Chapter V, "Responsibilities of Sponsors, Curators and Users). Available
from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Distribution
and Sales Section, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 - Rome, Italy.
Three animal rights groups have twice sued the New England Aquarium in Boston
for mistreating the fish. The New England Aquarium last fall filed a $ 5
million countersuit against its animal rights critics, claiming defamation
The "Issues" section has to be shortened in this newsletter, due
to space limitations.
Recent and Upcoming Events
--Nov. 5-12, 1991. Greek Orthodox Church conference on Orthodoxy and Environmental
Conservation, on the island of Crete. This was the first such conference
in the history of Orthodoxy. A contact is Martin Palmer, 9a Didsbury Park,
Manchester M20 OLH, United Kingdom.
--January 20-22. 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. With papers 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.
--January 20-22. International Conference on Improving Hunter Compliance
with Wildlife Laws. Reno, Nevada. Contact: Robert M. Jackson, Coordinator,
Regional and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La
Crosse, WI 54601. Phone 608/785-8625.
--February 2. National Multidisciplinary Conference on Ethics and the Professions,
University of Florida, Gainesville, includes an address by Laura Westra,
"The Role and Function of Professional Codes of Ethics in Agriculture."
--February 10-21. 4th World Congress on Protected Areas, Cacacas, Venezuela.
--February 24-25. Seeking Common Ground: A Forum on Pacific Northwest Natural
Resources, sponsored by the Western Forestry and Conservation Association
at Portland, Oregon. Holmes Rolston is keynote speaker. Contact Richard
Zabel, Western Forestry and Conservation Association, 4033 S. W. Canyon
Road, Portland, OR 97221. Phone 503/226-4562.
--February 27-29. "The Global Village: Ethics and Values in a Shrinking,
Hurting World," Miami, FL, with emphasis on higher education and the
environment. See details earlier.
--March 9-April 4. UNCED Final PrepCom Meeting, New York.
--March 16-18. "Stability and Change in Nature: Ecological and Cultural
Dimensions," a biophilosophical analysis of concern for the environment,
in Budapest, Hungary.
--March 20-22, Midwest Environmental Ethics Conference, "Ecological
Feminism," at Iowa 4-H Education and Natural Resources Center, Madrid,
Iowa. Speakers: Elizabeth Dodson Gray, Karen Warren, Kristin Cashman, Andy
Smith, Margot Adler, Pat Boddy, Danielle Wirth, Judith Plant. Co-sponsors
include Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State University, and
Iowa Department of Education. Contact: Iowa 4-H Foundation, Midwest Environmental
Ethics Conference, 33 Curtis Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011.
Also, Teri Peterson: 515/294-1017 or Danielle Wirth: 515/242-6491 (w) or
--March 25-28. ISEE session at Pacific American Philosophical Association,
at Portland, Oregon. See announcement above.
--March 28. ISEE panel jointly with American Catholic Philosophy Association,
San Diego, CA. See details above.
--March 30-31. "International Perspectives on Business Ethics,"
conference at the Center for Business Ethics, Bentley College, Waltham,
MA 02154-4705. Phone 617/891-3433. One of the themes is "the impact
of multinational corporate operations on the environment and culture of
--April 3-5. "Conference on Earth Rights and Responsibilities: The
Confluence of Human Rights and Environmental Protection," sponsored
by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and hosted by
Yale Law School, at Yale University. See detailed announcement earlier.
--April 3-4. "Reconnecting with the Natural World," 1992 Mid-
Atlantic Conference on College Teaching and Classroom Research, at Salisbury
State University on the Eastern Shore, Maryland. Contact: Dr. B. A. Fusaro:
Faculty Development Committee, Salisbury State University, Salisbury, MD
21801. Fax 301/543- 6068.
--April 5-7. "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.
--April 9-11. "Equitable and Sustainable Habitats," conference
and annual meeting of the Environmental Research Association, at the University
of Colorado at Boulder. Contact EDRA 23, Campus Box 314, University of Colorado,
Boulder, C) 80309. Phone 303/492-6399.
--April 24-25. Central APA at Louisville, KY. Annual business meeting of
ISEE. Program and details under announcements.
--May. World Conference of Indigenous Peoples on Environment and Development,
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
--May 17-20. Fourth North American Symposium on Social Science in Resource
Management, University of Wisconsin, Madison. One of the general themes
is environmental ethics; another is ethnic minorities and the environment.
Contact: Donald R. Field, School of Natural Resources, College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences, 1450 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706.
--May 25-29. Conference on Ethics and Environment, in Porto Alegre, RS,
Brazil, preparatory to UNCED in Rio. See details earlier.
--June 1-12. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development to
be held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
--June 9-11, The Second International Conference on Public Service Ethics
takes place in Siena, Italy. The theme is, "The Ethical State and the
Efficient State: Are They in Conflict." Contact Edwin M. Epstein, Walter
A. Haas School of Business, 310 Barrows Hall, University of California,
Berkeley, CA 94720. Phone 415/642-4849. Fax 415/642-2826. Conference fees
are $ 300.00 U.S. and hotel prices from $ 70 for singles.
--June 21-27. International Development Ethics Association (IDEA), Third
International Conference on Ethics and Development, Universidad Nactional
Autonoma de Honduras, June 21-17, 1992. See details earlier.
--June 28-July 2. Joint ISEE meeting with the Society for Conservation Biology,
at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg,
VA. See details earlier.
--July 11-13. Second World Congress on Violence and Human Coexistence, Montreal.
ISEE Roundtable on environmental violence and ecofeminism. See details earlier.
--July 25-August 1. "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. Speakers include Holmes
Rolston, Frederick FerrÇ, and Paul E. Lutz. Contact the conference
chair, Karl Peters, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Rollins College,
Winter Park, FL 32789.
--September 23-26. "The Biophilia Hypothesis: Empirical and Theoretical
Investigations," limited participation conference, Woods Hole, MA.
Papers by Stephen Kellert, E. O. Wilson, Jared Diamond, Madhav Gadgil, Aaron
Katcher, Barry Lopez, Lynn Margulis, Gary Nabhan, Gordon Orians, David Orr,
Holmes Rolston, Michel SoulÇ. James Tooby, on human genetic dispositions
to love and care for the natural world.
--October 2-4, "Human Ecology: Crossing Boundaries," Sixth Meeting
of the Society for Human Ecology, Snowbird, Utah. The meeting emphasizes
the role of human ecology in spanning boundaries between traditional disciplines,
theory and practice, individuals and society and the social, biological,
and physical environments. A wide variety of papers and presentations is
planned, with papers on environmental ethics encouraged. Submit papers and
contact: Scott D. Wright, FCS Department, University of Utah, 228 AEB, Salt
Lake City, Utah 84112. Phone 801/581-8750. Fax 801/581-3007.
--November 8-12. Environmental Ethics: Implications for Natural Resource
Management, in the Lake Placid/Saranac High Peaks area of upstate New York.
Holmes Rolston is a speaker. Sponsored by Environmental Systems Associates,
and others. Contact Frank P. Dorchak, Jr., Environmental Systems Associates,
Box 69, RR 2, Rt. 11B, Dickinson, NY 12930.
--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.
--September, 1993. 5th World Wilderness Congress, in Norway.
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time and expense.