Volume 8, No. 2, Summer 1997
The Society for Philosophy and Technology is having its VII Biennial Congress May 21-23, 1993, in Valencia, Spain. The theme is "Technology and Ecology" and papers are invited. Deadline for submissions is September 1, 1992. Contact Larry Hickman, Department of Philosophy, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843-4237.
The Department of Philosophy of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, held the "International Conference on Ethics, University and Environment," May 24-29, anticipating UNCED in Rio de Janeiro. Porto Alegre, the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, is a coastal city about 800 miles south of Rio de Janeiro. Dr. JosÇ Lutzenberger, former secretary of State for Environment in Brazil, gave the opening address, emphasizing that environmental attitudes, which were the responsibility of universities, were more important than financial aid to developing nations, which was the responsibility of governments. He drew considerable applause from the audience, since he had just been fired (in part) for expressing these beliefs too vigorously. Holmes Rolston spoke on earth ethics as a challenge to liberal education, examining the role of the universities in reforming environmental education, noting that ideas could flow more freely than money and people between countries. Peter Madsen, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, spoke on what professional schools and universities can do the protect the environment. Andrew Brennan, University of Western Australia, spoke on economic rationality and the natural environment. Nichol_s Sosa, University of Salamanca, Spain, spoke on whether the ethics of dialogue can support environmental ethics, with an emphasis on solidarity as a leading theme. J. Baird Callicott, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, spoke on ecology and ecosystem health as a new normative concept for conservation. Laura Westra, University of Windsor, Canada, asked whether ecosystem integrity and sustainable development were in harmony or conflict. Catherine LarrÇre, University of Michel de Montaigne, France, spoke on the natural contract, a critique of Michel Serres, emphasizing how the concept of nature depended on the concept of culture, which was in disarray. Papers were given simultaneously in English (or French or Spanish) and Portuguese.
In summary, the group prepared a one page "Porto Alegre Declaration on University, Ethics, and Environment." A sample: "The universities of the world have produced and are the guardians of the knowledge by which human beings have gained their startling powers for the development, and for the degrading, of the earth. Their mission is to transmit and develop this knowledge from generation to generation for the benefit of all. The universities are now encouraged to re-examine this role to ensure an education that fosters a sustainable community of life on earth, with appropriate respect for human rights and for the non-human communities of life."
The Third International Conference on Ethics and Development was held at the Universidas Nacional Autonoma de Honduras, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, June 21-27, sponsored by the International Development Ethics Association (IDEA), The theme of the meeting was "The Ethics of Ecodevelopment: Culture, the Environment, and Dependency." Holmes Rolston Baird Callicott, and Bryan Norton attended, representing the International Society for Environmental Ethics. Kate Rawles of the University of Lancaster, also an ISEE member, attended, after she rode a bicycle 1,500 miles from Venezuela's Atlantic shore to the Pacific coast of Ecuador to raise money for Third World delegates to attend the conference.
Some sessions: An analysis of the Rio Conference; Rolston and Callicott on wilderness in the Third World, papers on value and nature, wildlife preservation in an Indian development context, communication as an integral part of an environmental conscience, ambiguity in the meaning of international development, environmental ethics and ethnophilosophy, the ethics of national debt, metaphor in development and environmental ethics (garden, lifeboat, Mother Earth), and dozens more.
ISEE held a session at the World Congress on Violence and Human Coexistence, July 13-17 in Montreal. A panel focused on Ecofeminism and Environmental Violence. Panelists included Mary Mahowald, Michael Fox, Marti Kheel, David Rothenberg, and Laura Westra. This was the first francophone session of ISEE, organized by members Philippe CrabbÇ, Director of the Institute for Research on Environment and Economics (IREE), Ottawa University, and JosÇ Prades, University of Quebec at Montreal. Other papers were: AndrÇ Beauchamp, "L'inÇgalitÇ des rapports de force dans la lutte environnementale"; Robert Tessier, "Environnement et sociÇtÇ: une violence naturelle et rÇciproque"; Denis Dumas, "RationalitÇ et violence: quelques remarques critiques a propos du physiocentrisme"; Philippe CrabbÇ, "La DÇclaration de Rio, l'Ordre du jour - 21 et l'Çethique: le point de vue d'un Çconomiste."
The North American Society for Social Philosophy meets at Davidson College, Davidson, N. C., July 31-August 1. Papers include James Sterba and William Aiken, "Violence against the Environment," Tibor Machan, "Why Human Beings Come First," Laura Westra, "A Transgenic Dinner: Ethical and Social Issues in Biotechnology Agriculture."
The Society for Business Ethics meets at Las Vegas, NV August 7-8, with a session on business and the environment. Sample paper: Michael Hoffman and Robert E. Frederick, "Environmental Risk Problems and the Language of Ethics.
Robin Attfield has been promoted to Professor at the University of Wales, Cardiff. Attfield is the author of THE ETHICS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN, revised edition recently from the University of Georgia Press, and A THEORY OF VALUE AND OBLIGATION, which includes an account of the values in and duties to the natural world. He was editor of VALUES, CONFLICT AND THE ENVIRONMENT, a report of the Ian Ramsey Centre, Oxford, proposing a method of comprehensive weighing of environmental values. With Barry Wilkins, he edited INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE AND THE THIRD WORLD. He and Andrew Belsey are organizing the Royal Institute of Philosophy conference on "Philosophy and the Natural Environment," to be held at Cardiff in June 1993 (see upcoming events).
Robert Elliot spoke on "Ecological Values, Human Values and Environmental Policy" at the International Forum for Biophilosophy" in Budapest, March 16-18.
The Departments of Philosophy and Politics at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia, have introduced a new unit for undergraduates, "Ethical and Political Aspects of Environmental- ism."
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.
The Fifth World Wilderness Congress will be held in Tromso, Norway, September 24-October 1, 1993. The theme is wild nature and sustainable living in circumpolar regions. David Rothenberg is organizing a delegation of philosophers. He solicits papers from all philosophical perspectives on wilderness, emphasizing criticism and clarification of what the "wild" means in relation to conservation goals. The aim is analysis that will be useful for conservation, as well as advancing philosophical inquiry and understanding of nature. Papers should attempt to show why philosophy can illuminate our understanding of whatever human place there should be in the purest parts of nature. The papers may be published in the journal INQUIRY in Norway and/or in book for in the United States. Send preliminary ideas as soon as possible, or completed papers by March 1, 1993, to David Rothenberg, 351 Harvard St., #2F, Cambridge, MA 02138. Phone 617/497-7825. Fax 617/876-0157.
The Annual Business Meeting and Election of Officers was held at the Central Division APA in Louisville, KY, on Friday, April 24, 9.30 p.m., following the ISEE session that evening. Officers re- elected, on the nomination of the Nominations Committee, Jack Weir, chair, were:
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 has also recommended a constitutional
change to separate the office of President from the Editorship of
ISEE now has over 450 members in 20 nations around the world.
In general the annual deadlines for paper submissions for the three ISEE sessions regularly held at the three divisional American Philosophical Association meetings are:
Eastern Division, March 1
Central Division, January 1
Pacific Division, January 1
For one of the sessions at Central APA, Laura Westra (address at end of newsletter) invites the presentation of case studies in environmental ethics. This need not be in paper form, but by persons who are willing to summarize and briefly discusses cases that can serve as the basis of discussion.
Wouter Achterberg is serving as the contact person for the United Kingdom and Europe (Eastern Europe, see below). He replaces Andrew Brennan, who has taken a position in Australia. Those in that area should send their dues to him (the equivalent of $ 10 US) at the Department of Philosophy, Nieuwe Doelenstr. 15, 1012 CP, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Jan Wawrzyniak is serving as the contact person for Eastern Europe. He is on the faculty in the Department of Philosophy at Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan, Poland. Because of the fluid economic situation in Eastern Europe, members and others should contact him regarding the amount of dues and the method of payment. He also requests that persons in Eastern Europe send him information on classes in environmental ethics and environmental conservation and policy taught in universities there, as well as information about recent publications, conferences, and environmental issues and cases with ethical implications. He hopes to attach a regional newsletter to this general international one, as well as to share such information with the international membership of the society. Business address: Institut Filozofii, Adam Mickiewicz University, 60-569 Poznan, Szamarzewskiego 91c, Poland. Phone: 48 (country code) 61 (city code) 46461, ext. 288, 280. Fax: 48/61/527214. Home address: 60- 592 Poznan, Szafirowa 7, Poland. Phone 48/61/417275. Checks can be sent to his home with more security.
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, NSW, 2351, Australia. Phone (087) 7333. Fax (067) 73 3122.
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: 303-491-4900, 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. The Newsletter is assembled shortly after January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1.
Ethics and the Environment at Rio
The Rio Conference drew 118 heads of state and government, delegations from 178 nations (virtually every nation in the world), 7,000 diplomatic bureaucrats, 30,000 advocates of environmental causes, and 7,000 journalists. The Earth Summit brought together the largest number of world leaders that have ever assembled with a single aim, in this case, to join environment and development. It was "the mother of all summits," "the biggest gathering of world leaders ever held." (WALL STREET JOURNAL, May 29, p. 1) The Conference received sustained, top level attention by world leaders, and, through media coverage, world attention for such major environmental issues as global climate change, biological diversity, deforestation, and pollution. (Thanks, in what follows, to Willard Eddy and Lee Speer for monitoring newspaper coverage while Rolston was in Brazil.) There was also little concrete action, although some beginnings were made. "It's a flawed beginning, but it's a beginning on a grand scale," said John Adams of the National Defense Council. It was "a start on managing what's left of this place," said William Stevens in the NEW YORK TIMES (May 31, sec. 4) "The dramatization and huge turnout underscore the environment's rise to the fore of the global agenda." (WSJ, May 29). The analogy most often drawn was to the United Nations General Assembly adopting the (then thought innocuous and vague) Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. "Universal human rights" started out as mostly rhetoric and increasingly became an important force shaping national behaviors.
The International Society for Environmental Ethics was an official observer organization of the UNCED conference, and invited to send two delegates, which gave authorized access to the UNCED meetings, including the plenary sessions, a general debate, and the main committee, working its way through Agenda 21, although not to some of the executive sessions. Holmes Rolston and Baird Callicott attended as official delegates. (Rolston and Callicott also spent a week in the Amazon, and Rolston spent a week in the Pantanal.) There were about 1100 other official observer NGO's, although not more than 200-300 actively in evidence at the UNCED meetings.
At the parallel Global Forum, there were 3,738 nongovernmental organizations (NGO's) that had something to say about the environment, from 153 countries. Brazil deployed over 35,000 army troops to increase security in a city notorious for its kidnappings of the wealthy and important, also for its crime rates, especially robbery of visitors. In the last five years, tourist revenues in Rio have dropped by half, owing to fears for security. Further, "some of the people we have invited have rather nasty enemies," said Marco Azambuja, a Brazilian diplomat, explaining the security.
Ethical issues were everywhere. It was a GLOBAL MORALITY PLAY (with Bush as the villain?) It became a discussion of virtually every problem facing the human race: natural resources, poverty, political injustice, women's issues, moral and spiritual values. These are also the most complex problems facing the world and on a scale hitherto unprecedented.
For philosophers, including ethicists, who distinguish between attacking arguments and attacking persons, these two kinds of attacks were seldom separated at Rio. There was incessant bashing of the North, of the rich, of Americans, of the American lifestyle, of Europeans, of the Japanese, of greed, of inept government, of foolish people, of overdeveloped and underdeveloped peoples, of white males, of males, of business, of profit, of technocrats and engineers, of paternalistic do gooders, of Christians, of secular materialists--hardly anyone comes through uncensured. Perhaps in applied ethics the distinction between attacking arguments and attacking persons cannot be maintained, since persons reside in their ethics, and a bad argument will lead to censurable behavior. Also justifications are difficult to separate from rationalizations. Philosophers are accustomed to being critics; nevertheless, it is sobering to be a member of a society that the target of such impassioned attacks. The U.S. is No. 1 on the list of the "worst" nations on environmental policy (in a ranking at the Summit by 150 leading NGO's, with Saudi Arabia second). It is also sobering to see so many world leaders inclined to pin responsibility on someone else and to duck strong measures that could hurt them economically or politically.
Some Sample Ethical Judgments
"The real key to survival of the human species is a revival of the moral and spiritual values which are the undergirding of our civilization." Maurice Strong (quoted in CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, June 2, p. 4).
"The summit must establish a whole new basis for relations between rich and poor, North and south, including a concerted attack on poverty as a central priority for the 21st century." Maurice Strong (quoted in WALL STREET JOURNAL, May 29, p. 6).
"Changes in life styles of the rich to those that are less polluting and wasteful is essential to reaching sustainable development." (RIO DECLARATION, in a draft text).
Industrial countries must bear an extra burden for cleaning up the environment because their prosperity has caused much of the degradation. "The industrial countries must be conscious of their particular responsibility in this regard." (German Chancellor Helmut Kohl)
"The U.S. occupies the position of the superpower and the only power, but with one of the weakest leaderships in its history, and with its eyes on the elections and not on its responsibility for everyone's future." (Former Brazilian president Jose Sarney, and one of President Bush's hosts).
"We routinely choose to indulge our own generation at the expense of all who will follow." "The engines of distraction are gradually destroying the inner ecology of the human experience. Essential to that ecology is the balance between respect for the past and faith in the future, between a belief in the individual and a commitment to the community, between our love for the world and our fear of losing it--the balance, in other words, on which an environment of the spirit depends." (Senator Albert Gore, leading the Senate Delegation to Rio, and in his book, EARTH IN THE BALANCE)
"We can no longer separate the future habitability of the planet from the current distribution of wealth." (Lester Brown, Worldwatch, speaking at Rio)
"Third World governments want money, and to get it are prepared to hold hostage their people and the environment upon which their people depend." (Patricia Adams, Probe International, a Toronto environmental group, "Rio Agenda: Soak the West's Taxpayers," WALL
STREET JOURNAL, June 3)
"With the end of the Cold War, the issue of the environment is brought to the fore. There's a lot of resentment because the northerners want the south to stop things like deforesting, but they don't offer any alternatives. If Malaysia, Ghana and Thailand can't cut their timber, what can they do?" (Ademola Salvan, Nigerian environmentalist)
"There never was a fair and consultative approach ... rather a one way lecture." "We are certainly not holding our forests in custody for those who have destroyed their own forests and try to claim ours as part of the heritage of mankind." (Ting Wen Lian, Malaysian delegate) Malaysia and the U.S. are the two largest timber exporting nations in the world.
"The agenda [for Rio] was fixed up more with the interests of the north than the rest of the world. They wanted to talk about ozone, biodiversity, the forest and the oceans. We wanted to talk about what's happening to our cities." (Margarita Pacheco, Columbian environmentalist)
"We cannot tell the Third World the wastebasket is full because we filled it, now you have to help us empty it." (Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, referring to the so called "environmental debt" the carbon pollution build up, to be offset by the forests of the Third World.) "We will not be forgiven," she continued, "if we leave future generations to cope with global changes that we have undone."
"The Third World cannot wrap itself in a green flag and lecture to everybody. It's a mixed record." (Michael Wright, Senior Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund)
"We cannot save the environment if the rich refuse to provide greater aid to the poor, and are also reluctant to improve the terms of trade." (Anwar Saifullah Khan, Pakistan's environment minister)
"The Bank's effectiveness in combating poverty while protecting the environment is the benchmark against which our performance as a development institution should be judged." (Lewis Preston, World Bank president, in a speech at Riocentro)
The World Bank is "one of the greatest promoters of poverty and environmental destruction in the world." (Martin Khor, Malaysia, head of the Third World Network) "The World Bank is one of the most unaccountable institutions on the planet." (Smithu Kothari, of India)
There were "serious deficiencies in the measures taken to safeguard the human rights of thousands of people and to ameliorate the environmental impacts of the world's largest hydroelectric and irrigation complexes." "It seems clear that engineering and economic imperatives have driven the projects to the exclusion of human and environmental concerns." (World Bank commissioned report on the Narmada Valley Project in India, lead author Bradford Morse, former U.S. Congressman and once head of the United Nations Development Program, in a report released while the Rio conference was underway) (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, June 25, p. 15).
"Its so easy to talk environmentalism, but when you really get there, you find that the forces of greed are very powerful. When you do something for the environment, people don't applaud it that much. They call it anti-business, flakery, and moonbeam." "Money and corruption are at the heart of the rape of the earth." (Former California Governor Jerry Brown, Jr.)
"We refuse to discuss population without the conference taking into account the fact that, for example, one person living in the United States consumes 200 times more energy than someone living in any developing country." (Rocias Darcy de Olivera, Brazilian Women's Coalition)
"The economy of growth ... must give way to the economy of equity" and this will require "the reconstruction of ... values and institutions." (Gerhard Piel, founder and publisher of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, in EMBRACING EARTH [see recent books])
See also (below) the scientists and Nobel laureates on "the greatest evils which stalk our Earth."
Naturalistic Environmental Ethics at Rio
Environmental ethics in the naturalistic sense, direct concern for animals, plants, species, ecosystem was less evident than might have been anticipated, and perhaps more subdued than it might have been if the rich-poor controversy had not become so unexpectedly intense. Third World nations had already made it clear that they did not want an "Earth Charter." That was too much environment and not enough development. Concern for nature directly was likely to be taken for an elitist luxury, an inhumane overlooking of the human poverty of the third world. "Ecologists care more about plants and animals than about people," complained Gilberto Mestrinho, governor of Amazonas state. Or it was likely to be taken as insincere, unless accompanied by large donations to those being asked to preserve nature. "Human beings are at the centre of environmental and developmental concerns" (RIO DECLARATION, Principle 1, the working text).
Nevertheless such environmental ethics was often present. Some samples:
"Human beings are entitled to live in a sound environment, [in dignity and in harmony with nature for which they bear the responsibility for protection and enhancement]." (RIO DECLARATION, alternative language for Principle 1, which was rejected)
"All States share [a] common but differentiated [responsibility] [responsibilities] [to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem] for [preventing,] containing, reducing, and eliminating global environmental damage and for [maintaining or] restoring the ecological balance of [the] Earth. [To this end they [shall] [should] cooperate on the basis of a global partnership]." (RIO DECLARATION, Principle 7, working and bracketed text)
"You have a moral obligation not to operate in a way that will cause other species to become extinct. Other species have as much right to happiness and enjoyment on this planet as we do." (Alistair Graham (World Wildlife Fund) on the biodiversity convention)
"Earth is a living organism with inherent value, not a storehouse of things for human exploitation and consumption. As such it is sacred, beyond the reckoning of property values." (California Assemblyman Tom Hayden [D-Santa Monica], a UNEP Advisor at the Summit, also in LOS ANGELES TIMES, June 18)
JosÇ Lutzenberger, the recently dismissed environmental minister of Brazil and much in evidence at the Summit, is Brazil's leading exponent of the Gaia principle. The Dalai Lama also addressed the Global Forum on the sacred in nature, and religious groups were well represented there.
"We the participants of the Morella Symposium urge the leaders of the world at the Earth Summit to be held in Rio in June 1992 to commit themselves to ending ecocide and ethnocide. ... If the latter half of the 20th century has been marked by human liberation movements, the final decade of the second millennium will be characterized by liberation movements among species, so that one day we can attain genuine equality among all living things." (The MORELLA DECLARATION, from a meeting in Mexico, and published as a full page appeal in the NEW YORK TIMES, May 31)
"Man is not an omnipotent master of the universe. ... The world we live in is made of an immensely complex and mysterious tissue about which we know very little and which we must treat with utmost humility." "Nothing but the arrogance of an alleged master of the world and superior proprietor of reason could have produced the erroneous concept [that has resulted in global environmental degradation]. ... The main problem ... goes deeper: man's attitude toward the world, toward nature, toward other humans, toward being itself." (Vaclav Havel, President of Czechoslovakia, "Rio and the New Millennium," NEW YORK TIMES, June 3, p. A15) "This is truly a historic gathering. And the Chinese have a proverb, if a man cheats the earth, the earth will cheat man. ... We must leave this earth in better condition than we found it, and today this old truth must be applied to new threats facing the resources which sustain us all, the atmosphere and the ocean, the stratosphere and the biosphere. Our village is truly global. ... And now for a simple truth. America's record on environmental protection is second to none." (U. S. President George Bush, addressing the Summit, speech extracts in NEW YORK TIMES, June 13)
In general, environmental issues turned out to go more and more to the core of the whole economic and political system. The charges and countercharges left hardly anybody untouched, unchallenged and unfaulted.
The U.S. was reluctant to lead, so was Japan. Russia is out of the picture. The European Community broke with the U.S. on almost all the important issues discussed, but the 12 EC nations could not themselves agree on the showcase set of conservation measures they had hoped for (a carbon tax, for example). Other nations (Third World or other) intermittently attempted leadership, regularly so, for example, Pakistan as chair of Group of 77, the coalition of developing countries (actually now 128 countries). The U.S. as the sole surviving superpower found itself in a United Nations arena where every nation got equal time regardless of population level, prosperity, or political power (symbolized by the 7 minutes given each head of state), and found itself isolated by criticism and envy. President George Bush, "the environmental president," found himself, reluctantly, the Earth Summit's most controversial (and censured) figure. The U. S. seemed to be abdicating environmental leadership just as the issues was moving to center stage.
The Conference was the first major international conference to take place in the post-Communist world. The First-Second World conflict had ordered priorities in the industrial world for much of the century. That gave UNCED opportunity to reorder priorities on the international scene, a scene on which Communism was no longer seriously present, outside Maoist China. So this was the first conference to explore what international confrontation is like without the East-West polarity, which left many nations in uncertain orientations. World security is becoming less and less a military matter and "instead is acquiring an economic and ecological dimension." (Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary General of the UN)
Asked to assess the performance of the former Soviet countries, Brazilian Environment Minister Jose Goldemberg said, "It's a non- performance. They're nonexistent. They disappeared." Nor was much attention given to the fact that these countries are saddled with some of the world's most egregious environmental problems. Said Jacques Attali, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, "If there is one region in the world that concentrates all the environmental failures of the moment, it's the eastern half of Europe." "We've gone from the Cold War to the green war, and they (the former Soviet countries) don't yet have the weapons to fight that war."
No longer focused on the East-West divide, the conference found many divisions nevertheless. Some Rio polarities, real and imagined: -- remembering the opening line of the Brundtland Report: "The Earth is one but the world is not" (p. 27).
public interest/private interests
national sovereignty over resources/common heritage of humankind
President Bush/planet Earth
North-South and Rich-Poor
The countries of the South saw themselves as the victims of colonialism, first literal colonialism originating in the European explorations beginning 500 years ago and continuing in economic and technological colonialism with a widening gap between the wealthy North extracting resources from the poor South. The official UN goal for development aid to poorer countries is 0.7% of GNP from industrialized countries, but only a handful (like Norway) have met that goal. In fact, because of debt repayment and trade restrictions, countries of the South transfer $ 200 billion to the North each year. The U.S. figure is nearer 0.3% and some of that is, in effect, military aid.
The U.S. was resisting the idea that U.S. prosperity needs a guilt trip, or that Third World poverty is the fault of the United States in its prosperity. True, the typical U.S. citizen consumes 20 times as much energy as the typical African, but, apart from the recent--and doubtful, so the U.S. maintained--global warming issue, energy consumption is not ipso facto a bad thing; it is part of the genius and blessing of industrial civilization to be able to replace muscle with motors and electricity. No one has yet demonstrably been hurt by global warming. U.S. prosperity is a good thing, and the envy of much of the world.
To take the case of Brazil, with Brazilian poverty evident on all sides, toning down the U.S. lifestyle is not necessarily, the U. S. argued, a prerequisite to solving Brazilian poverty problems; indeed this would likely have little effect on Brazilian poverty, which was as much a domestic problem within Brazil as the fault of U. S. economic or technological colonialism. Brazilian population is skyrocketing, for instance, and population control there has long been opposed by the dominant Roman Catholic Church.
Brazilian income distribution is the most skewed in the world. In Brazil, 1% of Brazilians control 45% of the agricultural land. The biggest 20 landowners own more land between them than the 3.3 million smallest farmers. There is already more arable land per person in Brazil than in the United States. Much land is held for speculation; an area of 330 million hectares of farm land, an area larger than India, is lying idle. The top 10% of Brazilians spend 51% of the national income. The UN claims that 58% of all Brazilians are indigent or so poor that basic needs are unmet. The U. S. ratio between personal income for the top 20% of people to the bottom 20% is 9 to 1; the ratio between personal income for the top 20% to the bottom 20% in Brazil is 26 to 1. During the Rio UNCED convention, President Fernando Collor de Mello's own brother was publicly accusing him of financial impropriety. JosÇ Lutzenberger, Brazilian Secretary of State for Environment, had been sacked only a few weeks before for his criticisms of domestic environmental policy.
An example of this kind of debate was over the language in Chapter 4, "Changing Consumption Patterns," 4.3, a bracketed section which read, "While poverty largely results in certain kinds of environmental stress, one of the most serious problems now facing the planet is that associated with historical patterns of unsustainable consumption and production, leading to environmental degradation, aggravation of poverty and imbalances in the development of countries." Sec. 4.5, also bracketed, continued, "Although consumption patterns are very high in certain parts of the world, the basic consumer meeds of a large section of humanity are not being met. This inequitable distribution of income and wealth results in excessive demands and unsustainable lifestyles among the richer segments, which place immense stress on the environment. The poorer segments, meanwhile, are unable to meet food, health care, shelter and educational needs." The U.S. objected to this language, on grounds that it simplistically implied that the poverty in the South was the fault of consumption in the North (which was, indeed, the way such language was routinely being interpreted). The U.S. proposed alternative language, and received a barrage of criticism from Third World Nations.
In another debate, over Agenda 21, sec. 2.24, the text read, "Additional financing resources in favor of developing countries are essential" in a context implying the obligation of developed countries to supply such resources. The U.S. proposed instead, "The availability of additional external resources will increase as foreign entities are convinced that such resources will generate a positive result." G-77 nations protested intensely; eventually Chile proposed an acceptable text: "Additional financial resources in favor of developed countries and the efficient utilization of such resources is essential."
One way of reading this is that it is pickayunish fuss over language; another is that it is rationalization avoiding responsibility; another is that it seeks to distinguish ad hominem arguments (here directed against nations) from a careful analysis of cause and effect both looking at past causes and at probable future cures.
There was the worry that the U.S. bashing, if sometimes to be taken seriously, was often not much more an opportunity for Third World diplomats to get some camera coverage for TV back home, or even have some diplomatic fun. Worse, it all too often substituted for serious attention to the obligation Third World countries themselves had to move toward sustainable development, leaving that issue far less discussed at Rio than it ought to have been. Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman (who has been jailed several times for speaking out against her government's corruption and repression) was at Rio as the special guest of Maurice Strong. She was quick to criticize the "mismanagement of resources" by too many governments in the South, especially those headed by undemocratic regimes. When someone suggested to her that George Bush or John Major might be thinking the same thing but reluctant to say it, she replied, "Well, somebody has to say it, and it might as well be me."
The biggest applause for denouncing the industrialized countries went to Fidel Castro. "Consumer societies are fundamentally responsible for environmental destruction," said Castro, calling for what he said should be a more just distribution of wealth in the world. "The ecological debt should be paid, not the foreign debt." Castro has since advocated in Cuba a constitutional change to link economic growth to environmental protection.
Developing nations were demanding to be compensated for any curbs on their use of what they perceived to be "their own" natural resources. Their message was, "To be green, give us greenbacks" (as paraphrased by the WALL STREET JOURNAL, May 29).
The U.S. maintained that it had reduced responsibility for foreign aid in the light of increased domestic needs current within the United States. Further, it maintained that the bad experience with debt repayments from third world nations made further loans unpopular and probably also unwise. The U. S. argued that taxpayer support for foreign aid was weak. Others replied that "foreign aid" was the wrong way to think of such aid; it was an investment in the future security of our planetary commons. Further, a fraction of the military budget reassigned to international environmental welfare, now that the Cold War is over, would bring the U.S. to the UN goal of 0.7% of GNP invested in development aid.
There were widespread complaints that world population growth was insufficiently addressed at Rio, because of ideological and religious difficulties (despite Gro Harlem Brundtland's emphasis on this in her address to the opening session). The motivations which suppressed attention to population control were as often implicit as explicit: that population reduction is an effort to reduce the number of non-Western (or non-Northern) people in the world (what the First World wants is fewer Third World people), or that population control is an easier route than sharing inequitably distributed resources, or that it violates human rights, or national sovereignty, or that the large populations of the poor really consume less than the limited but extravagantly consuming populations of the wealthy nations. The Rio Declaration says, mildly, that "states should ... promote appropriate demographic policies." Agenda 21 does not mention family planning, and there are no financial or other commitments to controlling population growth. The Rio documents are weaker than those prepared in pre-summit meetings. The Vatican delegation and negotiators from countries such as Argentina, the Philippines, Australia, and some Muslim countries excluded from Agenda 21 any references to the increased availability of contraception. Third world nations were much more anxious to thrust blame on the developed countries for their overconsumption.
Meanwhile, 95% of the population growth is taking place in regions of the world, particularly Africa, South America, and regions of Asia that are the least able to accommodate it. Overall, the developing world overall has significantly reduced its fertility since the 1960's, but population is still escalating because so many persons are now in their reproductive years, and world population may yet double before it levels off. There is also a widespread prediction that the population increase is at the point of surpassing all capacity of the green revolution to keep up with it sufficiently to avoid starvation. In the next two decades there must be a 36% increase in food production just to keep per capita production what it is today. Ethically, the point still needs to be made that intelligent choice in the formation of families elevates humanity, rather than denies it, as well as facilitates environmental conservation and respect for the natural world. There is, on the horizon, a 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, which may be held in Cairo.
The U.S. record on world population has been mixed. The U.S. signed the 1989 Amsterdam Declaration calling for making contraceptives much more freely available. Reagan in 1986 halted all U.S. contributions to the UN Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Bush has continued this policy.
There was considerable feeling that Rio conference left the problem of increasing drought unaddressed, and that the widespread drought and desertification (especially in Africa) was as much a result of increased human demands for food and water as to cyclical demands in rainfall.
This was once to be named the Earth Charter, but developing nations objected that such a name focused too much on Earth (and nature) and not enough on development and people, so the name had to be dropped. It was renamed the Rio Declaration to avoid summary reference to its contents in its title. Although only six pages long, there were interminable arguments over nuances of phrasing, with the U.S. objecting to some phrases right up until the last minute, and eventually signing it, despite objections. See earlier comments.
Agenda 21 is 900 pages long, one of the most comprehensive and difficult international agreements ever attempted. In the preliminary document, prepared at the preparatory committee (prepcom) meetings, controversial items were bracketed to be negotiated at Rio. There were 350 bracketed items, about 150 of which dealt with money and the responsibility of northern nations to pay for environmental conservation or damages which they had caused.
Eventually, all references to family planning and contraception were excised. See above.
The U.S. and other donor nations objected to language that the funds be dispersed "without imposing conditionality," the translation of which is with no strings attached. The Third World nations insisted that "imposing conditionality" is a violation of national sovereignty. Industrialized nations want aid to go through the Global Environmental Facility, a World Bank agency that they control. Developing nations wanted a new agency created that would give them increased spending control. Michael Young, deputy head of the U.S. delegation (also a U.S. undersecretary of state), said the U.S. would not contribute any money until the issue of control was settled. He characterized the developing nations position as: "Please put a huge pot of money there, and we will send you a little postcard telling you how we spent it." The record of both democratic and nondemocratic nations in spending previous aid is not particularly encouraging. Brazilians, particularly, complained that aid previously sent had been diverted into the pockets of national leaders and not reached the designated beneficiaries.
The Biodiversity Convention was opened for signatures and signed by 153 nations during the two weeks of the Summit. In the opening ceremony (witnessed by Holmes Rolston) the Brazilian president Fernando Collor de Mello signed it first. Each national signing of a treaty like this involves a twenty-minute to half hour ceremony with media recording it and a short speech for back-home consumption. In addition to signing it, at least 30 nations must ratify it in legislatures or appropriate body back home before it goes into effect.
The U.S. refused to sign. It did not object to the main thrust of the treaty about the necessity and urgency of protecting global biodiversity. The main objection was to subsidiary clauses that did not, the U. S. maintained, provide adequate patent and copyright protection for U.S. biotechnology and other products, also that suggested royalties to be paid for the use of native genetic diversity. In this respect is was "seriously flawed."
An additional objection is that the treaty does not set up good mechanisms for distributing the money, but gives it loosely to governments of the nations in which such plants are found-- the "dispersal" question. The U.S. argued, endorsed by indigenous peoples in several nations, that such monies were unlikely to benefit local peoples and could be mismanaged by third world governments.
The patents issue was double-barrelled. Third World countries wanted "the flow of technology unhindered by the constraints of intellectual regimes," which meant, in effect, free use of technologies developed by northern industrial countries without payment of patents, royalties, copyrights, and so forth. At the same time they wanted the "right to national sovereignty over natural resources," and interpreted this to mean that they should be able to charge royalties in perpetuity on the use of genetic resources originating in their countries. This is a form of the debate whether plant and animal species, the wealth of biodiversity, are national property or part of the common heritage of mankind.
Indian delegate Avani Vaish claimed of the biodiversity treaty: "The most important thing is that the value of genetic resources were a free commodity, like air and water, but [under the treaty] they're under international jurisdiction and also subject to national sovereignty." She added that species taken from the biologically rich (and often developing) nations and developed in Western laboratories for a variety of uses will have to be paid for.
The U. S. argued that unless private pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies could be assured that they would receive patent protection and thus be able to recover their investments in research and profit from their labors, they would not undertake it in the first place. Nor should they, since, pharmacy and biotechnological business is not charity. And the development of new technologies, especially pharmaceuticals, is a high risk and expensive business. So there were two arguments: The lack of patent protection would in fact discourage research and be counterproductive. The lack of patent protection was unfair and unreasonable.
The issue of royalties for native plants is to be separated from that of the purchase of natural resources from particular countries. No one contested that plants, like coal and oil, when extracted and sold abroad, should be paid for. The issue had more to do with ownership of species and with knowledge developed from the study of species and used in agriculture, industry, or medicine. The issue, one the one hand, challenged the traditional belief that plants and animals are not owned by nations but are part of the common heritage of humankind. On the other, it challenged the traditional belief that persons should be paid for their labors, risks, investments.
In a current example, illustrating the issue but reversing the source areas, the North American yew tree shows promise as the source of a drug that can cure forms of cancer. If so, and if the tree could be grown in similar cool climates in Argentina, and the drug manufactured in Argentina, would Argentineans owe the Washington, D.C. government royalties in perpetuity? Consider what would happen if the new proposal were to be made retroactive. Bananas are grown over much of Central and South America but they originally came from Asia. Should the Brazilian peasants henceforth send royalties to the government of India. Coffee, the principal Brazilian export crop, came from Ethiopia. Royalties on coffee raised and drunk around the world would solve problems of Ethiopian poverty. Chickens are found around almost every Brazilian subsistence farm. Chickens came from Africa, originally a jungle fowl in several central African nations, all of them now poor. Should the Brazilians pay the Africans to raise them? Which African nations? How much?
In a concrete case, Merck and Co. manufactures a treatment for glaucoma based on an alkaloid extracted from jaborandi, a bush found exclusively in the Amazon. Kayapo and Guajajara Indians, who first used the plant as a medicine (but not for glaucoma treatment), now harvest and sell the leaves to Merck under poorly paid conditions. In Germany, the alkaloid is refined and made into eyedrops which Brazil, among other countries, imports. If a Brazilian company were to produce the remedy, it would have to pay royalties to Merck to use the patented technology. Part of the issue is whether the Brazilian Indians are adequately paid for their harvesting labors. Part of the issue is whether Merck owes them anything for discovering that the plant might have medical uses. Part of the issue is whether Brazilian pharmaceutical companies (not owned by Indians) ought to have free use of the technology Merck developed in Germany. Part of the issue is whether if Merck should later synthesize the drug and no longer need the raw materials from Brazil, would they owe the Indians or Brazilian government anything at all? Part of the issue is where, in the nation sharing its biodiversity, the payments should go. The biodiversity treaty would not give any patents or royalties to the Indians, but rather to the Brazilian government. Governments would have to be compensated where the plants are found. The South protests that its genetic resources are locked up in patents and insists that the North share the wealth generated by these genetic resources. In a compromise in Costa Rica, foreign pharmaceutical companies have exchanged the right to examine genetic resources for funds that will set up and support agencies for the protection of native plants.
Bush, though in rather unsophisticated fashion, maintained he was standing on principle and if this required him to stand alone, stand alone he would. "It is never easy to stand alone on principle. But sometimes leadership requires that you do. And now is such a time."
"It must take courage," scoffed Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, "to stand up to environmental extremists like the U.K., Germany and Japan." These all signed the biodiversity convention, despite some misgivings. William K. Reilly, EPA head and head of the U.S. delegation thought the U.S. could sign the biodiversity treaty and work around the troublesome clauses, which contain somewhat ambiguous language. So did E. U. Curtis Bohlen, who lead the negotiations preparing the treaty in preconferences in Nairobi. So did Britain, Japan, Germany, and many others.
There are serious and relevant issues here about the ownership of plant and animal resources, about the common heritage of humankind versus nationalized natural resources, about patents for the discoveries of labor, about who owns what and what is a fair distribution of the benefits of biodiversity. They were much muddled with the desire of an American president to be re-elected in November.
The Climate Convention was opened for signatures at Rio and (like the Biodiversity Convention) signed first by Brazilian president Fernando Collor de Mello (again the ceremony witnessed by Holmes Rolston) with 153 nations (the same total number as the biodiversity treaty) following suit in subsequent days of the conference. It goes into force when 50 nations ratify it. President Bush signed this treaty, only after prior insistence that there would be no specific CO2 reduction targets set within it. The convention is called a framework convention because it is quite noncommittal about specific goals (no specific targets was the nonnegotiable American demand), although most other nations were willing to commit to returning to (or maintaining) 1990 levels or better by the year 2000.
It is widely held that, though Bush wanted to go to Rio all along, he bargained his presence against a weak global warming convention. Again, Bush maintained he was standing on principle. The principle, in this case: it was wrong for him to threaten jobs on the basis of incomplete scientific information about the extent of global warming. It was also wrong for him to bind the hands of his successors.
The Southern countries were deeply concerned about each nation's sovereign rights. They wanted to develop their own forests without outside interference. Their delegates were suspicious of the language proposed by the Northern countries to outline a new vision of the world's forest as global commons. Again, this is a version of the issue whether biodiversity is a national resource or a part of the common heritage of humankind.
The U.S. wanted a full-fledged forest treaty, but several developing nations, including those that hold the bulk of the world's remaining forests, wanted weaker language. India and Malaysia accused the rich countries of trying to "internationalize" a national resource and seeking to preserve forests in third world countries in order to reduce emission- cutting steps they should take at home. The statement says that these forest principles are "authoritative," and that all countries have a right to use their forests to advance their economic development but that they should do so only "on a sustainable basis."
Third World countries were inclined to interpret their forests as a global sink for First World CO2 pollution, and to resist saving them for this purpose. This tended to obscure the wisdom of preserving them for other reasons, which might have been sound reasons, even if global warming were incorrect or had never been heard of. In result, there was signed only a statement of forest principles, which does not call for a treaty to be negotiated to make such principles binding.
Comparison photos have been circulating, taken from satellites, showing that the Mount Hood National Forest in western Oregon is much more heavily damaged than forests in the state of Amazonas. Two of these were published in the NEW YORK TIMES, June 11, p. A7, also June 14, each showing an area of 1000 square miles. National Forest officials complained that the Oregon photo did not show areas replanted.
In many cases developing nations insisted on their right to harvest and export timber, Malaysia, for example, where timber is the third largest export (and despite the protests of native peoples there whose forests are being logged for these exports). Any accord on forests, said Lim Keng Yaik, a Malay environmental minister, would impinge on Malaysia's "sovereign and inalienable right to utilize, manage, and develop forests." He objected to the antitimbering movement as "poisoning the minds of people" against the Malaysians' right to develop their own resources and as wanting the Malaysians to remain poor so that the intact forests could be preserved for the benefit of the rich who enjoy conservation. "To ask the poor to help the rich is against all human principles of charity and fairness," said Malay Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad.
To grow while preserving the environment, developing countries say they need access to clean technology. Companies say they are willing to do this through direct investment or joint ventures, but, says Union Carbide Chair Robert Kennedy, "If technology transfer means a blanket give-away of technology without an opportunity for investment nor a return on that investment, then technology transfer won't happen." Business isn't charity and laborers deserve their hire and investors a return on their investment. This issue was already a part of the controversy over the biodiversity convention, but also involved pollution cleanups, sewage disposal, energy efficiency, appropriate technology, and many other areas.
The International Environmental Technology Fair, with over 500 exhibitors from all over the world, was held simultaneously in Sa§ Paulo, with an opening ceremony by Brazilian officials and U.S. delegation head William Reilly.
On one side of town in Rio (at a business conference on environment) Archie Dunham, a senior executive of Du Pont, told a business conference how Du Pont had cleaned up its act. Toxic air emissions are 15% below their 1987 level, carcinogenic emissions have fallen 55%, hazardous waste disposal has fallen 33%, and the company produces 45% less chlorofluorocarbons than authorized. On the other side of town (at the Global Forum) Greenpeace painted a different picture. Du Pont, it said, is "the world's leader in ozone destruction, one of the last producers of lead gasoline additives in the world, and, in the U. S., number one in toxic waste generation. "We're adapting to a changing world in an aggressive and expensive manner," says Dunham, pointing to the company's $ 1.5 billion in environment related investments this year. "You don't spend $ 1.5 billion cash to enhance your image, but because you feel strongly philosophically about an issue." Volkswagen, Dow Chemical, Union Carbide, Norwegian fertilizer firm Norsk Hydro, Brazilian pulpmaker Aracruz Cellulose, and British Petroleum all agreed. Others thought business was painting too rosy a picture. Martyn Riddle, chief of the environmental unit of the International Financial Corporation, the private-sector arm of the World Bank, wondered, "If you arrived from Mars you'd wonder why is the United Nations holding the biggest conference in the world when things are great." "In all fairness to corporations, they've done a lot in the past, but there has to be a huge change in the future. They're not talking about where do we go from here." They are dodging pollution issues, energy consumption patterns, technology transfer, income distribution, and an emphasis on short-term profits in capital markets, and the hard choices of sustainable development.
The one-sentence definition most widely used is taken from the Brundtland Report: "Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable--to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs." The World Bank Environment Working Paper (by Robert Goodland, Herman Daly, and Salah El Serafy) cautioned about the difference between growth and development: "To grow means to increase in size by the assimilation or accretion of materials. To develop means to expand or realize the potentialities of; to bring to a fuller, greater, or better state. ... Quantitative growth and qualitative improvement follow different laws. Our planet develops over time without growing. Our economy, a subsystem of the finite and non-growing earth, must eventually adapt to a similar pattern of development." Some claimed that "sustainable" was a weasel word that could mean anything to anybody; papers were circulating with a dozen different meanings of "sustainable"; others claimed to have over eighty different meanings of "sustainable."
One lesson at Rio is the excruciating difficulty of getting past the political barriers facing any concerted effort to rally an international effort around reform that is in every human being's long-term interest, but that runs contrary to many countries' short-term priorities. National goals get in the way of an intelligent relationship between humans and the planet. On a big scale this is symbolized by the U.S. position. The dominant industrial power, the only superpower, could not lead in protecting the world's natural heritage, owing to its being an election year back home in the midst of a periodic recession. On a small scale this is symbolized by Saudi Arabia's desperate efforts to remove references to fossil fuels causing global warming, lest its oil exports be affected.
Scientists on Rio
Beware of False Gods in Rio. Forty-six prominent U. S. scientists (including 27 Nobel laureates) joined with 218 scientists in other countries to issue an appeal to the heads of state in Rio. Excerpts: "We want to make our full contribution to the preservation of our common heritage, the Earth. We are however worried, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, at the emergence of an irrational ideology which is opposed to scientific and industrial progress and impedes economic and social development. We contend that a Natural State, sometimes idealized by movements with a tendency to look toward the past, does not exist and has probably never existed since man's first appearance in the biosphere, insofar as humanity has always progressed by increasingly harnessing Nature to its needs and not the reverse. We fully subscribe to the objectives of a scientific ecology for a universe whose resources must be taken stock of, monitored and preserved. But we herewith demand that this stock-taking, monitoring and preservation be founded on scientific criteria and not on irrational preconceptions.
"We draw everybody's attention to the absolute necessity of helping poor countries attain a level of sustainable development which matches that of the rest of the planet, protecting them from troubles and dangers stemming from developed nations, and avoiding their entanglement in a web of unrealistic obligations which would compromise both their independence and their dignity. The greatest evils which stalk our Earth are ignorance and oppression, and not Science, Technology and Industry whose instruments, when adequately managed, are indispensable tools of a future shaped by Humanity, by itself and for itself, overcoming major problems like overpopulation, starvation and worldwide disease." (Text in WALL STREET JOURNAL, June 1, 1991, p. A12)
For a videotape, "A Town Meeting on the Earth Summit," see under Videotapes and Media.
"We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave -- to the ancient enemies of man -- half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all." U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, in a speech 27 years ago, quoted in EMBRACING EARTH (see recent books).
Recent Books, Articles, and Other Materials
--Yu Mouchang, SHENG TAI XUE ZHE XUE (ECOLOGICAL PHILOSOPHY). Kunming: People's Press of Yunnan Province, 1991 (released in 1992). In Chinese. 3.60 Yuan. 267 pages. ISBN 7-222-00741-5. Nine chapters. Section I is on foundations: holism in ecosystems, the laws of ecology, energy in ecosystems, and the major categories of ecophilosophy. Section II is on the methodology of ecophilosophy. Section III is on ecology and modern society, applying the theory of ecology to practice in environmental affairs. The author sets forth a Marxist ecophilosophy for China and is the first systematic work on environmental philosophy to be published in China.
--William K. Stevens, "Humanity Confronts its Handiwork: An Altered Planet Whose Vast Resilience is Stretched to the Limit." NEW YORK TIMES, May 1, 1992. Full double page spread following a half page lead story in the SCIENCE TIMES section. Nothing new here for those who are regular readers about environmental issues, but the article does show intense concern and communicate this well to the enormous New York Times reader audience.
--Michael Specter, "The World's Oceans Are Sending an S.O.S.," NEW YORK TIMES, May 3, 1992. Full page story. You will probably learns something from this one. "Drift nets can be forty miles long, or large enough to catch Manhattan." "An area of ocean the size of Ohio is swept by high seas fleets each night, and the nets catch virtually everything down to a depth of 30 feet." "The seas are eternal, but so is the river of pollutants."
--L. Stafford Betty, "Making Sense of Animal Pain: An Environmental Theodicy," FAITH AND PHILOSOPHY 9 (no. 1, January, 1992):65-82. No present theodicy, including John Hick's, makes adequate sense of animal pain. Hick fails when he enlists animal pain exclusively in the service of human soul growth. Frederick FerrÇ correctly points out that this solution is too anthropo- centric. A more adequate theodicy avoids this mistake by showing that pain, from amoebas to humans, is crucial not only to the betterment of souls but to their very origination, a process beginning long before humans evolved on the planet. Creation is the process by which God is multiplying God's own experience, and this process necessarily requires eons of time, necessarily starts with the lowest forms of life, and necessarily entails pain and suffering. The resulting good justifies all the howls and lamentation of the planet from its inception. Betty is at California State University, Bakersfield.
--U. S. Fish and Wildlife, ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS: ANIMAL CANDIDATE REVIEW, 1991. In FEDERAL REGISTER 55 (no. 225):58804-58836, November 21, 1991. A list of about 1700 animal candidates for listing as endangered species in the United States. Many are subspecies or populations.
--ZWIERZETA I MY (ANIMALS AND US), a Polish journal devoted to animal welfare, has now published issue no. 2. Articles on protests against "bloodless" bullfights, on cross country racing of horses over obstacle courses, the first installment of a concise history of animal martyrdom, on pitbulls in Poland, on the ethic of reverence for life in the light of ecology (with particular reference to Albert Schweitzer), on cruelty in business, on slaughtering practices, and on hunting.
--Eduardo Gudynas and Graciela Evia, LA PRAXIS POR LA VIDA: INTRODUCCIN A LAS METODOLOGAS DE LA ECOLOGA SOCIAL (PRAXIS FOR LIFE: INTRODUCTION TO THE METHODOLOGIES OF SOCIAL ECOLOGY). 276 pages. Paperback. Montevideo, Uruguay: CIPFE (Centro de Investigaci¢n y Promoci¢n Franciscano y Ecol¢gia) and CLAES (Centro Latino Americano de Ecolog·a Social), 1991. Gudynas is academic dean and professor at the Franciscan University of Latin America in Montevideo and in charge of environment and development programs at CLAES. Evia is a researcher and coordinator of the Latin American Network on Social Ecology.
--Eduardo Gudynas, "Una Extra§a Pareja: Los Ambientalistas y el Estado en America Latina" ("The Odd Couple: Environmentalists and the State in Latin America"), ECOLOGA POLCA (Barcelona, Spain) 3(1992):51-64.
--Eduardo Gudynas, "Pol·tica ambiental: ®Global o latinoamericana" ("Environmental Politics: Global or Latin-American?" EVIDENCIA (San JosÇ, Costa Rica) 1, no. 5, 10-12, 1991.
--TEKO-HA: BOLETIN DE LA RED LATINOAMERICA DE ECOLOGIA SOCIAL (TEKO-HA: BULLETIN OF THE LATIN-AMERICAN NETWORK ON SOCIAL ECOLOGY) is published in Spanish quarterly by the Centro Latinoamerica de Ecolog·a (Latin-American Center of Social Ecology), Casilla de Correo 13000, 11700 Montevideo, Uruguay. "Teko-ha" is an aboriginal word that includes the self in its natural environment. There are short articles, notices, issues, and, in each issue, a list of recent publications in social ecology, environmental ethics, and related fields, with particular attention to Latin America.
--Nicol_s M. Sosa, ed., EDUCACION AMBIENTAL: SUJETO, ENTORNO Y SISTEMA. Salamanca, Spain, Amar£ Editions, 1989. 175 pages, paper. An anthology of seven essays on environmental education and philosophy. Sosa is professor of moral and political philosophy at the University of Salamanca, Spain.
--Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, and Jorgen Randers, BEYOND THE LIMITS: CONFRONTING GLOBAL COLLAPSE, ENVISIONING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE. Post Mills, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 1992. 300 pp. $ 19.95. A sequel to the 1972 book, THE LIMITS TO GROWTH (which sold 9 million copies in 29 languages). The ruling metaphor in the book is "overshoot," which occurs when excessive growth pushes a system beyond its limits.
Chelsea Green Press is a member of ISEE and publishes a number of books related to environmental conservation, for example: Eliot Coleman, THE NEW ORGANIC GROWER'S FOUR SEASON HARVEST or W. Zuckerman, THE END OF THE ROAD, as well as many nature and photography books. Fax: 802/333-9092. Phone 800/639-4099.
--Murray Feshbach and Alfred Friendly Jr., ECOCIDE IN THE USSR: HEALTH AND NATURE UNDER SIEGE. New York: Basic Books, 1992. 376 pages. $ 24. A sad tour of the human and environmental wreckage of 74 years of Communist misrule. But lest any think such fate can befall only Communists, see the next entry.
--Clive Pointing, A GREEN HISTORY OF THE WORLD. New York: St. Martin's Press, $ 24.95. The Earth's degradation began with Adam and Eve's expulsion INTO the garden (rather than out of it), that is into agriculture, which was, in turn, followed by industry. A sweeping history of spiral and decay that leaves the land exhausted and civilization destroying itself. If Pointing is right, the Feshbach and Friendly volume (previous entry) only shows that the Communists reached this end first.
--Robert Pogue Harrison, FORESTS: THE SHADOW OF CIVILIZATION. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. 288 pages. $ 19.95. A study of how complicated with trees and woodlands the human outlooks and civil habits have been. A comprehensive, though selective, history of forests in the Western imagination.
--Lindsey Grant, ed., ELEPHANTS IN THE VOLKSWAGEN: FACING THE TOUGH QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR OVERCROWDED COUNTRY. W. H. Freeman, 1992 272 pages, $ 22.95. Essays on population and development. The U. S. population today is 252 million, but based on "carrying capacity," how much human activity the country's land, air, and water resources can sustain on a long-term basis, the optimum population may be no more than 135 million. "Population growth may wipe out the progress we are trying to make in other areas of public policy."
--Theodore Roszak, THE VOICE OF THE EARTH. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992. 368 pages. $ 23. Ecopsychology, a blend of ecology, psychology, and cosmology, can "span the gap between the person and the planetary." Roszak wants to "carry science forward to the boundary of metaphysics."
--Frances Cairncross, COSTING THE EARTH: THE CHALLENGE FOR GOVERNMENTS, THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESS. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1992. 341 pages. $ 24.95. Environmentalists "need to help develop incentives for industry to support human needs in the least polluting way." They must "put down their placards ... and come into the boardroom with constructive advice."
--Stephan Schmidheiny, with the Business Council for Sustainable Development, CHANGING COURSE: A GLOBAL BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE ON DEVELOPMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992. 374 pages. $ 35 cloth, $ 16.95 paper. Swiss industrialist Schmidheiny gathered 50 board chairs and CEO's from around the world to work out a business perspective, serving as chief advisor for business and industry to Maurice Strong, planning for the UNCED conference. "The bottom line is that the human species is living more off the planet's capital and less off its interest."
--Gerard Piel, ONLY ONE WORLD: OUR OWN TO MAKE AND TO KEEP. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1992. 367 pages. $ 21.95. An excellent overview of the impact of humankind on the biosphere, tracing the agricultural and industrial revolutions and the ways in which these have disturbed ecosystems. By the founder and publisher of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, who writes with urgency and compassion.
--Lynton K. Caldwell and Kristin Shrader-Frechette, POLICY FOR LAND: LEGAL AND ETHICAL RELATIONSHIPS. Savage, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1992. Argues for a U. S. national land-use policy, something that has never been accomplished. Property rights in natural resources, such as land, need to be severely restricted and in some cases abolished. There ought to be more serious constraints governing land use to take account of environmental needs and what we increasingly know about the importance of ecological health.
--Payson R. Stevens and Kevin W. Kelley, EMBRACING EARTH. Chronicle Books, 1992. 176 pages. $ 39.95. Recent photographs and computer images from space, beautiful and haunting images of a fragile planet undergoing natural and manmade changes.
--Gary Kowalski, THE SOULS OF ANIMALS. Available for $ 12.50 from Culture and Animals Foundation, 3509 Eden Croft Drive, Raleigh, NC 27612.
--Tom Regan, THE PHILOSOPHY OF ANIMAL RIGHTS. A booklet for distribution from Culture and Animals Foundation (address above), $ 2. There are bulk rates. During the past year, Regan has taken his appeal for animal rights to South Korea, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain. In the U.S., he has spoken on over fifteen campuses.
--Guiseppe Catturi, PRODURRE E CONSUMARI, MA COMME? (PRODUCE AND CONSUME, BUT HOW?). Padova, Italy: CEDAM--Casa Editrice Dot A. Milani, 1990. A discussion of environmental responsibility from the perspective of accounting, as contrasted with economics. Systems theory should be used to understand the relation of a business to others in its environment or business ecosystem, governed by the principle of consonance or harmony, finding for each business a niche in the system. Accounting should reflect responsibility beyond the confines of the business. The European Community's "Atto Unico" (Single [environmental] Act) is used as a model and guide for this interaction. Catturi is president of the Accounting Institute of the University of Siena.
--Shrader-Frechette, Kristin, NUCLEAR ENERGY AND ETHICS. Geneva: WCC Publications, 1991. 233 pp, paper. $ 17.90.
--Donald A. Falk and Kent E. Holsinger, GENETICS AND CONSERVATION OF RARE PLANTS. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. The result of a conference held by the Center for Plant Conservation at the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1989.
--1992 PLANT CONSERVATION DIRECTORY. Center for Plant Conservation, Missouri Botanical Garden, P. O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166. 100 pages. Over 500 professionals and offices involved in conserving U. S. native plants. Rare plant laws by state. Sources for obtaining state lists of rare and endangered plants.
--Roger Cooke, EXPERTS IN UNCERTAINTY. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. A criticism of experts' use of subjective probabilities in environmental risk assessment. Cooke shows that environmental risk assessors systematically underestimate the environmental risks to which we are all exposed.
--Elaine Draper, RISKY BUSINESS. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Many persons in industry are currently arguing that certain environmental toxic substances are not hazardous in general, but hazardous only to particularly susceptible individuals. Hence they argue for genetic screening to avoid hiring genetically susceptible individuals, instead of lowering work-place exposure to toxic chemicals. Draper argues against this view and, in an excellent book, takes on the entire chemical industry. Thanks to Kristin Shrader-Frechette for these two entries.
--David Rothenberg, IS IT PAINFUL TO THINK? CONVERSATIONS WITH ARNE NAESS University of Minnesota Press, 1992. 248 pages, $ 44.95 cloth, $ 16.95 paper. Rothenberg presents "the grand old man of natural philosophy in his own words." What emerges is "the personal vision of a life imbued with ecology, which reveals in most human terms how respect for and contact with the natural world can provide a foundation for a total view of the vast problems of humanity and our place in the world."
--Peter Reed and David Rothenberg, eds., WISDOM IN THE OPEN AIR: THE NORWEGIAN ROOTS OF DEEP ECOLOGY. University of Minnesota Press, 1992. 288 pages. $ 44.95 cloth, $ 18.95 paper. A collection of papers by prominent Norwegian thinkers on humanity and nature, most never before published in English.
--Eugene C. Hargrove, ed., THE ANIMAL RIGHTS/ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS DEBATE: THE ENVIRONMENTAL PERSPECTIVE. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992. 273 pages. Paper. A collection of eleven essays documenting the history of the animal rights/environmental ethics debate. Papers by Richard A. Watson, J. Baird Callicott, Bryan G. Norton, Paul W. Taylor, Mary Midgley, Eugene C. Hargrove, Mary Anne Warren, Mary Midgley, and John A. Fisher, all previously published but here gathered together for the first time. A wide variety of views is represented, which provides significant amounts of material for classroom discussion.
--David E. Cooper and Joy A. Palmer, THE ENVIRONMENT IN QUESTION: ETHICS AND GLOBAL ISSUES. London: Routledge, 1992. 272 pages. Paper $ 16.95, cloth $49.95. Articles: Barry S. Gower, "What Do We Owe Future Generations"; Jennifer Trusted, "The Problem of Absolute Poverty: What Are Our Moral Obligations to the Destitute?"; Mary Midgley, "Towards a More Humane View of the Beasts?"; Robert F. Prosser, "The Ethics of Tourism"; F. G. T. Holliday, "The Dumping of Radioactive Waste in the Deep Ocean: Scientific Advice and Ideological Persuasion"; Philip Neal, "The Ocean Environment: Marine Development, Problems, and Pollution"; Joy A. Palmer, "Destruction of the Rain Forests: Principles or Practices"; Robert Allison, "Environment and Water Resources in the Arid Zone"; Philip Neal, "Air Pollution - with Special Reference to Acid Rain, the Greenhouse Effect and Ozone Layer Depletion"; Holmes Rolston, III, "Challenges in Environmental Ethics"; C. A. Hooker, "Responsibility, Ethics and Nature"; David E. Cooper, "The Idea of Environment"; Joy A. Palmer, "Towards a Sustainable Future"; Vandana Shiva, "Recovering the Real Meaning of Sustainability"; Mark Sagoff, "Technological Risk: A Budget of Distinctions"; Rosemary J. Stevenson, "Thinking, Believing and Persuading: Some Issues for Environmental Activists" and Stephen Sterling, "Rethinking Resources." Cooper is professor of philosophy, Palmer is lecturer in education, at the University of Durham.
--ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES, issue no. 2, is in print. Articles: Bryan Norton, "Sustainability, Human Welfare and Ecosystem Health"; Mary Midgley, "Beasts Versus the Biosphere?"; David Rothenberg, "Individual or Community? Two Approaches to Ecophilosophy in Practice"; Richard B. Howarth, "Intergenerational Justice and the Chain of Obligation"; Brian Furze, "Ecologically Sustainable Rural Development and the Difficulty of Social Change"; Anthony M. Friend, "Economics, Ecology and Sustainable Development: Are They Compatible?" This is the most recently launched journal in environmental ethics and policy. Contact Alan Holland, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YT, United Kingdom.
--FISHERIES (American Fisheries Society), vol. 17, no. 3, May-June 1992, is a special issue devoted to biodiversity and conservation of endangered fishes. A sample article: Robert M Hughes and Reed F. Noss, "Biological Diversity and Biological Integrity: Current Concerns for Lakes and Streams."
--UNDERCURRENTS: A JOURNAL OF CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES is a journal produced by graduate students of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, 4700 Keele Street, North York, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada, now in its fourth issue.
--Bruce R. Reichenbach, "On Obligations to Future Generations," PUBLIC AFFAIRS QUARTERLY 6(1992):207-225.
Videotapes and media
GILBANE GOLD. An excellent discussion starter produced by the National Society of Professional Engineering Education Foundation. An electronics firm has been doing well and producing wastes at acceptable pollution levels, the waste going into a city sewage system that recycles the waste as a useful fertilizer, selling it as "Gilbane gold." But a new contract will step up pollutant levels to what some fear are unacceptable levels of risks. Dispute within the company and whistleblowing by a young engineer, threatened with the loss of his job. Contact National Institute for Engineering Ethics, National Society of Professional Engineering Education Foundation, 1420 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. About 20 minutes. About $ 85.00. Phone 703/684-2833. Also available through American Society of Mechanical Engineering, Western Regional Office, 21 Tamal Vista Blvd, Suite 137, Corte Madera, CA 94925-1114. Phones 800/624-9002, 415/927-2020.
A TOWN MEETING ON THE EARTH SUMMIT. 60 minutes. Aired on PBS May 29, 1992. A panel consisting of Maurice Strong, Secretary-General of UNCED, Albert Gore, U. S. Senator from Tennessee and a speaker at UNCED, Vandana Shiva, a prominent Indian ecologist and advisor to the Third World Network, Anna Toni, chair of Actionaid and a Brazilian, and Curtis Bohlen, head of the U.S. Delegation to the UNCED Preparatory Committee. Moderated by Robert S. Hirschfield, professor of political science at City University of New York. A rather lively discussion of the issues, though all talking heads. Taped before UNCED, but explores the main issues, and remains largely relevant. There is even some historical benefit in seeing it now after the summit. Includes some politely aggressive attacks on the United States and Northern lifestyles. Available for $ 75 or $ 100 by your University Media section (depending on their relationship to PBS programming). Contact PBS Adult Learning Satellite Service, 1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 22314. Fax 703/739-8495.
"The Greening of God," was a segment of National Public Radio's "New Dimensions" Show, aired during the week of June 8-14.
THE SECRET WORLD OF BATS, produced by Bat Conservation International, aired May 29 on CBS, prime time, 60 minutes. The film won the Great Prize at the Grenoble Film Festival and was selected Best Science Documentary at the Paris International Television Festival. All aspects of bat behavior and conservation, courtship, flower pollination and prey capture, including some breath-taking slow motion. Contact Bat Conservation International, Inc., P. O. Box 162603, Austin, TX 78716. Phone 512/327-9721.
Faced with the worst drought in southern Africa in this century, wildlife authorities in Zimbabwe are killing 5,000 impalas and 2,000 elephants both to use the meat for humans who need food and to cull the herds to the carrying capacity of their habitat.
Black rhinoceros populations in Africa have dropped to less than 3,000, down from 65,000 in 1976. Poaching is the main problem. Rhinoceros horns can bring thousands of dollars on the markets of Asia, where the powered horn is believed to enhance sexual potency, and in the Yemen, where the horn is coveted for dagger handles. A major concern is Zimbabwe, which has tried to leave its remaining rhinos free-ranging, dehorning many of them. But poachers continue. Other African nations have their rhinos increasingly on fenced and guarded reserves. Extinction in the wild may be imminent. Story in NEW YORK TIMES, July 7, 1992.
Mrithi has been shot and killed for unknown reasons. Mrithi, in Rwanda's Parc des Volcans bordering Uganda, was the dominant male in a mountain gorilla group (known as Group 13) that was habituated to humans, including tourists as visitors. Mrithi was the silverback male seen most often and intimately in GORILLAS IN THE MIST. By estimate of an authority in Rwanda, Mrithi and his family brought more than $ 500,000 in tourist revenue to Rwanda each year. Story in CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, June 15, 1992.
The U. S. Supreme Court has said that in some cases the state must compensate private property owners for the economic effects of environmental regulation and restriction. The case involved a South Carolina landowner who bought two beachfront lots to develop, but the state instituted new regulations prohibiting further building on the fragile coastline. Government must compensate when land-use regulations prohibit "all economically beneficial uses in the name of the common good." But the court stopped far short of the ringing endorsement of private property rights that many advocates had hoped for. It implied that government will not be economically inhibited from imposing reasonable environmental regulations that leave landowners with some use options.
The U.S. Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision (while Bush was at Rio) held that private persons and organizations do not have standing to sue under the Endangered Species Act as this applies to U.S.- financed projects in foreign nations, unless they can show actual or imminent injury to the persons bringing the suit. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 requires federal agencies to consult with the Secretary of Interior to insure that projects are not likely to jeopardize endangered species. The law was applied to U.S. projects abroad until 1986 when the Reagan administration revised a regulation to confine the law to the United States and the high seas. Defenders of Wildlife and other groups sued and won in lower courts, overturned by the recent Supreme Court decision. In a stinging dissent, Harry Blackmun, joined by Sandra Day O'Connor, described the majority opinion as "a slash-and-burn expedition through the law of environmental standing."
The majority held that they did not address the merits of the legislation at all but addressed only the court-access issue. The high court has held that the U. S. Constitution requires plantiffs, to proceed with lawsuits, must offer evidence that they have suffered harm that was "concrete and particular," that the harm was caused by the defendant's conduct and that the court has some ability to redress the harm. The court interpreted these requirements loosely in the 1970's but has toughened its approach more recently.
"The God Squad is a group of people, of which I am a minor divinity, which has the power to blow away a species." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chief William Reilly, on the Endangered Species Committee's decision to go ahead and cut 1,700 acres of ancient forest in the Pacific Northwest that is home to the threatened northern spotted owl. Reilly was overridden by others, including Manuel Lujan, U. S. Interior Secretary. Quoted in TIME, June 15, 1992, p. 35.
The Chinese Parliament has voted to build the controversial Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtse River basin. Over 1.1 million persons will have to be relocated. Construction is expected to take 18 years, and the Ministry of Water Resources is spending $ 769 million on preparatory work next year. Debate over the dam has continued for thirty years, and the government has alternatively favored and disfavored the dam a half dozen times in the past. Story in CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, May 27, 1992.
Tom Knudson, a reporter for the SACRAMENTO BEE, received a Pulitzer Prize for his series, "Majesty and Tragedy: The Sierra in Peril," published in the BEE last year. The series focused attention on Forest Service management of California's Sierra Nevada mountains, as well as exploring other factors that plague the Sierra ecosystem.
Nature in the raw. TV nature programs are showing more and more violence in nature: lions eating their cubs, killer whales flailing their prey, lots of blood and gore. David Attenborough's 12 part series, "Trials of Life," is one such series. "This is not really nature in the raw," says a spokesman for National Geographic Television, "but nature going about its business." The new look also includes more copulating. Others wonder how much of this, like violence and sex among humans on TV, is an effort to grab more audience in a highly competitive market--media going about its business. Story in NEW YORK TIMES, June 14, 1992, p. 6E.
Recent and Upcoming Events
--July 11-13. Second World Congress on Violence and Human Coexistence, Montreal. ISEE session. See details earlier.
--July 11-19. Breaking Through and Deep Ecology Workshop, in Sangre de Cristo Mountains, southern Colorado. Cost, $725. Leaders include Dolores LaChapelle and Rick Medrick. Contact Rick Medrick, Outdoor Leadership Training Seminars, Box 20281, Denver, CO 80220. Phone 800/331-7238.
--July 26-31. Ethics: Practice and Teaching. A workshop sponsored by the Hastings Center and others. Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO. One of a half dozen sessions is environmental ethics, led by Strachan Donnelley. Contact: The Ethics Workshop, The Poynter Center, 410 N. Park Avenue, Bloomington, IL 47405. Phone 812/855-0261.
--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.
--July 31-August 1. The North American Society for Social Philosophy at Davidson College, with sessions on environment. See earlier.
--August 7-8, Society for Business Ethics meets at Las Vegas, NV, with papers on business and environment. See earlier.
--August 17-21. Mountain Learning Center-Deep Ecology Workshop, Silverton, Colorado. Presenters include George Sessions, Delores LaChapelle, David Abram, Rick Medrick, and Max Oelschlaeger. Cost $ 350. Contact: Way of the Mountain Learning Center, P. O. Box 542, Silverton, CO 81433. Phone 303/387-5729.
--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.
--September 25-27, "Ecopolitics VI: An International Conference on the Environment, Society and Politics," in Melbourne, Australia. Contact Ian Thomas, Ecopolitics VI Secretariat, Faculty of Environmental Design and Construction, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001, Vic., Australia. Proceedings of the 1991 Ecopolitics V are now available, $ 45 Australian, contact Ronnie Harding, Centre for Liberal and General Studies, University of New South Wales, PO Box 1, Kensington, NSW. 2033, Australia.
--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, including environmental ethics. Contact: Scott D. Wright, FCS Department, University of Utah, 228 AEB, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112. Phone 801/581-8750. Fax 801/581-3007.
--October 9-11, Creation, Ecology, and Ethics, conference at the Nordic Hills Resort, near Chicago, IL. This is sponsored by an interseminary team, the Bible and Theology Project. Holmes Rolston, III is a keynote speaker. Contact: George H. Kehm, Professor of Theology, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 North Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206-2596.
--October 29-31, Philosophy of Science Association, Chicago. There are sessions of interest to persons interested in the biological foundations of environmental ethics, for example, Richard Burian, "A Defense of the Propensity Interpretations of Fitness," or Kristin Shrader-Frechette and E. D. McCoy, "Community Ecology, Scale, and the Instability of the Stability Concept."
--November 8-12. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), 13th Annual Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio. With a session on "Environmental Ethics, Science, and Society." Contact Eric Hol, c/o TIWET, P. O. Box 709, Pendleton, SC 29670. Phone 803/646-2317.
--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, also Laura Westra. Sponsored by Environmental Systems Associates, and others. Contact Frank P. Dorchak, Jr., Environmental Systems Associates, Box 69, RR 2, Rt. 11B, Dickinson, NY 12930.
--November 12. The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) meets in Cincinnati, OH, with a session on "The Role of Environmental Ethics." Speakers include Eugene Hargrove and Laura Westra.
--November 30-December 3. Circumpolar Universities Cooperation, 3rd Conference in Rovaneimi, Finland. With sections on "Environmental Problems and Strategies in the Circumpolar North," on "International Cooperation in Circumpolar Development," and others. Rovaniemi, the administrative capital of Lapland, lies right on the Arctic Circle. Tours are being organized to the Wilderness in the Finnish Lapland. Contact: Professor Esko Riepula, University of Lapland, P. O. Box 122, 96101 Rovaniemi, Finland. Phone: 358-60-324 207. Fax 358-60-3241.
--July 20-22, 1993. Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference, Philosophy and the Natural Environment, Cardiff, Wales. Speakers include Robert Elliot, on "Ecology and Environmental Ethics"; Holmes Rolston, "Value in Nature and the Nature of Value," Nigel Dower, and others. Contact Robin Attfield and Andrew Belsey, Philosophy Section, University of Wales College of Cardiff, P. O. Box 94, Cardiff CF1 3XE, U.K.
--June 27-July 3, 1993. VII Pacific Science Inter-Congress, in Okinawa, Japan. Main themes are speciation, dispersal, and conservation of species in the Pacific and appropriate technologies and policies for the development and conservation of natural environments in the Pacific. Papers invited. Contact Pacific Science Association, P. O. Box 17801, Honolulu, HI 96817.
--August 22-28, 1993, 19th World Congress of Philosophy, Moscow. ISEE has been invited to organize a session on environmental ethics and sustainability. Roundtable discussions can have no more than two persons from the same nation. For congress details, contact Congress Secretariat, Volkhonka 14, Moscow 119842. Fax (7095) 200-32-50.
--September 24-October 1, 1993. 5th World Wilderness Congress, in Norway, with ISEE session on philosophy, wild nature, and sustainable human life. See call for papers above.
Your 1992 membership dues are now payable. Membership is on a calendar year basis; members who first join in October, November, or December of any year by their initial dues payment are paid through the following calendar year. Your prompt cooperation reduces bookkeeping and secretarial time and expense.