Tom Booth, The Bear Essential, no. 5 (Spring 1995): 69

With a hint of resignation in his voice, Eugene C. Hargrove, editor in chief of Environmental Ethics, admits that his journal is not easy reading. Still, for the serious reader,Environmental Ethics offers the sort of deep thinking that is lacking in most environmental magazines in the mass media's dumbed-down coverage of environmental topics.

The latent field of environmental philosophy coalesced with the founding of Environmental Ethics in 1979 (I publish, therefore I am"). Issued quarterly by the Center for Environmental Philosophy at the University of North Texas, Environmental Ethics continues to define the field and to present the work of its leading authors. Its mission, according to Hargrove, is to provide common ground for people working in philosophy and environmental affairs. The journal takes an interdisciplinary approach to environmental problems, drawing contributions in fields ranging from geography to business, theology to engineering.

The lead article in the spring 1995 issue, "Selling the Nature or Selling Out? Exploring Environmental Merchandising," by L. M. Benton, analyzes the growing commercialization of the environmental movement since the early 1970s. Focusing on the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, Benton raises important questions about the contradictions involved in promoting an environmental ideology in a consumer-driven culture. Although Benton's arguments might make you think twice about pulling on your newest environmentally hip T-shirt, her ultimate conclusions will allow you to wear it with pride and perhaps new insight.

Other articles critique biospherical egalitarianism and explore the idea of respect in relation to the natural world. The issue concludes with two thoughtful book reviews.

Interest in environmental philosophy is growing: college courses are being offered and books published on the subject. In documenting this philosophic approach, Environmental Ethics gives careful readers new ways to consider and understand environmental issues.


EnvEthics - December 18, 1995