Against Ecological Sovereignty is a passionate defense of radical ecology that speaks directly to current debates concerning the nature, and dangers, of sovereign power. Engaging the work of Bataille, Arendt, Levinas, Nancy, and Agamben, among others, Mick Smith reconnects the political critique of sovereign power with ecological considerations, arguing that ethical and political responsibilities for the consequences of our actions do not end with those defined as human.
Against Ecological Sovereignty is the first book to turn Agamben’s analysis of sovereignty and biopolitics toward an investigation of ecological concerns. In doing so it exposes limits to that thought, maintaining that the increasingly widespread biopolitical management of human populations has an unrecognized ecological analogue—reducing nature to a “resource” for human projects. Smith contends that a radical ecological politics must resist both the depoliticizing exercise of sovereign power and the pervasive spread of biopolitics in order to reveal new possibilities for creating healthy human and nonhuman communities.
Presenting a stinging critique of human claims to sovereignty over the natural world, Smith proposes an alternative way to conceive of posthumanist ecological communities—one that recognizes the utter singularity of the beings in them.
The key to mitigating the environmental crisis isn’t just based on science; it depends upon a profound philosophical revision of how we think about and behave in relation to the world.
Our ongoing failure to interrupt the environmental crisis in a meaningful way stems, in part, from how we perceive the environment—what Robert Booth calls the "more-than-human world.” Anthropocentric presumptions of this world, inherited from natural science, have led us to better scientific knowledge about environmental problems and more science-based—yet inadequate—practical “solutions.” That’s not enough, Booth argues. Rather, he asserts that we must critically and self-reflexively revise how we perceive and consider ourselves within the more-than-human world as a matter of praxis in order to arrest our destructive impact on it.
Across six chapters, Booth brings ecophenomenology—environmentally focused phenomenology—into productive dialogue with a rich array of other philosophical approaches, such as ecofeminism, new materialism, speculative realism, and object-oriented ontology. The book thus outlines and justifies why and how a specifically ecophenomenological praxis may lead to the disruption of the environmental crisis at its root.
Booth’s observations and arguments make the leap from theory to practice insofar as they may influence how we fundamentally grasp the environmental crisis and what promising avenues of practical activism might look like. In Booth’s view, this is not about achieving a global scientific consensus regarding the material causes of the environmental crisis or the responsible use of “natural resources.” Instead, Booth calls for us to habitually resist our impetus to uncritically reduce more-than-human entities to “natural resources” in the first place.
As Booth recognizes, Becoming a Place of Unrest cannot and does not tell us how we should act. Instead, it outlines and provides the basic means by which to instill positive and responsible conceptual and behavioral relationships with the rest of the world. Based on this, there is hope that we may begin to develop more concrete, actionable policies that bring about profound and lasting change.
In this expanded and revised edition of a fresh and original case-study textbook on environmental ethics, Christine Gudorf and James Huchingson continue to explore the line that separates the current state of the environment from what it should be in the future.
Boundaries begins with a lucid overview of the field, highlighting the key developments and theories in the environmental movement. Specific cases offer a rich and diverse range of situations from around the globe, from saving the forests of Java and the use of pesticides in developing countries to restoring degraded ecosystems in Nebraska. With an emphasis on the concrete circumstances of particular localities, the studies continue to focus on the dilemmas and struggles of individuals and communities who face daunting decisions with serious consequences. This second edition features extensive updates and revisions, along with four new cases: one on water privatization, one on governmental efforts to mitigate global climate change, and two on the obstacles that teachers of environmental ethics encounter in the classroom. Boundaries also includes an appendix for teachers that describes how to use the cases in the classroom.
What right do humans have to claim sovereignty over the land, to build fences and set boundaries when nature itself recognizes no such boundaries? Is there hope for a new land ethic that is less destructive toward the land, that views nature as something to be valued and nurtured rather than exploited and "developed"?One of the main challenges of contemporary environmentalism is to find a lasting, more ethical way for people to live on the planet. In Bounded People, Boundless Lands, legal scholar Eric T. Freyfogle asks a series of pointed and challenging questions about the human quest for ecological harmony. Deftly interweaving moral and ethical considerations with case studies and real-life situations, Freyfogle provides a deep philosophical examination of personal responsibility and the dominion of human beings over the earth. He raises provocative questions about private property rights, responsible land ownership, the rights of wildlife, and ecological health. Although the questions that Freyfogle asks are not new, they are presented in the context of contemporary events, often connected to legal cases, which allows him to bring age-old issues up to date, and to make direct connections between abstract concepts and our own lives.Throughout, Freyfogle questions the way human beings envision the land, thinking they can claim nature as their own, and criticizes market approaches to valuing and using nature. As an introduction to land ethics, but one that embraces environmental, legal, and philosophical arguments, Bounded People, Boundless Lands is a unique contribution to the environmental literature.
Connection On The Ice
Patti Clayton Temple University Press, 1998 Library of Congress GE42.C55 1998 | Dewey Decimal 179.1
Greta Gaard Temple University Press, 1998 Library of Congress GE197.G33 1998 | Dewey Decimal 363.70525
In the 1980s, ecofeminism and the U.S. Green movement seemed to offer some of this country's most powerful and promising solutions to problems of social and environmental justice. A decade later, ecofeminism has become more a perspective than a movement, and divisions within the Greens have deepened as its national focus has shifted from issue-based politics to party building. Why have these movements faltered?
A member of both movements, Greta Gaard bases her analysis on her personal experience as well as extensive secondary sources and interviews with key theorists, activists, and speakers across the United States. By allowing each movement's members to speak for themselves, she traces the separate origins and development of each movement, explains their connections, and reveals the light that each can cast upon the other and on the difficulties facing social action in general.
Beginning with the ecofeminists, Gaard describes the paths -- environmental causes, the feminist peace movement, the feminist spirituality movement, the animal liberation movement, and the anti-toxics movements, as well as experiences of interconnectedness -- that have led women (and a few men) to articulate an ecofeminist perspective. Tracing the movement from the 1980s to the present, she defines its present strands as liberal ecofeminism, radical ecofeminism, socialist ecofeminism, and social ecofeminism.
Gaard illustrates the development of the U.S. Greens from a national movement into a political party. She defines the various factions -- the Left Greens, the Youth Greens, and the Green Politics Network -- that influenced the movement's direction and underlay the debates during Ralph Nadar's 1996 presidential campaign. She shows how the history of these three groups can be seen as stages in the transition from a leftist and sometimes anarchist action that places the Green movement squarely within the pattern of other social movements around the world.
Despite the significant influence that ecofeminists have had in shaping the Greens as a national movement, many have chosen to withdraw from the Greens. Gaard looks at the reasons for member disaffection and draws disturbing conclusions about the compatibility between liberal feminism and cultural ecofeminism and patriarchal politics. She also presents the divisions within the Greens as ongoing battles within the new left, the radical ecology movement, and various social justice movements. She focuses on three general areas -- conflicts over philosophy, conflicts over representation, and conflicts over strategy -- to make suggestions for how to bring about the kind of social transformation envisioned by both the Greens and the ecofeminists. Arguing that the Concord Principles represent a populist form of liberal democracy that fundamentally betrays both ecofeminism and Green philosophy, she uses the 1996 Nadar campaign as a departure point to developing an ecofeminist theory of radical democracy and to speculate on future directions for Green politics and for ecofeminism. Her analysis illuminates the nature and direction of each of these important movements and the pressures and conflicts experienced by all social movements at the end of the twentieth century.
Holmes Rolston Temple University Press, 1989 Library of Congress GF80.R64 1988 | Dewey Decimal 179.1
Environmental Ethics is a systematic account of values carried by the natural world, coupled with an inquiry into duties toward animals, plants, species, and ecosystems. A comprehensive philosophy of nature is illustrated by and integrated with numerous actual examples of ethical decisions made in encounters with fauna and flora, endangered species, and threatened ecosystems. The ethics developed is informed throughout by ecological science and evolutionary biology, with attention to the logic of moving from what is in nature to what ought to be.
The ethical theory is applied in detail to social, public, and business policy. Written in an engaging style, using diagrams and figures as well as numerous case studies, Environmental Ethics prods the reader into concrete application and invites reader participation in the ethical discussions. The ethics concludes by exploring the historical experiences of personal residence in a surrounding environment. Here is an adventure into what it means to live as responsible human beings in the community of life on Earth.
In the series Ethics and Action, edited by Tom Regan.
During the past twenty-five years, North American forestry has received increasingly vigorous scrutiny. Critics including the environmentalists, environmental scientists, representatives of public interest groups, and many individual citizens have expressed concerns about forestry's basic assumptions and methods, as well as its practical outcomes. Criticism has centered on such issues as the exploitation of forests for timber production, the reduction and fragmentation of old-growth habitats, the destruction of biodiversity, the degradation of grasslands through grazing practices, lack of government attention to recreation facilities, silvicultural methods like clearcutting and the use of herbicides and pesticides, the exportation of industrial forestry techniques to other parts of the world, and the use of public monies to provide services for private resource companies, as in the creation of logging roads.
This rising tide of public scrutiny has led many foresters to suspect that their "contract" with society to manage forests using their best professional judgment has been undermined. Some of these professionals, as well as some of their critics, have begun to reexamine their old beliefs and to look for new ways of practicing forestry. Part of this reflective process has entailed new directions in environmental ethics and environmental philosophy.
This reader brings together some of the new thinking in this area. Here students of the applied environmental and natural resource sciences, as well as the interested general reader, will discover a rich sampling of writings in environmental ethics and philosophy as they apply to forestry. Readings focus on basic ethical systems in forestry and forest management, philosophical issues in forestry ethics, codes of ethics in forestry and related natural resource sciences such as fisheries science and wildlife biology, Aldo Leopold's land ethic in forestry, ethical advocacy and whistleblowing in government resource agencies, the ethics of new forestry, ecoforestry, and public debate in forestry, as well as ethical issues in global forestry such as the responsibilities of forest corporations, environmentalists, and individual wood consumers.
The volume contains materials from the founders of forestry ethics, such as Bernhard Fernow, Giford Pinchot, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold; from such organizations as the Society of American Foresters, the Wildlife Society, the American Fisheries Society, Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, and the Ecoforesters group, in addition to the writings by a variety of well-known environmental philosophers and foresters, including Holmes Rolston, Robin Attfield, Lawrence Johnson, Michael McDonald, Paul Wood, James E. Coufal, Raymond Craig, Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Jeff DeBonis, Jim L. Bowyer, Alasdair Gunn, Doug Daigle, Alan G. McQuillan, Stephanie Kaza, Alan Drengson, Duncan Taylor, and Kathleen Dean Moore.
A central concern of nearly every environmental ethic is its desire to extend the scope of direct moral concern beyond human beings to plants, nonhuman animals, and the systems of which they are a part. Although nearly all environmental philosophies have long since rejected modernity’s conception of individuals as isolated and independent substances, few have replaced this worldview with an alternative that is adequate to the organic, processive world in which we find ourselves. In this context, Brian G. Henning argues that the often overlooked work of Alfred North Whitehead has the potential to make a significant contribution to environmental ethics. Additionally inspired by classical American philosophers such as William James, John Dewey and Charles Sanders Pierce and environmental philosophers such as Aldo Leopold, Peter Singer, Albert Schweitzer, and Arne Naess, Henning develops an ethical theory of which the seminal insight is called “The Ethics of Creativity.”
By systematically examining and developing a conception of individuality that is equally at home with the microscopic world of subatomic events and the macroscopic world of ecosystems, The Ethics of Creativity correctly emphasizes the well-being of wholes, while not losing sight of the importance of the unique centers of value that constitute these wholes. In this way, The Ethics of Creativity has the potential to be a unique voice in contemporary moral philosophy.
From Mastery to Mystery is an original and provocative contribution to the burgeoningfield of ecophenomenology. Informed by current debates in environmental philosophy, Bannon critiques the conception of nature as u200a“substance” that he finds tacitly assumed by the major environmental theorists. Instead, this book reconsiders the basic goals of an environmental ethic by questioning the most basic presupposition that most environmentalists accept: that nature is in need of preservation.
Beginning with Bruno Latour’s idea that continuing to speak of nature in the way we popularly conceive of it is ethically and politically disastrous, this book describes a way in which the concept of nature can retain its importance in our discussion of the contemporary state of the environment. Based upon insights from the phenomenological tradition, specifically the work of Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, the concept of nature developed in the book preserves the best antihumanistic intuitions of environmentalists without relying on either a reductionistic understanding of nature and the sciences or dualistic metaphysical constructions.
In Ghost Bears, R. Edward Grumbine looks at the implications of the widespread loss of biological diversity, and explains why our species-centered approach to environmental protection will ultimately fail. Using the fate of the endangered grizzly bear -- the "ghost bear" -- to explore the causes and effects of species loss and habitat destruction, Grumbine presents a clear and inviting introduction to the biodiversity crisis and to the new science of conservation biology.
This work covers important and neglected ground—environmental language theory. Gilcrest poses two overarching questions: To what extent does contemporary nature poetry represent a recapitulation of familiar poetics? And, to what extent does contemporary nature poetry engage a poetics that stakes out new territory? He addresses these questions with important thinkers, especially Kenneth Burke, and considers such poets as Frost, Kunitz, Heaney, Ammons, Cardenal, and Rich.
Hope on Earth: A Conversation
Paul R. Ehrlich and Michael Charles Tobias University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress QH541.145.H665 2014 | Dewey Decimal 577
Hope on Earth is the thought-provoking result of a lively and wide-ranging conversation between two of the world’s leading interdisciplinary environmental scientists: Paul R. Ehrlich, whose book The Population Bomb shook the world in 1968 (and continues to shake it), and Michael Charles Tobias, whose over 40 books and 150 films have been read and/or viewed throughout the world. Hope on Earth offers a rare opportunity to listen in as these deeply knowledgeable and highly creative thinkers offer their takes on the most pressing environmental concerns of the moment.
Both Ehrlich and Tobias argue that we are on the verge of environmental catastrophe, as the human population continues to grow without restraint and without significant attempts to deal with overconsumption and the vast depletion of resources and climate problems it creates. Though their views are sympathetic, they differ in their approach and in some key moral stances, giving rise to a heated and engaging dialogue that opens up dozens of new avenues of exploration. They both believe that the impact of a human society on its environment is the direct result of its population size, and through their dialogue they break down the complex social problems that are wrapped up in this idea and attempts to overcome it, hitting firmly upon many controversial topics such as circumcision, religion, reproduction, abortion, animal rights, diet, and gun control. For Ehrlich and Tobias, ethics involve not only how we treat other people directly, but how we treat them and other organisms indirectly through our effects on the environment. University of California, Berkeley professor John Harte joins the duo for part of the conversation, and his substantial expertise on energy and climate change adds a crucial perspective to the discussion of the impact of population on global warming.
This engaging and timely book invites readers into an intimate conversation with some of the most eminent voices in science as they offer a powerful and approachable argument that the ethical and scientific issues involved in solving our environmental crisis are deeply intertwined, while offering us an optimistic way forward. Hope on Earth is indeed a conversation we should all be having.
Do hunting and fishing lead to the development of environmental virtues? This question is at the heart of philosopher Charles List’s engaging study, which provides a defense of field sports when they are practiced and understood in an ethical manner.
In his argument, List examines the connection between certain activities and the development of virtue in the classical sources, such as Aristotle and Plato. He then explores the work of Aldo Leopold, identifying three key environmental virtues that field sports instill in practitioners in the kind of conservation advocated by Leopold and others.
After reviewing several powerful philosophical objections to his viewpoint, List considers the future of environmental sportsmanship. He suggests that, in order to incorporate a revived connection between field sports and environmental virtue, the practice of hunting and angling must undergo changes, including shifts that would impact hunter education, civic engagement, the role of firearms, our understanding of “game” animals, and alliances with other sorts of outdoor recreation.
Hunting, Fishing, and Environmental Virtue will appeal to academics interested in the ethical issues surrounding hunting and fishing, professionals in wildlife management, and hunters and anglers interested in conservation.
In this inspired collection, some of America's most provocative thinkers and writers reflect on nature and enviornmetnal science--reaching compelling conclusions about humanity's relationship to the earth. Balanced by science and fact, Learning to Listen to the Land explains the significance of our modern environmental crisis. The authors underscore the necessity forworking within, rather than counter to, our larger ecosystem. Learning to Listen to the Land represents the sounding of an alarm. It's authors call on us to recognize the consequences of our actions, and inactions, and to develop a sense of connection with the earth.
From sun-baked Black Mesa to the icy coast of Labrador, native lands for decades have endured mining ventures that have only lately been subject to environmental laws and a recognition of treaty rights. Yet conflicts surrounding mining development and indigenous peoples continue to challenge policy-makers.
This book gets to the heart of resource conflicts and environmental impact assessment by asking why indigenous communities support environmental causes in some cases of mining development but not in others. Saleem Ali examines environmental conflicts between mining companies and indigenous communities and with rare objectivity offers a comparative study of the factors leading to those conflicts.
Mining, the Environment, and Indigenous Development Conflicts presents four cases from the United States and Canada: the Navajos and Hopis with Peabody Coal in Arizona; the Chippewas with the Crandon Mine proposal in Wisconsin; the Chipewyan Inuits, Déné and Cree with Cameco in Saskatchewan; and the Innu and Inuits with Inco in Labrador. These cases exemplify different historical relationships with government and industry and provide an instance of high and low levels of Native resistance in each country. Through these cases, Ali analyzes why and under what circumstances tribes agree to negotiated mining agreements on their lands, and why some negotiations are successful and others not.
Ali challenges conventional theories of conflict based on economic or environmental cost-benefit analysis, which do not fully capture the dynamics of resistance. He proposes that the underlying issue has less to do with environmental concerns than with sovereignty, which often complicates relationships between tribes and environmental organizations. Activist groups, he observes, fail to understand such tribal concerns and often have problems working with tribes on issues where they may presume a common environmental interest.
This book goes beyond popular perceptions of environmentalism to provide a detailed picture of how and when the concerns of industry, society, and tribal governments may converge and when they conflict. As demands for domestic energy exploration increase, it offers clear guidance for such endeavors when native lands are involved.
In The Moral Austerity of Environmental Decision Making a group of prominent environmental ethicists, policy analysts, political theorists, and legal experts challenges the dominating influence of market principles and assumptions on the formulation of environmental policy. Emphasizing the concept of sustainability and the centrality of moral deliberation to democracy, they examine the possibilities for a wider variety of moral principles to play an active role in defining “good” environmental decisions. If environmental policy is to be responsible to humanity and to nature in the twenty-first century, they argue, it is imperative that the discourse acknowledge and integrate additional normative assumptions and principles other than those endorsed by the market paradigm. The contributors search for these assumptions and principles in short arguments and debates over the role of science, social justice, instrumental value, and intrinsic value in contemporary environmental policy. In their discussion of moral alternatives to enrich environmental decision making and in their search for a less austere and more robust role for normative discourse in practical policy making, they analyze a series of original case studies that deal with environmental sustainability and natural resources policy including pollution, land use, environmental law, globalism, and public lands. The unique structure of the book—which features the core contributors responding in a discourse format to the central chapters’ essays and debates—helps to highlight the role personal and public values play in democratic decision making generally and in the field of environmental politics specifically.
Contributors. Joe Bowersox, David Brower, Susan Buck, Celia Campbell-Mohn, John Martin Gillroy, Joel Kassiola, Jan Laitos, William Lowry, Bryan Norton, Robert Paehlke, Barry G. Rabe, Mark Sagoff, Anna K. Schwab, Bob Pepperman Taylor, Jonathan Wiener
Morality & Imagination
Yi-Fu Tuan University of Wisconsin Press, 1989 Library of Congress BJ1031.T77 1989 | Dewey Decimal 170
Can the individual and society be both moral and imaginative? In Western society the moral person tends to be regarded as either simple and naive or narrow and bigoted. In contrast, the imaginative person is looked on as someone not bound by the customs of the group and therefore likely to be fanciful and out of touch with reality.
This important book brings together leading environmental thinkers to debate a central conflict within environmental philosophy: should we appreciate nature mainly for its ability to advance our interests or should we respect it as having a good of its own, apart from any contribution to human well-being? Specifically, the fourteen essays collected here discuss the “convergence hypothesis” put forth by Bryan Norton—a controversial thesis in environmental ethics about the policy implications of moral arguments for environmental protection. Historically influential essays are joined with newly-commissioned essays to provide the first sustained attempt to reconcile two long-opposed positions. Bryan Norton himself offers the book’s closing essay.
This seminal volume contains contributions from some of the most respected scholars in the field, including Donald Brown, J. Baird Callicott, Andrew Light, Holmes Rolston III, Laura Westra, and many others. Although Nature in Common? will be especially useful for students and professionals studying environmental ethics and philosophy, it will engage any reader who is concerned about the philosophies underlying contemporary environmental policies.
Peter S. Wenz Temple University Press, 1996 Library of Congress GE42.W46 1996 | Dewey Decimal 179.1
In the West, humans tend to separate themselves from nature, valuing nature only as a means of meeting their own needs and happiness. This domination of nature often fosters human oppression instead of freedom and progress, as those who ignore abuses of nature tend to disregard human injustice as well. Peter S. Wenz argues that this oppression involves such destructive forces as sexism, ethnic strife, and political repression, including repression of the nuclear power industry's victims. Catastrophes like the Holocaust and the Gulf War are the result.
In contrast to the destructive "separate from nature" attitude, Wenz looks to various indigenous peoples as an example of societies where human beings revere nature for itself--societies where human beings flourish as individuals, in families, and in communities. Unlike societies dependent on commerce and industry, many indigenous peoples consider themselves part of a circle of life, reaping benefits far greater than the technological advances of the West. Wenz considers how to adopt the perspective of some indigenous cultures and how to make it work in our fast-food world. Additionally, he uses a trip to the World Uranium Hearings in Salzburg as a vehicle for understanding complex philosophical issues from consumerism to anthropocentrism.
In the series Ethics and Action, edited by Tom Regan.
In this rich and rewarding work, Yi-Fu Tuan vividly demonstrates that feeling and beauty are essential components of life and society. The aesthetic is not merely one aspect of culture but its central core -- both its driving force and its ultimate goal.Beginning with the individual and his physical world, Tuan's exploration progresses from the simple to the complex. His initial evaluation of the building blocks of aesthetic experience (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch) develops gradually into a wide-ranging examination of the most elaborate of human constructs, including art, architecture, literature, philosophy, music, and more.
Providing a bold and original rethinking of environmental ethics, Ben Minteer's Refounding Environmental Ethics will help ethicists and their allies resolve critical debates in environmental policy and conservation practice.
Minteer considers the implications of John Dewey's pragmatist philosophy for environmental ethics, politics, and practice. He provides a new and compelling intellectual foundation for the field—one that supports a more activist, collaborative and problem-solving philosophical enterprise.
Combining environmental ethics, democratic theory, philosophical pragmatism, and the environmental social sciences, Minteer makes the case for a more experimental, interdisciplinary, and democratic style of environmental ethics—one that stands as an alternative to the field's historically dominant “nature-centered” outlook.
Minteer also provides examples of his pragmatic approach in action, considering a wide range of application and issues, including invasive species, ecological research, biodiversity loss, protected area management, and conservation under global climate change.
Ecological restoration integrates the science and art of repairing ecosystems damaged by human activities. Despite relatively little attention from environmental ethicists, restoration projects continue to gain significance, drawing on citizen volunteers and large amounts of public funds, providing an important model of responding to ecological crisis. Projects range from the massive, multi-billion dollar Kissimmee River project; restoring 25,000 acres of Everglades' wetlands; to the $30 million effort to restore selected wetlands in industrial Brownfield sites in Chicago's south side Lake Calumet area; to the reintroduction of tall grass prairie ecosystems in various communities in the Midwest.
Restored to Earth provides the first comprehensive examination of the religious and ethical dimensions and significance of contemporary restoration practice, an ethical framework that advances the field of environmental ethics in a more positive, action-oriented, experience-based direction. Van Wieren brings together insights and examples from restoration ecology, environmental ethics, religious studies, and conservation and Christian thought, as well as her own personal experiences in ecological restoration, to propose a new restoration ethic grounded in the concrete, hands-on experience of humans working as partners with the land.
Charting the history of contemporary philosophical and religious beliefs regarding nature, Roderick Nash focuses primarily on changing attitudes toward nature in the United States. His work is the first comprehensive history of the concept that nature has rights and that American liberalism has, in effect, been extended to the nonhuman world.
“A splendid book. Roderick Nash has written another classic. This exploration of a new dimension in environmental ethics is both illuminating and overdue.”—Stewart Udall
“His account makes history ‘come alive.’”—Sierra
“So smoothly written that one almost does not notice the breadth of scholarship that went into this original and important work of environmental history.”—Philip Shabecoff, New York Times Book Review
“Clarifying and challenging, this is an essential text for deep ecologists and ecophilosophers.”—Stephanie Mills, Utne Reader
Earth is imperiled. Human activities are adversely affecting the land, water, air, and myriad forms of biological life that comprise the ecosystems of our planet. Indicators of global warming and holes in the ozone layer inhibit functions vital to the biosphere. Environmental damage to the planet becomes damaging to human health and well-being now and into the future—and too often that damage affects those who are least able to protect themselves.
Can religion make a positive contribution to preventing further destruction of biological diversity and ecosystems and threats to our earth? Jame Schaefer thinks that it can, and she examines the thought of Christian Church fathers and medieval theologians to reveal and retrieve insights that may speak to our current plight. By reconstructing the teachings of Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and other classic thinkers to reflect our current scientific understanding of the world, Schaefer shows how to "green" the Catholic faith: to value the goodness of creation, to appreciate the beauty of creation, to respect creation's praise for God, to acknowledge the kinship of all creatures, to use creation with gratitude and restraint, and to live virtuously within the earth community.