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Aldo Leopold – Land Ethic

how does leopold’s land ethic view a broader range of living things as morally significant- broader than regan’s view or singer’s ethical view?
leopold = ecologist, views food chain from bottom up, uses land ethic as metaphor for all of nature, argues if you care about animals you have to care about everything else, focuses on well being of species
which are ecologically more important, plants or animals?
plants, they are the primary producers
what is ethics basically for leopold? what does he mean by the community concept?
land ethic- enlarges boundaries of community to include land as a whole; can’t prevent alteration/management/use of these resources, but affirms their right to continued existence in natural state; changes role of humans from conqueror of land to citizen of it; implies respect for fellow members and community
what is the problem with a conservation system that is based solely on economic value of animals/plants/soils?
modern management models for farmers stress profit motive to point that they only come to care about lucrative parts and not so much about everything else critical to sustaining biotic community
system of conservation based solely on economic self interest hopelessly lopsided; tends to ignore and eventually eliminate many elements in land community that lack commercial value but are essential to its healthy functioning
what does he mean by the land pyramid? how are food chains fountains of energy?
fountains of energy- fountain of energy flowing through circuit of soils, plants, animals; food chains are living channels which conduct energy upward
pyramidal form of system reflects this numerical progression from apex to base, land not just soil
what is his ethical principle that is the core of his environmental ethic? explain the significance
land ethic is product of social evolution, evolution of land ethic is intellectual and emotional process; conservation is good but dangerous because it is devoid of critical understanding of land or economic land use
how does leopold’s perspective differ from traditional anthropocentric ethics? and how does it differ from the animal rights or animal welfare ethical approaches of regan and singer?
argues for moral value of plants and ecosystems
differs from anthropocentric ethics because he extends intrinsic value to all of land because it is part of greater community where we all depend on one another
against mindset of resource hunting, resource model of business-oriented approach