environmental essay

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Read the following paragraph, write 300 words response, and answer the question he put in the last sentence.

In the chapter titled “Ecocentrism: the Land Ethic” in the “Sand County Almanac,” Aldo Leopold states the lack development of a land ethic has to led to ecological disasters. Throughout the chapter he mentions how our treatment of land as property has led to the creation of a relationship with land that is “strictly economic, entailing privileges but not obligations” (Leopold, 104).

As human beings, we are trained to act ethically towards all other humans, however we do not extend this same consideration toward animals, soils, waters, plants. Our lack of ethical consideration toward this world community has led to an ecological imbalance that has already wreaked havoc on the world. Leopold asserts that the land ethic is simply an expansion of the moral community circle to include everything of the land. It is important to note, Leopold doe not mention that a land ethic already existed in Native American culture and history; he focuses mainly on the Western perspective. I think it can be argued that this lack of acknowledgment is revealing and begs the question, “Why didn’t great academic, North American conservationists like Leopold study Native Americans and their relationship with land?”

Several of the accounts by Native American authors mentions Native perception of land as a living entity- as a mother. There is a relationship between people and land. However, Western treatment of land as a commodity producer- an object- has led to loss of identity with the land. The lack of land ethic (along with objectifying the different components that make up land) has allowed for a situation like the one taking place at Alberta Tar Sands in Canada. In the documentary, “Standing on Sacred Ground: Profit and Loss” it is apparent that a profit motivated treatment of land has introduced a plethora of problems (like cancers in people and animal life along with polluting of the major waterways, etc) near these areas of operations. Perhaps the damage we are wreaking on our planet could have been mitigated had settler groups and non-Indians studied from Natives?

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