Topic 6 Shorter Paper Option 1
December 5, 2001
Aldo Leopold on The Ecological Conscience
Leopold defends his position the advent of a new ethical development, one that deals with humans relations to the land and its necessity. This relationship is defined as the land ethic, this concept holds to a central component referred to as the ecological consciousness. The ecological consciousness is not a vague ideal, but one that is not recognized in modern society. It reflects a certainty of individual responsibility for the health and preservation of the land upon which we live, and all of its components. If the health of the land is upheld, its capacity of self-renewal and regeneration is maintained as well. To date, conservation has been our sole effort to understand and preserve this capacity. Leopold holds that if the mainstream embraces his ideals of a land ethic and an ecological consciousness, the beauty, stability and integrity of our world will be preserved.
Leopolds view is a glorified dream at best. While most people do acknowledge the need for some type of ecological consciousness, the one illustrated by Leopold is far from probable. Todays society is overrun with the desire for speed and convenience, and driven by competition. Asking the busy world to stop, step backward, and work the concerns for such things as soil, rocks, or oak trees into its contracts and agreements is a foolish notion. It has come to be that to most individuals, the sight of a city skyline that is bustling with business and life is just as pristine as the sight of a natural forest.
Leopold, and those who support his desire for an ecologically conscious society, may want to re-evaluate their position. The fact that laws to enforce conservation and preservation of national forests and parks are commonplace is an achievement in itself. Rather than a completely ecological consciousness, there needs to form a healthy balance, the ecological-economical consciousness. Recognizing that although society is industrial, we do understand that nature does need to be preserved. This preservation, however, cannot interfere with progress.
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