Reflect on Aldo Leopold’s The Land Ethic,

This writing assignment asks you to reflect on Aldo Leopold’s The Land Ethic, which you will read in its entirety. The PDF to that reading is attached. -Format: Double spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt font, 1 inch margins -This writing assignment is going to take the form of a very simple three part essay. It asks you to read Leopold’s Land Ethic and situate it within the perspectives on human-environment relations we learned about in our textbook “Environment and Society, A Critical introduction (Second Edition)” from Chapters 2-8. For each of the three parts, I have defined questions for you to address. Each part should be about one to one and a half pages double spaced, or 500 words. So in total it’s a three to four page writing assignment. Feel free to number each part of your essay. The only sources you should use should be The Land Ethic essay attached here (primarily) as well as your textbook (secondarily). The bulk of your assignment should be written in your own words with only select, limited direct quotes from sources to provide particular examples or emphasis. Part 1) What approach/perspective on human-environment relations from our textbook is Leopold’s The Land Ethic associated with? Where do you find evidence of Leopold discussing this idea in his essay The Land Ethic? How does he make his argument? Part 2) What are some of the other approaches/perspectives on human-environment relationships from our textbook that Leopold is reacting to in this essay? What are some passages from the essay in which Leopold addresses other perspectives? How is his perspective different? Part 3) Explain two ways you see that this seminal work, The Land Ethic, has influenced thinking on the environment since it was first published in 1949. Please Try and Find textbook “Environment and Society, A critical introduction (Second Edition)” online, If having trouble reach out please. Here is “Aldo Leopolds The Land Ethic” The Land Ethic by Aldo Leopold 1949 [ This essay is excerpted from Aldo Leopold’s book A Sand County Almanac. ] When god-like Odysseus returned from the wars in Troy, he hanged all on one rope a dozen slave-girls of his household whom he suspected of misbehavior during his absence. This hanging involved no question of propriety. The girls were property. The disposal of property was then, as now, a matter of expediency, not of right and wrong. Concepts of right and wrong were not lacking from Odysseus’ Greece: witness the fidelity of his wife through the long years before at last his black-prowed galleys clove the wine-dark seas for home. The ethical structure of that day covered wives, but had not yet been extended to human chattels. During the three thousand years which have since elapsed, ethical criteria have been extended to many fields of conduct, with corresponding shrinkages in those judged by expediency only. THE ETHICAL SEQUENCE This extension of ethics, so far studied only by philosophers, is actually a process in ecological evolution. Its sequences may be described in ecological as well as well as in philosophical terms. An ethic, ecologically, is a limitation on freedom of action in the struggle for existence. An ethic, philosophically, is a differentiation of social from anti- social conduct. These are two definitions of one thing. The thing has its origin in the tendency of interdependent individuals or groups to evolve modes of co-operation. The ecologist calls these symbioses. Politics and economics are advanced symbioses in which the original free-for-all competition has been replaced, in part, by co-operative mechanisms with an ethical content. The complexity of co-operative mechanisms has increased with population density, and with the efficiency of tools. It was simpler, for example, to define the anti-social uses of sticks and stones in the days of the mastodons than of bullets and billboards in the age of motors. The first ethics dealt with the relation between individuals; the Mosaic Decalogue is an example. Later accretions dealt with the relation between the individual and society. The Golden Rule tries to integrate the individual to society; democracy to integrate social organization to the individual. There is as yet no ethic dealing with man’s relation to land and to the animals and plants which grow upon it. Land, like Odysseus’ slave-girls, is still property. The land-relation is still strictly economic, entailing privileges but not obligations. The extension of ethics to this third element in human environment is, if I read the evidence correctly, an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity. It is the third step in a sequence. The first two have already been taken. Individual thinkers since the days of Ezekiel and Isaiah have asserted that the despoliation of land is not only inexpedient but wrong. Society, however, has not yet affirmed their belief. I regard the present conservation movement as the embryo of such an affirmation. An ethic may be regarded as a mode of guidance for meeting ecological situations so new or intricate, or involving such deferred reactions, that the path of social expediency is not discernible to the average individual. Animal instincts are modes of guidance for the individual in meeting such situations. Ethics are possibly a kind of community instinct in-the-making. THE COMMUNITY CONCEPT All ethics so far evolved rest upon a singl