ENVR 102 What Nature? Whose Nature? Craig Callender Naomi Oreskes Winter 2008 Two major understandings of issues at stake in environmental protection… Beauty Pollution Might seem like two sides of same coin… …but they’ve motivated very different approaches to the enviroment
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ENVR 102What Nature? Whose Nature?
Two major understandings of issues at stake in environmental protection…
Might seem like two sides of same coin……but they’ve motivated very different approaches to the enviroment
Wildness and wilderness continues to this day
“In wildness is the preservation of the world” --Thoreau
The Wilderness Act (1964)
First introduced into Congress by Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey
Pass by Senate 73-12, and by the House of Representatives, 373-1.
Today: Original Wilderness concept--humans as visitors only--applied to only a small fraction of our public lands….
(about 9 million acres--but still, 7.5 x Rhode Island)
Jennie Lakes Wilderness Area
Total region with some degree of protection is 623 million acres: about 26 percent of our country.
Completely unmatched by anything in Europe, most other countries except perhaps Canada and Australia…
Common theme: Preservation of nature in its wild form
Not parks and gardens
Wilderness is defined as places where man does not dominate. Non-anthropocentric.
And yet… not an abdication, not just people sacrificing on behalf of other species.
Because humans benefit: from beauty, wisdom, we find in nature and the strength of character we develop.
Science as basis for environmental regulation also embodied in NEPA
National Environmental Policy Act (1969), signed by President Nixon on January 1, 1970
Established idea of an “environmental policy”
Requires federal government
“To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation.
Major contrast with earlier approaches
Thoreau, Roosevelt science was not basis for their concerns..
Later era, increasingly, it is.