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E-109: Environmental Politics Section Meeting 8 November 25, 2008. Administrative. Final Exam Wednesday, January 21 Format - Online Review - TF Final Paper Abstracts Resubmitting Group Project Memos due November 26 – Online Drop Box Sections

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E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

E-109:

Environmental Politics

Section Meeting 8

November 25, 2008


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Administrative

Final Exam

Wednesday, January 21

Format - Online

Review - TF

Final Paper Abstracts

Resubmitting

Group Project

Memos due November 26 – Online Drop Box

Sections

Professor Jasanoff attending December 9th

No Section December 2nd


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Administrative

Looking Ahead…

December 12: Individual Responses for Group Project – [Information Posted Soon]

December 15: Research Paper Due

….And Taking a Step Back

Course Performance

(or, “What in the World Possessed Me to Take this Class???”)


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

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Schedule

MEMO DUE

Section

NO SECTION

Section with Professor Jasanoff

1-2 Page Response Due


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Key Concepts

“Big” Ethical Questions:

Intrinsic Value versus Utilitarian Value

Biosphere 2

First Nature

Second Nature

Third Nature

Fourth Nature

WHICH nature should we value?

What is the baseline?

What are the human-nature interactions?


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Questions to Ask

Which nature?

Baseline? When and Where?

Who is present?

What is designated as “natural” and “artificial”?

How is nature valued?

Other Things to Look For:

Ideas of Dignity / Sacredness

Nature defined from “outside” or “inside”

Human-nature interactions

Answers have implications for First, Second, Third, Fourth Nature


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Reading #1: National Parks

National Park Service

National Park Service webpage, “Nature & Science—Natural Resource Challenge” section

http://www.nature.nps.gov/protectingrestoring/index.cfm

“The National Park Service's Action Plan for Preserving Natural Resources

The people of this nation have inherited an astounding wealth of forests, seas, rivers, lakes, mountains, deserts, grasslands, and the plants and animals that live there. An eminent biologist predicts that someday our nation's flora and fauna will become as important as its art, its language, and its achievements as a culture. As a nation, we have already set aside our parks to preserve these precious resources and pass them on to our progeny.

“We in the National Park Service (NPS) have been charged with the trust of preserving these resources since our creation in 1916. For most of the 20th century, we have practiced a curious combination of active management and passive acceptance of natural systems and processes, while becoming a superb visitor services agency. In the 21st century that management style clearly will be insufficient to save our natural resources. Parks are becoming increasingly crowded remnants of primitive America in a fragmented landscape, threatened by invasions of nonnative species, pollution from near and far, and incompatible uses of resources in and around parks.”


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Topic #1: Analysis

Which nature?

Baseline? When and Where?

Who is present?

How is nature valued?

What is “natural”? What is “artificial”?

What ideas of “sacredness” are implied?

Is nature defined from the “outside” or the “inside”?

What does this say about human-nature interaction?

First, Second, Third, Fourth Nature?


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Reading #2: Ota Benga

Kellar, “Scandal at the Zoo”

At first, some people weren’t sure what it was. It — he — seemed much less a monkey than a man, though a very small, dark one with grotesquely pointed teeth. He wore modern clothing but no shoes. He was proficient with bow and arrow, and entertained the crowd by shooting at a target. He displayed skill at weaving with twine, made amusing faces and drank soda.

The new resident of the Monkey House was, indeed, a man, a Congolese pygmy named Ota Benga. The next day, a sign was posted that gave Ota Benga’s height as 4 feet 11 inches, his weight as 103 pounds and his age as 23. The sign concluded, “Exhibited each afternoon during September.”

Visitors to the Monkey House that second day got an even better show. Ota Benga and an orangutan frolicked together, hugging and wrestling and playing tricks on each other. The crowd loved it. To enhance the jungle effect, a parrot was put in the cage and bones had been strewn around it. The crowd laughed as the pygmy sat staring at a pair of canvas shoes he had been given. “Few expressed audible objection to the sight of a human being in a cage with monkeys as companions,” The New York Times wrote the next day, “and there could be no doubt that to the majority the joint man-and-monkey exhibition was the most interesting sight in Bronx Park.”


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Topic #2: Analysis

Which nature?

Baseline? When and Where?

Who is present?

How is nature valued?

What is “natural”? What is “artificial”?

What ideas of “sacredness” are implied?

Is nature defined from the “outside” or the “inside”?

What does this say about human-nature interaction?

First, Second, Third, Fourth Nature?


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Discussion: Ota Benga and the Ethics of Zoos

Was dressing Ota Benga in modern clothes more or less “natural”? What does your answer imply about the BASELINE for “natural” that you are using?

Was this an example of “Use Value” or “Intrinsic Value”? Does the value that Ota Benga had in 1906 STILL apply? Should we even talk about Ota Benga having a value?

What do Ota Benga’s “post-zoo” experiences imply about our ability to “return” to a prior nature?

Does placing a human being in a zoo DISSOLVE the human/nature boundry or INCREASE it? If the human voluntarily and willingly agreed to be placed on display, should we allow it?


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Discussion: Ethics of Zoos

Are the environments created in zoos NATURAL or ARTIFICIAL? Why?

If artificial, are they ONLY artificial because HUMANS created it?

If natural, what is your BASELINE?

One of the purposes of zoos is to “preserve biodiversity” and prevent extinction of rare species.

Is extinction a “natural” process?

If so, is human prevention “unnatural”?

If not, what how are you designated “natural”? What is your baseline?


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Wrap-Up

Off-Campus students:

For this week’s posting, please post about one of the additional “close readings” that are posted to the Discussion Board

You may also post about the ethics of Zoos (just be sure to use the language and concepts of the class)


E 109 environmental politics section meeting 8 november 25 2008

Wrap-Up

Questions? Comments?