Democratic Forest Trusts (PDF)in Watson, Alan; Dean, Liese; Sproull, Janet, comps. 2006. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress Symposium; 2005 September 30-October 6; Anchorage, AK.Democratic trusts with leadership elected by citizen-members promise to solve many of the problems afflicting both traditional government and corporate ownership of forestlands.Â This article explores these issues in some depth.Complexity and the Dream of Human Control of Eco-Systems (PDF)in Watson, Alan; Dean, Liese; Sproull, Janet, comps. 2006. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress Symposium; 2005 September 30-October 6; Anchorage, AK.The title captures it.Â I then explore the kinds of institutions compatible with both nature and the modern world that are implied from this analysis.Rethinking the Obvious: Modernity and Living Respectfully With Nature (PDF)The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy, Winter, 1997.Modernity is usually considered a wrong turn in terms of respect for and sustaining the environment.Â I argue the reality is more complex, for modernity has freed us from personal dependence on agriculture, ended the economic value of children, radically reduced the likelihood of large scale wat, and shifted much production to intellectual rather than material capital.Â This partially decouples society from nature, which gives us important opportunities as well as problems.Towards an Ecocentric Political Economy (PDF)The Trumpeter, Fall, 1996.This paper begins my effort at showing how liberal modernity can be harmonized with an ecocentric perspective on our relationship with the natural world.Â It is a corrective to much “free market environmental” literature that sacrifices Nature to money as well as to anti-liberal attacks by well-meaning but economically naÃ¯ve environmentalists.Unexpected Harmonies: Self-Organization in Liberal Modernity and Ecology (PDF)The Trumpeter, Journal of Ecosophy, 10:1, Winter 1993This is my initial paper exploring how what I term ‘evolutionary liberal’ thought can be an important means by which society and nature can be brought into greater harmony.Â The other Trumpeter papers build on it.Deep Ecology and Liberalism: The Greener Implications of Evolutionary Liberalism (PDF)Review of Politics, Fall, 1996.Liberal thought and deep ecology are usually regarded as mutually exclusive. But the “evolutionary” tradition offers a way to integrate the two through commonalties in the work of David Hume, Michael Polanyi, Arne Naess, and Aldo Leopold, providing a stronger foundation for liberalism while strengthening the case for an ecocentric ethic.(Related subjects: Ecology)Saving Western Towns: A Jeffersonian Green Proposal (PDF)in Writers on the Range, Karl Hess and John Baden, eds., University Press of Colorado, 1998.Developmental pressures in the rural and small town West involve three groups: long term residents, new arrivals, and environmentalists. Today their interests often conflict. This conflict is in part the outcome of institutions which prevent harmonizing competing interests. The concept of developmental trusts, both for rural regions and for small communities offers a means whereby these interests can be harmonized for the benefit of all concerned.(Related subjects: Politics)Social Ecology, Deep Ecology, and Liberalism (PDF)Critical Review, 6: 2-3, 1992.Murray Bookchin is considered a leading radical environmental theorist. However, his analysis is incapable of leading humankind towards a more respectful and sustainable relationship with the natural world. Criticisms of Bookchin from both the deep ecology and evolutionary liberal perspective complement one another, pointing the way towards a better understanding of how modernity relates to the environment.The paper as a whole offers an early discussion of issues that are more clearly addressed in later papers, particularly Deep Ecology and Liberalism (1996) and the three Trumpeter articles in 1997, 1996, and 1993. However, there are other ideas in the article which have not been developed more thoroughly elsewhere.
On Memorial Day we remember and
honor those men and women who have fought for their country and paid with their
lives in doing so. There are many
kinds of patriotism, some worthy, some unworthy, but laying your life on the
line in defense of your country, your community, your family and friends, ranks high among the worthy. Democrat, Republican, Independent, or
something else, it does not matter. The same hold for terms like liberal and
conservative, Pagan or Jewish or Christian or nonbeliever. For most people those labels reflect
where they grew up, who they grew up with, and what they happened to learn far
more than it reflects on their character.
These distinctions are important in some contexts. They are not
important in this one. On Memorial Day all Americans with open hearts can embrace them all.
What of the claim that many died to
no good end because many wars were manufactured by depraved politicians for
their own ends? True enough all
too often, and irrelevant when on Monday we honor the motives and remember the fates of those who
paid with their lives for devotion to their country. I believe we who denounced those politicians should focus on the men and women who went abroad believing it their duty to do
so, who did the best they knew how to defend their homeland to the best of
their understanding, and who died.
If a particular war was unworthy that does not detract from their
sacrifice. They would have been
equally devoted to duty, equally willing to risk and pay the ultimate price,
had their cause been as good as they thought it was. They did the best they knew.
Necessary wars unnecessary wars, on
Monday it doesn’t matter. All those
who died were sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers, mothers,
friends and lovers. This, along
with their sacrifice, is what we need to remember. The
Ladies Go Dancing at Whitsun is a beautiful
British song that gets this across poignantly. We are diminished by their loss and enriched by their
gifts to us.
I will light a candle on my altar
and meditate on these things this Monday.