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.
I got up this morning despondent about the latest news over George Bush’s evident desire to torture people, the failure of anyone in office to genuinely stand up to him, and what that says about a country that once deserved to be called great in more than its ability to kill people.
How else describe the importance Bush places on a measure opposed by US military officers who, having retired, do not have to follow the orders of our President? Any moral ambiguities about the issue were silenced when we learned this past week that American authorities had kidnapped Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen and father of a six year old daughter and younger son, and transported him to Syria to be tortured for alleged involvement in terrorism. He confessed, and was then held in a tiny dungeon for 10 moths before finally being released because he was innocent.
Now he has been found innocent.
Of course he confessed. Modern torture methods can get any one to confess about anything. Apparently that does not bother President Bush, which raises the legitimate and disturbing issue of why he wants the power to torture so badly.
And something that has been all too rarely raised – why was he sent to Syria? Bush and his minions tell us Syria is our enemy. It supposedly aids terrorists. Something smells very badly about this, not that any Republicans or even Democrats are likely to do much about it.
Besides its moral depravity, the US government’s actions will rebound badly on our own security, as I suppose it should. Canada will likely think twice about sharing intelligence information with the US unless their own courts have acted. Some European countries reportedly already do. And in fighting terrorism cooperation with other countries is far more important than torture, even of the guilty. But George Bush and most Republicans do not care. Neither, it seems, do a great many Democrats.
Rarely are the people of a nation given a truly black and white choice on a fundamental moral issue. The American people have been given such a choice and, at the moment are flunking badly.
In the mire of depravity that constitutes Republican and conservative “values” today, it was a breath of fresh air to read Bill Clinton’s smackdown of Chris Wallace on Fox. If ever an American network served its political masters as faithfully as Pravda served Moscow’s communists, it is Fox. Clinton demonstrated to the most ignorant portion of America, those who get their news from Fox, that in fact the Republicans and right wing have never cared much about protecting then American people. It is all part of the quest for power for them. For once, some truth actually was broadcast on that benighted station.
I have not always agreed with Bill Clinton. Sometimes I have disagreed strongly on important issues. But at least he cares about our country, and compared to the current crowd, is a paragon of human decency.