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.
Nature Religion and the Modern World: The Returning Relevance of Pagan Spirituality (PDF)
Sacred Cosmos: CUUPS Journal of Liberal Religious Paganism, Vol. 1, No. 1, November 2000
Nature religions make up one of two basic categories of human spirituality; finding the sacred manifested within the world rather than emphasizing that the world is in some way radically defective. Today the nature religions are once again growing in importance, largely because they are very well suited for people’s spiritual concerns in post-modern times.
Ken Wilber’s Critique of Deep Ecology and Nature Religion (PDF)
The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy, Fall, 1996.
Ken Wilber’s Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, among other things, attacks deep ecology and nature religion as spiritually and psychologically regressive threats to human well being. I argue here that Wilber’s criticisms attack a one sided caricature of these perspectives. I show that in fact deep ecology and nature religion offer essential insights for enhancing the quality of human life, both materially and spiritually. Since our debate, Ken Wilber and I have been discussing these issues privately. I am happy to report that the gulf between our positions has narrowed dramatically. So dramatically that, along with a fellow Wiccan scholar, Don Frew, we have issued a joint statement on Nature Religion and Deep Ecology. Also posted here is a record of the most important correspondence between Ken and myself over these issues. To find this information click here . Then link to the Reading Room from there. (Related subjects: Ecology)
Love, Suffering and Evil: A Neopagan View (PDF)
The Pomegranate, 7: Imbolc, 1999.
Pagan spirituality takes a very different approach to questions of suffering, evil, and love than do most spiritual approaches common to our society. This article argues that both suffering and evil can be understood as “natural” results of a material world manifested by an immanent and transcendent source of perfect love. They are not evidence of fundamental flaws. Nor are they fundamental to reality. When adequately understood they often enhance our ability to manifest love and compassion.