The Obstacle Of Organizing Government

920 Words4 Pages
The obstacle of organizing government around the environment is that, for the most part, society is too focused on economic growth for the environment to take a precedent. And, as Leopold notes, “land…is still property” (Leopold 218). The environment, or for Leopold the land, is not a global citizen in-it-of itself. Rather, the land is merely a tool for the continued economic growth. Since land has limited legal rights, Leopold sees that humans see no harm in exploiting the environment for capital gain. As such, granting the environment legal protection would, as Leopold saw it, be a better means of conservation efforts. Leopold described a system of ethics that, when applied appropriately, apply to both man and land. Despite defining an ethic as both “a limitation on freedom off action in the struggle for existence” and “a differentiation of social from anti-social conduct," Leopold saw little difference between an ethological—the former—and the philosophical—the latter—definitions of an ethic (Leopold 217-218). Both definitions create a sense of cooperation between individuals. However, the issue for the human-land relation is that, currently, ethics is not being applied. “The land-relation is still strictly economic, entailing privileges but not obligations” (Leopold 218). As Leopold saw it, mankind understands the need for the natural world, so there exists a limited sense of respect. However, unlike the ethics shared between human beings, the rights of land are not
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