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By P. R. Hay

Major Currents in Western Environmental inspiration presents an inclusive and balanced survey of the key matters debated by means of Western environmentalists over the past 3 a long time. Peter Hay examines concerns in philosophy, faith, politics, and economics as awarded or criticized by way of environmentalists. themes coated contain the roots of environmental philosophy; the advance of ecophilosophy, deep ecology, and ecofeminism; how faith pertains to environmental values; environmentalists' writings on technological know-how and epistemology; animal liberation; the function of position; the industrial dimensions of environmental notion; environmental writing in a variety of political traditions; and "green" writers' opinions of political pursuits. The paintings attracts from the disciplines of philosophy, political technological know-how, psychology, sociology, and cultural stories. truly and accessibly written and together with a accomplished bibliography, major Currents in Western Environmental concept is easily acceptable either as a instruction manual and advisor to the big environmental literature and as a textbook for undergraduate and graduate classes in environmental reports

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Sample text

A third perspective from whence the victory of culture over nature is proclaimed comes, with reluctance, from the mainstream of 22 • THE ECOLOGICAL IMPULSE environmental thought itself. The most prominent expression of this is advanced by Bill McKibben, whose gloomy book, The End of Nature, made quite an impact when published in 1989. McKibben argues that the reach of human impact is now so all-encompassing that it has taken over the inner workings of nature — in particular, that the by-products of industrial processes have so changed the composition of the earth’s atmosphere that it has become an artefact.

He prefers ‘wild’. Others wish to do away with the concept ‘nature’ for precisely the opposite reason. Just as Snyder dislikes its all-encompassing shapelessness, others wish to abandon it because, far from being all-encompassing, it is sharply dichotomised with the concept ‘culture’ in an unnecessary and destructive dualism. Neil Evernden, tracing the evolution of the term ‘nature’ as a social construct, argues that ‘one feature has dominated: an ever-deepening sense of separation between the human subject and the surrounding field of natural objects’ (1992: 102).

Whereas Evernden saw the concept ‘nature’ as participating in the destruction of its real-world referent, others believe that to acknowledge the social construction of ‘nature’ is to connive in its real-world destruction. Bryant writes: if we turn our regard for nature more and more into clever philosophical word games, if we begin to think that we are intellectually creating nature THE ECOLOGICAL IMPULSE • 25 rather than physically participating in it, we are in danger of losing sight of the real wolves being shot by real bullets from real aeroplanes, of real trees being clearcut, of real streams being polluted by real factories (10 February 1995).

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