aldo leopold 2

As I think about the current state of politics in our country from an ethical perspective, I am reminded of what Ellen Davis, Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School wrote in her book, Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture concerning agricultural ethics. “Currently, there are active in our culture two opposing agricultural ethics, and the one dominant among scientists and industrial – scale food producers is what botanists and plant pathologist Robert Zimdahl calls the “productionist ethic” …. to produce as much as possible, regardless of the ecological costs and perhaps even if it is not profitable to the producer. The productionist ethic has prevailed thus far with the North American public because its short-term benefit is food that is cheap at the supermarket. The productionist ethic is a way of thinking aimed solely at maximizing short – term profit for the relative few. It contrasts completely with the “land ethic” set forth by Aldo Leopold. The land ethic expresses itself in patterns of thought and life directed toward the long – term health (sustainability) of the land community. “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Count me in with Aldo Leopold.