Spring has finally arrived! I hope. I mean it is Ithaca after all and the weather machine can do some amazing things. It might just start snowing next week and we will all get caught by surprise. But because it is a beautiful sunny day today, I shall enjoy it while I can.
Today I finally got to do some exercise as I played intermural softball with a group of friends. While fielding in outfield, I started to day dream and the question of land ethics came up. I know this might sound weird, but fielding in outfield is not the most exciting thing so it is actually quite normal for these wild topics to come up.
There are a variety of land ethic ideas with roots in various fields. Standing on a green grass field, it made me think of how the land ethic applied to where I currently was. The economic based land ethic would say that as the green grass field does not really have an economic value then it should be eliminated and ignored. But in his essay, Leopold argued against this idea as often times things with no economic value has a secondary value to us in terms of health and other social factors.
This economic based ethic is closely tied with the utilitarian based ethic who states that how we should use the land should be based on what is best for the people. I think my personal land ethic values would fall heavily within this category. The only thing that my I would change for my personal land ethic would be that the land should be used that would benefit the most people but it must be used in a sustainable way. It has some ideas of ecological based land ethics and some deep ecology thinking. But my way of seeing things has a higher stress on the sustainability aspect of land usage. I think sustainability based land ethic would be a great name for my land ethic.
My chain of thought was disrupted when my team mates started to yell at me as I haven’t realized the ball had landed past my head. Maybe day dreaming in softball isn’t such a great idea after all. But to summarize, my land ethic, sustainability based land ethic, would have the underlying idea that all interactions with the land has to ensure that the needs are met without compromising the needs of future generations. The resources should be used to benefit the greatest amount of people, but still understand that society is built on nature and humans are just a single seed in this whole system.