Philosophy of Conservation by zoi14224

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									Philosophy of Conservation.
                 Question
   Which has more value: a white spruce
    tree or a yew shrub?




                                   Michigan
                                   State U
Alberta
Agriculture
               Question
 Would you pay $1 to save the N. Atlantic
  right whale?
 350 survive today




                                  NOAA
            Why Philosophy?
 Indian poem
 We are limited by what we know
    – Problems can only be defined by what we
      know
    – Solutions can only be developed by what we
      know
   Conser Bio is value ridden unlike ecology
    or pure sciences
Why does conservation matter
         to people?
   Describes how we view the natural world
    and how we may react to conservation
    challenges
                    History
   Found in religious teachings
    – Confucianism
       • Nature interrelated
       • Conserve nature to preserve human
         society
    – Buddhism
       • Loving kindness to nature
       • Still desire, reduce consumption
      Conservation & Religion
   Hinduism
    – Self realization
    – Respect for all life
   Christianity
    – Two views (dominion, connected)
    – Use/steward
   Islam
    – Respect for creation is respect for God
    – Conserve resources
        Human Value Systems
   Utilitarian value
    – Has value because it can be used
       • E.g. forests for timber
    – Anthropocentric view
       • Has value because people can use it
        Utilitarian value
– Values:
  • Goods (timber, fish, water)
  • Services (sewage treatment, air filtration)
  • Information (clouds/weather, crow
    mortality/West Nile, snow
    accumulation/avalanche)
  • Spiritual, cultural and psychological
    (teachings using nature or natural objects
    (large pine tree to the Iroquois people),
    beautiful landscapes that draw in tourists,
    wilderness for canoe enthusiasts.
          Utilitarian value
 Under this view use of nature is good,
  non use a waste
 View prevalent in settling Canada

 Still reflected in our laws

 Both white spruce and yew have uses for
  people.
           Intrinsic value
 Has value itself
 People have intrinsic value

 How about other life forms?
           Intrinsic value
 Since living things and ecosystems are
  self organizing some consider they have
  intrinsic value
 If you said that you would pay $1 to save
  the N. Atlantic right whale you agree it
  has intrinsic value
                  Ethics
 Changes in philosophy (value systems)
  has led to changes in ethics (moral code)
 Changes result from human experiences
  usually
    – Catastrophes
                        Examples: forestry,
    – Tragedies         fishing
    – New knowledge
      History of Western Ethics on
             Conservation
     mid 19th Century
      – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau,
        and John Muir
      – Wild places as spiritual/mystical, have intrinsic
        value (transcendental conservation ethic)
      – Natural places need protection even if they
        have no economic value
John Muir worked to protect Yosemite National Park &
parts of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Resulted in the founding of the Sierra Club
    History of Western Ethics on
           Conservation
 Late 19th Century
 Gifford Pinchot, Ted Roosevelt

 Need to protect areas because they had
  value to humans
 Utilitarian conservation ethic
    History of Western Ethics on
           Conservation
 Aldo Leopold “Sand County Almanac”
 Is a synthesis of the other two ethics

 Recognizes our interconnectedness with
  nature,
 We cannot separate what we think valuable
  from those parts that we see as not valuable
 All parts valuable

 Helicopter analogy
Focus of Conservation Biology
   Understanding of species extinction
    –   Speciation
    –   Small population viability
    –   Design of management practices
    –   Genetic and demographic consequences
Focus of Conservation Biology
   Conserve functional attributes of
    ecosystems
    –   Habitat fragmentation
    –   Change in composition and structure
    –   Gap analyses
    –   Landscape ecology
    –   Island biogeography
    –   Restoration ecology

								
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