Schedule for Environmental Ethics, Hettinger, Fall 2008


1.          Aug 26: Class introduction, distribution of syllabus and schedule of assignments

How Serious Are Environmental Problems?

2.          Aug 28: Meadows et al., “From Beyond the Limits” Text 80-91

                           “Is There an Environmental Crisis” Text 59-60

                          “Global Warming and Greenhouse Gases” Text 285

                          “Ozone Depletion and Greenhouse Gases” Text 519

                          “Overpopulation or Overconsumption?” Text 435-36

3.          Sept 2: Julian Simon, “Natural Resources are Infinite” Text 60-65

                                       (For Julian Simon’s home page and obituary:

Ron Arnold, "Wise use: What Do We Believe?” E-reserves

                                       (For Arnold’s Center for Defense of Free Enterprise, see )

                          “Wise Use” Text 362-363

4.          Sept 4: Dale Jamieson, “Adaptation, Mitigation, and Justice” E-Reserves

             Video: An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore’s discussion of global warming)

5.          Sept 9: Same reading as above

             See also William Broad, “From a Rapt Audience, a Call to Cool the Hype” on class webpage

Anthropocentric Environmental Ethics

6.          Sept 11: William Baxter, “The Case for Optimal Pollution” Text 274-278

7.          Sept 16: Peter Wenz, “Just Garbage,” Text 449-456

Environmental Ethics and Animals (Sentiocentrism)

8.          Sept 18: Video: “The Witness” (43 minutes)

9.          Sept 23: Peter Singer, “All Animals are Equal” Text 187-195

                          (Singer’s page:

10.        Sept 25: Oral Presentations (1) on Human Uses of Animals

             a.          Joby Warrick, “'They Die Piece by Piece'; In Overtaxed Plants, Humane Treatment of Cattle Is Often a Battle Lost,” E-reserves and Andrew Martin, “Largest Recall of Ground Beef is Ordered” E-reserves

             b.          Selections from Pew Commission report on “Industrial Farm Animal Welfare” E-reserves (full report available at with link on class web page

             c.          Alexei Barrionuevo, “Pork Producer Says it Plans to Give Pigs More Room” E-reserves and Andrew Martin “Burger King Shifts Policy on Animals” E-reserves

(Optional: “Animal Welfare’s Unexpected Allies” )

             d.          Sierra, "Can You Eat Meat and Consider Yourself an Environmentalist?" Sierra Magazine (Nov/Dec 1991: 122) E-reserves

             e.          Animal Experimentation: “Animal Research -- LD50" Text 215 and “Head-Injury Research Using Monkeys” E-reserves

             f.          Hunting: Douglas Chadwick, “The American Hunting Myth” Orion Nature Quarterly E-reserves

             g.          Susan Freinkel, “Why I Still Believe in the Zoo” E-reserves and Marc Bekoff, “Zoos are Jails for Animals” on line at: with link on class web page

             Other resources:

For pictures see:


For Temple Grandin’s web site (how to improve animal slaughter):

11.        Sept 30: Martha Nussbaum, “Facing Animal Complexity,” available at: (and on class web page)

12.        Oct 2: Michael Pollan, “An Animal’s Place” New York Times 01/04/03, E-reserves and on web at

13.        Oct 7: Carl Cohen, “The Case for the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research” Text 301-307

14.        Oct 9: Mark Sagoff, Animal Liberation and Environmental Ethics: Bad Marriage, Quick Divorce, Text p. 317-22

             Other articles on animals on E-reserves that are not required reading for class:

David Degrazia “What Animals Are Like” (includes “The Harms of Suffering, Confinement, and Death”)

Dale Jamieson, “Zoos Revisited”

Fall Break

15.        Oct 16: Midterm Exam

Biocentric Individualism

16.        Oct 21: Paul Taylor, “The Ethics of Respect for Nature” from Paul Taylor, "The Ethics of Respect for Nature" E-reserves

17.        Oct 23: Paul Taylor, “Priority Principles,” E-reserves

Ecocentric Holism

18.        Oct 28: Oral Presentations (2) on Ecocentric Holism vs. Individualism

             a.          Roger Caras, “There are Two Ways of Looking at it” (Orion Nature Quarterly, 1986) E-reserves

             b.          Bruce Barcott, “Kill the Cat That Kills the Bird?” E-reserves

             c.          “Breeding Endangered Species” Text 323 and Sand Diego Zoo on California Condors at (link on class web page)

             d.          “Species and Individuals” Text 216, “Restoring Yellowstone Wolves” E-reserves and Brad Knickerbocker, “Delisting of Wolves Raises Hackles,” E-reserves

             e.          AP, “States Seek Ok to Kill Sea Lions” E-reserves

             f.          “Harming Plentiful Species to Protect Endangered Species” E-reserves

             g.          Frederik Kaufman, “Goats versus Ecosystems” E-reserves

19.        Oct 30: Aldo Leopold, “The Land Ethic” Text 218-227

                          (On Leopold:

**Paper Proposal Due, Friday, Oct 31, 3pm, 14 Glebe Mailbox

The Natural and Human Management

20.        Nov 4: Oral Presentations (3) on the Meaning and Value of the Natural
"Do What's Natural, You Say?" (on class webpage)

             a.          Space Billboards Threaten Night Sky, Space billboards (again), spray painting roadside rocks, and engraving names onto sea turtles E-reserves

             b.          Bill McKibben’s “The End of Nature?”(from Holmes Rolston, Conserving Natural Value), “More on McKibben,” and “Climbers clear trash from Everest” E-reserves

             c.          Holmes Rolston, “Medical Treatment for Pink-Eye in Big Horn Sheep?” E-reserves

             d.          “Saving a Drowning Buffalo or Letting Nature Take its Course?” (From Christopher Stone, Earth and Other Ethics), E-reserves

             e.          Managing for naturalness in Yellowstone: “Scientists study natural regulation of Yellowstone Park,” “Yellowstone National Park considering removing ‘exotic’ mountain goats,” and “Yellowstone wolves being trained to avoid cattle” all on E-reserves

             f.          Sierra, "To What Extent Should Humans Manage Nature If At All?” E-reserves

             g.          “Managing The Planet” (from Holmes Rolston, Conserving Natural Value) E-reserves

21.        Nov 6: Change: Hettinger, "Seven ways not to think about the natural"


22.        Nov 11: Oral Presentation (4) on Wilderness

             a.          “Yellowstone park to ban electronic wildlife-tracking gear” and “Should travelers in the wild be rescued? Even at public expense?” and Etienne Benson, “Paparazzi in the Woods: Hidden surveillance cameras are making the wilderness less wild” E-reserves

             b.          “Dams in Wild Areas: Hetch Hetchy and Glen Canyon” Text 392-393 and “Should Lake Powell be drained?” E-reserves

             c.          “Political ramifications of the definition of wilderness” E-reserves and “Boundary Waters Canoe Area” Text 393

             d.          Tom Kenworthy, “Blazing Utah Trails to Block a Washington Monument” (Washington Post 11/30/96: A1) E-reserves

             e.          “Cars in Yosemite” Text 393 and “Yosemite plans to take out human structures” E-reserves

             f.          What Should Be Allowed in National Parks? “Noise in National Parks” and “Gatekeepers in Yellowstone wear gas masks” E-reserves

             g.          Gabriel Escobar, “Rain Forest Gift Raises Suspicions” (from Washington Post 11/29/96: A1) E-reserves

23.        Nov 13: Change: Paul Veach Moriarty, “Nature Naturalized: A Darwinian Defense of the Nature/Culture Distinction” E-reserves

             a.        Optional reading on Alaska, Oil, and the Arctic Refuge:  Sandra Hinchman, “Endangered Species, Endangered Culture: Native Resistance to Industrializing the Arctic” USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-27. 2003 (available on the web at: (link on class web page)

             Another resource: Video--Oil and Ice (in our library)

24.         Nov 18: William Cronon, “The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature” Text 371-382 (Cronon’s page:

Property and Environment

25.        Nov 20: Oral Presentations (5) on Owning Nature, Property Rights, and Takings

             a.          “Who Owns the Moon?” Text 362

             b.          Gary Spencer, “Public’s Right of Way on Rivers Expanded” and “Who Owns the Waterways?” E-reserves

             c.          “Whales for Sale” Text 135-136

             d.          Colette Baxley, "Law is costing landowners" and “Woodpecker clouds state forest’s future,” E-reserves and “Biologists to move endangered birds” E-reserves

             e.          “Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council” Text 363 and “The Lucas Case: Supreme Court Decisions” (from Congaree Chronicle), E-reserves

             f.          “‘Takings’ and Property Rights” Text 136 “Property Rights and ‘Takings’ Legislation” E-reserves

**Paper due, Friday, Nov 21, 1pm, 14 Glebe Mailbox

26.        Nov 25: Ned Hettinger, “Who Owns Nature? Property Rights, Biodiversity, and the Land Ethic” available at: Link on class web page)

Thanksgiving break

Radical Environmental Action

27.        Dec 2: Oral Presentations (6) on Radical Environmentalism

             a.          Peter Singer “Ends and Means” E-reserves

             b.          Adam Parker, “Mepkin to Close Egg Farm” E-reserves

             c.          “James Phillips, 70, Environmentalist who was called the Fox” E-reserves

             d.          Patricia Leigh Brown, “Foie Gras Fracas: Haute Cuisine Meets the Duck Liberators” E-reserves

             e.          Jessica Bell, “On Belay” E-Reserves

             f.          Ed Marston, "Ecotage isn't a solution, it's part of the problem," High Country News (19 June 1989, p. 15) on class web page

             g.          "Would You Ever Break The Law in Support of an Environmental Goal?" Sierra Magazine, E-reserves

Environmental Aesthetics

28.        Dec 4: Holmes Rolston, “Does Aesthetic Appreciation of Landscapes Need to be Science-Based?” Text 164-171. (Rolston’s page:

Final Exam