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  • Writer's pictureAyoLane Halusky

Is it time for a Land Ethic?

Aldo Leopold – American conservationist / ecologist (1947). Source: AP

What does “ethics” mean? Ethics are known as duties and directives, guiding a culture relating to a standard of conduct towards moral action and character of its people. A guideline for mutual respect for the benefit of the people with in it.

When you add “land” to ethic, according to Aldo Leopold, you are now adding water, soil, plants and the critters of the earth into the community or culture. Aldo Leopold, who is known for being the father of land ethics, wrote essays that were compiled into a book entitled “A Sand County Almanac,” which was published in 1949.

The way I see it, if humans are the conscious and self-aware part of the earth, then we have an obligation to learn and adapt our ethics to extend our mutual respect for all life on. By doing so, we can work towards balance and sustainability that benefits the whole Earth community.

“When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” Aldo Leopold

To create a sense of belonging to the natural world you must have a long-term personal relationship with the natural communities that nurtures a gratefulness attitude to and for the Earth. You need to have a sense of gratitude to begin to understand how the Earth works and what needs there are to maintain health and balance.

“We can only be ethical in relation to something we can see, understand, feel, love, or otherwise have faith in.” Aldo Leopold

Creating a land ethic would need an evolving dialogue of community thinkers who have this sense of belonging. People who are thinking beyond themselves and the human social construct. These community thinkers are clear of personal gain and political agendas, nor will they seek glory, ego titles and careers. They will need to gather together as a panel of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, ideas and experiences, and work toward the goal of one Earth community, mutual benefit and respect. They will be able to create guidelines that maintain a sustainable Earth, and balances a healthy lifestyle and well-being with the Earth communities along with the challenges and sacrifices of life.

It’s time to foster those who have the heart and courage, as well as a clear connection to earth ecology, to gather for a new way to envision human life on planet Earth. To do nothing is to accept the possibility of human extinction and the future of a healthy planet.

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