Opening words, Spring 2006 The land ethic Aldo Leopold March 17, 2015 UU World Magazine Spring 2006, published by the Unitarian Universalist Association Opening words Environment, Environmental Justice, Nature
All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise that individuals are members of a community of interdependent parts. Their instincts prompt them to compete for their places in that community, but their ethics prompt them also to cooperate. . . . The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land. . . . A land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it.
Adapted from “The Land Ethic” in A Sand County Almanac (1949). This passage has been modified to employ gender-neutral language.