Friday, June 15, 2007

Shame on No Impact Man

No, I’m not joining in the fray over whether or not No Impact Man should be soliciting donations for himself on his blog. I only know about it because I’ve been reading the comments under his recent post, Kant’s Views on No Impact Living. How cool that Colin’s readers are postulating what Kant, Wittgenstein, Bentham, and other philosophers might think of the No Impact experiment. I couldn’t resist mentioning Aldo Leopold’s land ethic and the Foundation dedicated to spreading his ideas. I even quoted Leopold’s “ecological imperative,” a succinct summary of his philosophy: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

Much to my chagrin, NIM replied that he’s never read any of Leopold’s writings. At least he’s heard of Leopold, via a book I haven’t read--Ethics for a Finite World by Herchel Elliot. I’d been thinking that Leopold was hot news this week, with his son Carl’s interview featured in the always green-hot environmental news & commentary e-zine, Grist. Editors and readers posed questions to Dr. Leopold about contemporary culture & nature as well as on his memories of The Shack and his father. Want to know what environmental offense most infuriates Leopold’s son, about Aldo Leopold’s religious beliefs, or how Carl Leopold thinks we can attract more people into the environmental fold? Curious about what the son of the Almanac’s author is reading lately? Please check out these just-posted comments by a living participant in Leopold’s half-century-old low-impact experiment. I hope Colin of the NIM does, too.

On second thought, maybe I should weigh in on No Impact Man’s request for donations. Instead of money, I think that we should each send him a copy of A Sand County Almanac.

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