Eco-Justice--The Unfinished Journey
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: State University of New York Press
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The essays collected in this book chronicle the development of a movement linking ecology and justice, which was cultivated for more than two decades through a campus ministry program in upstate New York headquartered at Cornell University. That influential endeavor was initiated, with others, by William E. Gibson...
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I acknowledge with much gratitude the following: The authors of the articles included in this book; the team, including especially Ingrid Olsen-Tjensvold, who conceived The Egg/ Eco-Justice Quarterly and got it “hatched”; Sharon Lloyd O’Conner and Dieter T. Hessel, each of whom served as editor for a time; and...
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This book recounts a journey. It took place over the last several decades of the twentieth century. It continues into the twenty-first century, with new impetus, louder wake-up calls, and evidence still accumulating that a good future depends upon staying the course...
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Only in the last couple of decades has the realization that such heedless destruction cannot continue begun to spread from ecologists to ordinary residents of technocratic society. Now many of the people are way ahead of their “leaders” in understanding that today’s toxic dump is tomorrow’s poisoned water and malformed babies.o...
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The idea of eco-justice draws together the essential considerations for understanding and influencing the great transition. I mean the historic movement from one age to another that someday will be written up as the story of our time. Perhaps I tend toward grandiosity...
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Discussions of the nation’s future typically focus on the promises and strategies of M-O-R-E. Producing more. Selling more. Buying more. Having more. The purveyors of M-O-R-E want us to infer that human wants and needs are self-evidently fulfilled by these promises and strategies...
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Our world view is basic to our morality. Our old world view, rooted in our Judeo-Christian tradition and recapitulated in the evolutionary pyramid, was one of a cosmic ranking-of-diversity hierarchy. The ethic born from this world view was one of atomized self-interest and the anthropocentric illusion of modern science and...
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The love of earth and people is the eco-justice agenda—one agenda, because earth and people are one creation. To call it creation points to the Creator, the author, source, and sustainer of the creation, who has a purpose for it, who relates to it lovingly, wills its well-being, and influences and beckons it toward its destiny...
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On the last day of August 1839, a Saturday, Henry David Thoreau, then twenty-two years of age, and his brother, John, twenty-four, set out in their home-made boat on the Concord River for a week’s camping trip. Thoreau later wrote about the trip in his first book...
Conclusion to Part I
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In the decade of the 1970s the world was warned. The warnings were quite plentiful, and I need not offer comprehensive citations. However, I think immediately of ecologists such as Barry Commoner and Rachel Carson (who had spoken out in the 1960s); Aurelio...
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In the summer of 1988 The Egg: A Journal of Eco-Justice devoted an issue to “Pollution, Poverty and Power.” In my editorial introduction I said: The assumption behind this issue is that the victims of pollution tend to be the poor, the powerless, the vulnerable. They...
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In recent years, there has been unprecedented national concern over the problems of hazardous wastes and environmental pollution. Efforts to address this issue, however, have largely ignored the specific concerns of African Americans, Hispanic Americans...
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In 1989 the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economics (CERES) announced the “Valdez Principles,” a code of conduct for companies professing a commitment to environmental protection. They affirmed that “corporations have a responsibility for the environment, and must conduct all aspects of their business...
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Technology as we know it is based on science. In a May 1984 article, which I regretfully had to omit from this volume, the late Professor Bart Conta of Cornell’s Department of Mechanical Engineering stressed how difficult it is “to appreciate how recently and...
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Bertrand Russell, although he enjoyed witty put-downs of religion, especially Christianity, occasionally spoke out in an almost theological style. In 1953 he wrote: “The human race has survived hitherto owing to ignorance and incompetence, but, given knowledge and competence, combined...
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In a “Hi and Lois” cartoon that came out several years ago, the son Chip says to his father, “Dad, I heard in school that in twenty years we won’t have any gas for our cars. Isn’t anybody worried?” Hi answers, “I guess our leaders think it’s too far in the future to think...
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In the emphasis of eco-justice on sustainability as a value and a goal we have sought consistently to go beyond anthropocentrism— that is, not only to value nature for the sake of human beings, but to recognize and honor the claim of myriad and diverse...
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Christianity is a religion for people; its ethical genius lies in redeeming persons in their interpersonal relations. The great commandments are to love God and neighbor; the Golden Rule is do to others as you would have others do to you. “Neighbors” and “others” include the victim left helpless by thieves, aided by the...
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O’Hara: Professor Tinker, you have written extensively about the differences between your own tradition’s understanding of history and that of the Western tradition. Would you outline what those differences are? Tinker: First of all, I would insist that history as a field of study and discipline is an invention of the European intellectual...
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Hunger is the quintessential eco-justice issue, the one that most obviously and inescapably demands attention to both earth and people, the earth’s fruitfulness and the people’s participation in sufficient sustenance. There is no more basic necessity than...
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Your conference announcement begins with this paragraph: Ten years after Rome [the World Food Conference], four years after the Presidential Commission on World Hunger, we have useful international mechanisms for combating hunger, but the sum...
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Modern commercial, mechanized farming is designed to make a profit. “Old-fashioned” farming, using hand tools or animal power, was designed to supply people with food and work. The modern land ownership system often allows a person or corporation to own...
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The human species does not have a unique exemption from the ecological laws that maintain the essential balances of nature. Despite all our technologies, the capacity of the earth to carry the human enterprise cannot be extended indefinitely. It almost certainly has been breached...
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The projected doubling of the world’s population in the not-distant future will greatly impede our efforts to preserve the integrity of God’s creation. It cannot be overlooked in any thorough analysis of our species’ dilemma. Working toward solutions to the global population...
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For thousands of years of recorded time men have “named” and shaped the culture from their point of view—from the standing point of the male body and male life experience, just as Adam named the animals in Genesis. Naming is power. To name reality...
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The subject matter of economics is simply the arrangements that a human society makes to meet its needs and wants. Material goods come necessarily from nature. Basically, an economy consists of the practices, regulations, and institutions for drawing...
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It is widely believed that the problem of feeding the world’s growing population has been solved. Contemporary economics, and its handmaiden technology, are thought to have been applied successfully...
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In his letter to George Bernard Shaw, written in 1935, a year before he published The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, John Maynard Keynes overestimated the long-term effect that his book would have. As the end of the century comes...
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Once upon a time, say twenty years ago (though it was earlier in the west and later in the east), there was a generation of college-age young people markedly different from their parents and predecessors of “the silent generation.” A surprising number of these...
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The term “sustainable development” is used with increasing frequency to describe the global ethic we need for the twenty-first century. Generally speaking, it is much more prevalent outside the United States than within. One document that recently crossed my...
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In an eco-just world people would live differently than people live or aspire to live in the United States today. In accordance with the norm of sustainability, the habits and patterns of their lives would treat the earth more gently, respectfully, and appreciatively...
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Let us focus our attention on what may be the central moral problem of our age: prodigality. Prodigality is a moral problem in the basic sense that it involves value judgments about what is good or bad, right or wrong, or what we ought to be and do, for the sake of the...
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For more than a century the world has been taught that the great choice is between capitalism and socialism. Now capitalism has won the struggle in terms both of public power and of human loyalties. But over the last quarter of a century, many of us came...
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The eco-justice journey is far from finished. In the early years of the new century it continues on its rocky course, despite the distressing evidence—especially in the U.S. political arena—of denial more deeply entrenched. This denial of the need for a radical turn...
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As planet Earth becomes hotter, stormier, less biodiverse, more crowded, unequal and violent, a growing number of theologians and ethicists, seminaries and colleges, church agencies, intentional communities, and discerning church members on six continents are...
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We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst...
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The dream of a common earth ethic and the unity of humankind is a hoary one, at least as old as the Hebrew prophets, Confucius, the Buddha, Plato, and Jesus. That should surprise no one since religions themselves, together with ancient philosophies and the primordial...
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Originally I intended to title this book “Journey to Eco-Justice.” We move and struggle toward an eco-just future. As a destination, the world of ecological wholeness and social justice remains far off. Nevertheless, we experience and celebrate its reality along the way...
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Page Count: 340
Publication Year: 2004