Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Envornmentalism vs. Conservationism?

The irony that I listed "conservationism" as a republican value and "environmentalism" as a democrat value isn't lost on me. I wonder what the distinction might be between these two? This is pure conjecture, but I imagine the difference looks like this: conservationism is an anthropocentric value. Like the various other distinct republican platforms, conservationism is intended for the preservation of natural goods for use by posterity. Democratic environmentalism is less anthropocentric and tends to look at the environment as an end unto itself. It does not matter whether or not a piece of land will be beautiful or useful somewhere down the line--except of course in terms of preventing world cataclysm (an immediate need). The environment should be protected because it is the environment. Spotted owls don't need any usefulness in order to be protected, even at great cost to ourselves.

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