“The Land Ethic”
Part I. A summary of The Land Ethic
In a persuasive essay, Aldo Leopold tries to explain how we are ethically and morally obligated to take care of our resources. In his paper, “The Land Ethic” Leopold explains how we have viewed the land as, “strictly economic, entailing privileges but not obligations”. This is the main statement in his essay, and throughout the writing he elaborates on this statement. He says we have not given the land (the soils, waters, plants, and animals) the respect it deserves. He talks about our National Anthem and how we sing of “our love for and obligation to the land of the free and the home of the brave” and then he questions our uses of our ‘resources’ and in an almost disgusted way, says if you say you’re going to ‘take care of it and love it’, than follow through. He discusses how land ownership has played a big part of how we now use the land in different communities and poses the question of many researchers; What if the outcome of settling the states, and planting the fields if “the plant succession… had given us some worthless grasses, shrubs, and weeds to a condition of unstable equilibrium”. Where would we be today?
He talks about resource conservation as an ethic and the land which contains the most diversity such as marshes, bogs, dunes and deserts may be privately owned. But if the owner was ‘ecologically minded’ he would, “be proud to be the custodian of a reasonable proportion of such areas”. He goes on to say some of these lands can be set aside and managed by the government, but it is the land ethic that comes in to play for the private citizen whom owns the biologically rich land. He includes the land as part of the community, and talks about how we should act respectfully to it as part of our community, rather than treat it as just a tract of land with not intrinsic...