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Why is the cultural history far from uniformly noble?
Differences of sex, of race, of ethnicity, of talent and skill have led to the enslavement of milions and the oppression and mistreatment of millions more. We ignore this other side if nature at our peril.
To say the something is natural or to counsel that the appropriate course of action is to folow nature is to suggest something of immense significance for:
our moral values, for our identities, for our everyday lives, and thus for our politics.
"Can and ought humans to follow nature?" depends upon resolving a basic contradiction in the idea of nature, the contradiction b/w what can be termed moral separatism and moral holism. What does this mean?
One of the truisms of the contemporary envitonmental movement is that people are part of nature and that environmental probelms have emerged b/c we have tried to pretend otherwise. "follow nature" is superfluous advice. This is moral holism. If people are separate from nature, the moral situation is no better."Follow nature" is irrelevant advice. Which is moral separatism.
Treating nature as a social construction means understanding how our image of nature depends upon social selection and social reflection. What does this mean?
We tend to select particular features of nature to focus upon, ignoring those that do not suit our interests and the world view shaped by those interests.
Since the 1960's, an increasing number of postmodernist social theorists have argued what?
against the oobjectivist notion of a world in which there is only one truth about any one thing, the truth that best represents "the way things really are"
What is the traditional story of New England's agricultural decline?
New England is a lousy place to farm. It's too rocky and hilly. Soil is too acid and infertile to raise crops. Americans went west. The Erie Canal opened in 1825 which provided a cheap way to ship grains to the East. Now their products would market.
How does Bell set the record straight about the history of agriculture in N.E.?
Agricultural land expanded until 1880. In 1910 a sharp drop occured, much of it after WWII and 100 years after the Erie canal. There was not abandonment of farms in the East.
Many travel accounts written in the 19th century describe abandoned farmsteads across the N.E. contryside. How does historian Hal Barron account for this?
Increased mechanization allowed fewer farmers to farm more land, depopulating the countryside while keeping production going.
How does the traditional story of the decline of agriculture in N.E. suited some political interests in the farm bloc?
The decline was due to nature itself and to the hardscrabble legacy it left N.E.
What did Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels have to say about Darwin's theory of natural selection?
It resembeled the economic theories of free-market capitalism that were so fundamentally altering to character of English society and world society.
Why does the flitting back and forth of concepts b/w science and social life deserve special scrutiny?
B/c of the way it sometimes allows science to be used as a source of political legitimization.
What is craniometry?
A 19th century fad that compared the cranial capacities of different races.
Who was Samuel Morton, and was he a respected scientist during his lifetime?
A doctor of European decent, a leading figure in craniometry. Published 2 books that showed Europeans had biggest brains on planet.
Stephen Jay Gould raises what criticisms of Morton's work?
Morton did not consider the effect of stature on cranial capacity or the effect of gender in his sample.
What findings did geographer Ellsworth Huntington report in his 1912 book, Climate and Civilation?
The relationship b/w climate and the degree of civilization of people. Climates are too warm- encouraged laziness. Climate of Europe in N.E. U.S. was more civilized. "Climate is reason for idleness, dishonesty, weakness, etc."
Was Huntington well known in his day?
Yes, he was famous.
Why, today, do Huntington's methods seem ludicrously biased?
B/c he rates the level of civilization of a place on the basis of what his own experience told him was "civiliztion".
What do the works of Ellsworth Huntington and Samuel George Martin reveal about the power-and danger- of nature as a social idea?
The way we so often attempt to use it to legitmiate social inequality.
Wilderness, the highest exemplar of the natural, is based on:
The often forcible absence of the regulation of, one widespread aspect of the natural world: People
What was the initial model of a national park, an idea which originated in the U.S?
A wilderness region with few people.
How does the establishment of national parks differ b/w the U.S. and South and Southeast Asia?
In the U.S. native peoples had already been removed. In south and southeast asia people live everywhere, and setting aside any large area usually means setting substantial numbers of people aside too.
After villagers were banned from grazing their livestock in the Deoldeo Ghana bird sancuarty in Bharatpur, India, what happened?
The villagers protested and a battle broke out with the police in which several villagers were killed. Scientists discovered that bird populations declined.
Did the traditional lifestyle of the Masai of southern Kenya conflict with the survival of rhinos and elephants?
After the Masai were excluded from four new reserves in southern Kenya, what happened?
The Masai gor angry and began killing elephants and rhinos. To protest some collaborated with the ivory trade.
How might environmental arguments be used for social exclusion in suburban and exurban zoning controls?
Raising the cost of residency, excluding poorer people from moving in, and forcing them to move out.
Beck's term reflexive modernization means:
a form of modernization in which we think critically and engage in democratic debate about science and technology.
What is the main difficulty with the risk society theory?
It overstates the degree to which we have overcome economic anxiety and economic conflict.
Currently, the all-too-common use of the language of science and rationality is to:
exclude others from the conversation.
What is the participatory research?
Citizens form a common research team.
What is the precautionary principle?
When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.
For Bell, trust should be about:
a willingness to disagree and debate and still retain a sense of social connection, to keep the conversation going, always open to further news, futher ideas, and perspectives, and a confidence that others will have the same willingness.
What is the A-B split?
Stands for "attitude-behavior split" - the sharp disjunction b/w what people profess to value and believe and how they really act.
According to sociologists, what is one of the main reasons for the A-B split?
Social structure- We don't have complete choice in what we do, our lives are socially organized.
While the social organization of our communities may be a large part of our problems, the _____________________ of our communities can be a large part of the solution.
Social organization
What is virtual environmentalism?
Environmentalism you don't have to think about b/c you find yourself doing it anyway.
What is the problem of collective action and what striking paradox of social life does it result in?
Pursing on individual based interest that often lead to irrational collective outcomes that undermine the interest of those who enact them. We often don't act in our own interests. When we all do what we want it leads to outcomes nobody wants.
Can we find examples of highly successful use of commons for resource management?
Yes! Grazing lands, fishery systems, etc.
Rather than the tragedy of the commons, Hardin's allegory is better characterized as the tragedy of_______, for what breaks down is:
individualism; Hardins commons is not collective ownership itself but rather the inability and perhaps unwillingness of the herders to take a wider view than their own narrowly concieved self-interests.
The dialogue of solidarities is based on the interaction b/w what 2 mutually supporting bases for social commitment?
Solidarity of interests and solidarity of sentiments.
What is the essential glue of both a solidarity of interests and solidarity of sentiments?
One of the main reasons why herders in commons have usually managed to keep from overgrazing the pastures is that:
they trust each other.
What emerges from the dialogue of solidarities?
What tale does Peggy Petrzelka tell about the two Moroccan villages of Tilmi and M'semrir as these relate to: a) the agdal system, and b) community life?
a) M'semir-the agdal system is breaking down, the grass looks bad stocking rates are double what they should be, and land is privatized.
Tilmi, the grass still looks good, stocking rates are what they should be, little land has been privatized.
b) In M'semrir, people don't dance much anymore.
The Tilmi like each other so much that they dance together.
Changes that come only from the high encourage what?
Foot dragging on the part of those down below and encourage authoritarianism on the part of those above.
What is the "top" and "bottom" of the dialogue of effetive social and environmental change?
The top is our patterns of social organization based on government, the economy, technology, and other social structures. The bottom is social activism, the citizen pressure that indicates that change is desired and therefore ultimately possible.
The 1970's-style approach to development rarely bothered to ask what crucial question of local people?
What do you want?
What is participatory democracy?
Involving local people as equal partners and leaders in development projects, ensures a sense of ownership.
Over the past 40 years, the typical approach of agricultural scientists working on the problems of tropical agriculture has been to encourage:
peasant farmers to adopt hybrid crop varieties developed by the scientists themselves.
In the view of social scientist Jess Bentley, any solutions farmers devise for themselves are far more likely to be:
relevent to their ecological, economic, cultural, and agricutural circumstances.
Does Bently think university scientists have something to offer local people, and how does he demonstrate his position with the case of fire ants?
Yes, he takes the farmers out at night to watch the ants crawl up their corn plants.
Bently suggests that one village woman's idea to spray the crops with sugar water has several advantages of local innovations. What are these?
It's cheap, it relies on easily accessible local materials-sugar and water, and it is something that the local people understand completely, they can refine the idea, to generate further ideas.
What is the point of participatory democracy?
To get a dialouge going b/w local people and scientists, b/w local knowledge and expert knowledge.
What is the basic idea of smart growth?
To reject the standard polarization b/w antigrowth nay sayers and pro-growth yea sayers familiar to development controversies across the country.
What are the good economic reasons for pursuing smart growth?
It's expensive to construct and maintain necessary roads, sewer lines, and power lines, and to provide police, fire, and emergencey services to spread out development.
What is the basic idea of new urbanism?
To model new development on the kind of traditional neighborhoods that cities routinely turn into historic districs.
How does new urbanism promote smart growth and community in the social sense?
Smart growth- if build with people first in mind instead of cars, the result will be not only be pleasing to the eye but will be pleasing to balance sheets, b/c efficient land use. This approach helps reduce impact of development on community in the ecological sense and helps promote more interactiveness in the community in the social sense.
What is the key principle of industrial ecology?
about treating industry as a part of ecological systems as opposed to a means of dominating ecologic systems.
The idea of community is closely interwined with what 2 other ideas?
The idea of equality and the idea of inequality.
Each of the 3 central issues of environmentalism-sustainability, environmental justice, and the rights and beauty of nature- challenges a different dimension of the boundaries of moral concern. What are these?
Sustainability considers how we draw boundaries of concern b/w present and future generation. Environmentsal justice considers how we draw boundaries b/w human groups. The rights and beauty of nature considers boundaries b/w humans and the rest of creation.
Early Homo sapiens survived because:
they were adept at perceiving danger and food in the nearby forests.
Ornstein and Ehrlich argue that we humans con consciously rewire our brains to think long-term. Mitchell argues that rather than out-think our evolutionary limitaions, we should invoke them. How does she suggest we do this?
Create a legend that humans can embrace, that they can bring down to the level of themselves, their families, their own region, and then their planet. Work with evolution, in the best Darwinian tradition.
The answer to addressing our environmental problems will not lie in explaining the science ever more carefully to the converted. Rather, another potential incentive is called for. This is:
we must bring the science to life in tales that capture the imagination.
No matter how capable humans ar eon understanding science, science will never have the emotional force of:
C.S. Lewis wrote that myth carries meaning in a way that ___________________ cannot.
rational truth-telling
How does Bell distinguish b/w risk and risky?
Risk- our sense of what we should worry about and how much- the ideal side of worries and fears. Risky- the organizational, technological, economic, and biophysical potential of our circumstances for disrupting our goals and intentions- The material side of worries and desires.
What is rational risk assesment?
The idea that we should compare our best knowledge about the rates and probabilities of hazards and choose the least dangerous alternative.
In rational risk assesment, risks are:
evaluated independent of political, social, or cultural, but that thye should be.
People are more likely to accept a risk if it is percieved as:
In their 1982 book, Tisk and Culture, anthropologist May Douglas and political scientist Aaaron Wildavsky made what argument about risks people are willing to accept, and risks they are not willing to accept?
People tend to accept risks that help to reinforce the social solidarity of their institutions, and to reject those that do not.
According to sociologist Kai Erikson, at times of wekness and uncertainty in a group's social cohesion and sense of its boundaries, the perception of threat can serve to:
draw the group together.
What are vertical knowledge gaps?
Those instances where information is not communicated across the levels of society's hierarchies.
When did the word "risk" enter into the English language- and what else was going on at the time?
The mid 17th century.
A coming of a scientific and moneyed world order developed rationalism into a defining fearure of daily life.
Risk has come to be the word we associate with...
the extension of rationalism into our outlook on dangger and uncertainty.
Sociologist Kai Erikson refers to human-induced disasters as "a new species of trouble," These have what three interrelated fearures?
1.) The crumbling of trust and the shredding of community ties. 2.) A chronic social trauma that victims only slowly recover from. 3.) A pervasive sense of dread about what the future brings.
According to Charles Perrow's theory of normal accidents, in systems that have complex and tightly coupled interactions, we should expect:
the occasional occurance of a serios accident.
Ulrich Beck's theory of the risk society tracks what changes in social conflict in Western societies?
Non-class-based struggles over pollution and other social and environmental bads. The West is moving from conflicts over the distribution of goods to conflicts over the distribution of bads.

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