Professor Hugh Fraser
17 February 2012
Nature, Technology, and the Responsible Man
The “Green” effort is going in full force today. It is quite unpopular to not have an alleged conscience about the environment and effects of modern society. Marketing departments of every corporation are using this approach to sell their products in an effort to appear to have an “ecological conscience.” This is a very good idea, planting the seed in consumer’s minds that we only have one planet earth. It appears to be working at least for now. Everywhere you go there are recycling bins, places to recycle electronics, paper, and glass. It is no longer necessary to drive for hours to get what you need. One can even earn a “hybrid” bachelor’s degree from the comfort and convenience of your laptop computer. The technological marvel of the computer has put the world at our fingertips. However, consumerism in the technological age is rampant and natural resources are being depleted due to man’s irresponsibility.
In a speech and article by Aldo Leopold the author eloquently states that man needs to have a “code of decency” in his approach to nature. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is what I think of when I read his article. I would imagine that often times man thinks that he is alone when he commits what Leopold calls “ecological atrocities.” In Leopold’s example of the “farmer to drain the last marsh” or the hunter who is “decimating the hawks and owls” for their own purpose it is clear that man is arrogant and blissfully unaware of his actions. What is also clear is that man will not stop until there are no more resources to desecrate. Another very important point that Leopold brings up is the “landscape whose membership in the community is older than his own” when discussing the farmer. Which makes clear that nature was here first and therefore it is an arrogant assumption to think it is inconsequential to destroy what we choose. Continuing...