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Mick Sprague Professor Perkins UNST 124A-001 4 November 2013 Reading Questions 3 for Leopold and Hardin

1. How does Aldo Leopold define land? Leopold establishes the idea that there is not a true definition to landscape, especially when he asserts that there is no “ethic” to the relationship between man and nature. He also address the human misconception of ownership over the land, Leopold compares human’s sense of ownership of the land to Odysseus's slave girls in order to portray the idea that humans unjustifiably believe that they are entitled to control the land around them.

2. Leopold presents his land ethic as a “product of social evolution," not a prescription. Why does he take this approach? Leopold presents the idea of land ethic being a “product of social evolution” because as time progresses and humans utilize their resources more and technology advances, the less they appreciate and realize that the land actually has a power over them. Without such elements as water, plants, etc. many of the luxuries humans possess would not be in existence. Leopold impugns how humans only see land in a narcissistic way; only for their benefit. Essentially, he says that instead of seeing a river, humans see a way to create power.

3. What elements, or ideas, does Leopold think should be included in a land ethic? It seems that Leopold is conveying that what really should be included in a “land ethic” is respect and appreciation for the land that humans live on. As previously stated, it has been established that there is neglect from humans, and that in order to have a well functioning land, there needs to be a mutual

respect. Almost as if Leopold is saying that there needs to be a sense of equality amongst humans and nature.

4. What does Hardin mean by “the commons”? What are two modern world examples? What solutions does Hardin suggest to the fundamental problem posed? Hardin repeats the term “the commons” in order to refer to the land which is shared among many to live or resign. He refers to it as “the commons” because he is attempting to neutralize the land and not give it the chance to be owned by man nor nature. Hardin alludes to the concept that the land is its own element that is meant to be shared equally, and that it is a natural inclination to fit as much as possible onto that land before it essentially “breaks.” A modern day example would be living on a small island and a community populating the island starts off at a decent size where there is a balance between human and land. Then eventually, the reproduction rate does not match with the death rate, and suddenly there is not enough room on the small island, and the proportions between man and land are altered due to the fact that nature would most likely be destroyed in order to make room for more humans.

5. Describe different ways by which communities may try to solve the problem of the commons by imposing “mutual coercion mutually agreed to.” Hardin says that there is a sense of “rules” that are created in order to establish what should and should not be treated as “commons,” and he utilizes the idea of a bank, and how it is considered wrong for a bank to be robbed. A person does not rob a bank because of social etiquette and the sense of acting wrongfully, which Hardin implies that these rules are established so that there is a sense of order and function amongst the land.