Natural History

Week 2: The Song of Nature, theme 1: ORGANISMS
Week 3: The Song of Nature, theme 1: ORGANISMS
Week 4: The Song of Nature, theme 1: ORGANISMS
Week 6: The Song of Nature, theme 2: STORIES
Week 7: The Song of Nature, theme 2: STORIES
Week 8: The Song of Nature, theme 2: STORIES
Week 9: Interlude - To Experience Nature
Week 10: The Song of Nature, theme 3: ENVIRONMENT
Week 11: The Song of Nature, theme 3: ENVIRONMENTS
Week 12: The Song of Nature, theme 3: ENVIRONMENTS
Appendix #1 - Natural History Books
Appendix #2 - Index of Nature Poems
Appendix #3 - Selected Outlines of Living Things

Day 1: Environment

An ethic directed towards nature, or the environment, has occasionally been touched on throughout the history of thought, and reached a crescendo in the twentieth century. Some naturalists have become major environmental thinkers, espousing an ethic where we are concerned not only with each other, but also our natural surroundings.

 

Two of these thinkers are Aldo Leopold and Holmes Rolston. Here are two of their most important essays: 

Reading: “Land Ethic (Leopold 1949)

Reading: “Environmental Ethics (Rolston 2003)

 

In the face of environmental issues such as pollution, climate change, deforestation, and invasive species, many voices are contributing to the ethical discussions. Here are two examples. One addresses the question of why scientists cannot seem to convince the public about climate change: 

Video: “Scientists Really Aren’t the Best Champions of Climate Science” (8:14)

The other is a segue to the next day’s topic, and proposes that we might need to think about the well-being of individual animals, not just their populations and habitats.

Video: “Animal Welfare is Everyone’s Concern – Conservatio