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Ethics & the Environment, Volume 12, Number 2, Fall 2007

ABSTRACTS

Green Consciousness: Environmental Myth and Meaning in Shrek
Jane Caputi

Green consciousness is a holistic worldview based in many ancient and still-current principles and wisdoms, holistic worldview, and one that offers alternative conceptions of human and non-human subjectivity, of humans’ relationships with each other and with non-human nature. Its principles are elaborated not only in environmentalist philosophies but also in some forms of popular culture. Shrek retells ancient earth-based myth, specifically around its imagination of greenness as an emblem of the life force, its respect for the feminine principle, its refusal of hierarchy and split consciousness, its endorsement of the happy body and communal ecstasy, and its ringing celebration of diversity.
Identification with Nature: What it is and Why it Matters
Christian Diehm

This essay examines the content and significance of the notion of “identification” as it appears in the works of theorists of deep ecology. It starts with the most frequently expressed conception of identification—termed “identification-as-belonging”—and distinguishes several different variants of it. After reviewing two criticisms of deep ecology that appear to target this notion, it is argued that there is a second, less frequently noticed type of identification that appears primarily in the work of Arne Naess—“identification-as-kinship.” Following this analysis, it is suggested that identification-as-kinship may be less vulnerable to the criticisms that are aimed at identification-as-belonging.
Approaching a Climatic Research Etiquette
Timothy B. Leduc

This paper examines the way in which climate change’s complexity calls forth dialogue on various cross-cultural dimensions which resonate with its multi-dimensional reality.While the IPCC science and the Kyoto Protocol approach this inclusiveness, they ultimately limit the range of voices heard due to the continuation of cultural assumptions that are intertwined with many environmental issues. Following the Earth Charter as an alternative model of cross-cultural dialogue that can inform a methodological approach of climate change, this analysis suggests that a more inclusive sharing can offer a way of attending to limiting assumptions as a means to creating viable regional and global responses. This climatic research etiquette is clarified through focusing upon the continued dominance of economic scarcity and its religious precursor, original sin, in contemporary environmental thought.
Public Toilets: Sex Segregation Revisited
Christine Overall

Public toilets are a key part of the urban environment. This paper examines and evaluates the pervasive sex segregation, throughout North America, of public toilets. The issue is situated within a larger context—the design and management of the urban environment; larger assumptions about sexuality, reproduction, and privacy that govern that environment; and continuing compulsory sex identification and segregation which still define key areas of “public” space. I examine seven groups of arguments in favor of sex segregation, arguing that all of them are inadequate. I then present reasons showing why ending the sex segregation of public toilets is justified.
‘Piracy’ on the High Seas: An Analysis of Bratton’s Sea Ethic
Denise Russell

In “Thinking Like a Mackerel,” Susan Power Bratton attempts to develop a sea ethic based on the writings of Rachel Carson. This article critically evaluates Bratton’s position using an analysis of a contemporary problem on the high seas as a basis: the theft of the Patagonian tooth fish in the Southern Ocean. Various possibilities for providing philosophical and legal bases for the protection of the sea realm are explored.

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