UIUC Scientific Arguments for Land Conservation Discussion

Topic :At the core of the scientific arguments for land conservation (i.e., a “Land Ethic”) are views that are centered on human values and attitudes, not on the intrinsic worth of nature and other species

Reply to the below discussion disagreeing with the above statement 150 words

I agree with the sentiment that conservation is rooted in human values and attitudes towards nature rather than the intrinsic worth of nature and its animals. Humans have always sought how to best use nature to our advantage without causing a great deal of harm. In conservation, there is a scientific and economic approach on how to best utilize nature at the lowest cost. And, cost should not be interpreted strictly monetarily, but rather by opportunity cost; whether that’s rooted in money or some other metric. Since science is rooted in objectivity, this does ignore the “intrinsic” value of nature, but we as humans value objectivity. Hence, conservation is centered in human values. In this case, our value is the most objective way to utilize nature and minimizing harm done. Leopold himself coined the phrase “land ethic” based on his own values and experiences on how we should treat nature. Given Leopold is a conservationist, this demonstrates that this school of thought is somewhat based on the values of humans rather than the intrinsic value of nature. The scientific arguments for conservation cannot be rooted in intrinsic value because if that were the case, we would be valuating intrinsic value as the metric of choice for conservation, which is still centered in human choice and therefore, value. By virtue of the fact conservationism is created by humans, it cannot be centered in anything other than the values of humans. Whether that takes into account intrinsic value of nature is yet to be seen, but it is affirmative that it is rooted in human value.

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