Help me educate myself in the philosophical side of environmentalism
January 24, 2014 10:34 AM Subscribe
I'm a grad student in conservation biology who has always had a strong interest in conservation issues. However, I feel like the technical side of my education is much stronger than the philosophical side, and I want to restore that balance. Who should I read, what resources should I look into, what organizations or publications are out there that will help me gain a deeper understanding of the philosophical, historical, and cultural components of environmentalism?
posted by Scientist to Education (15 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I'm mostly looking for reading material. I'm thinking works by people like Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold (I've read Sand County Almanac), Rachel Carson, and Edward Abbey; people whose thoughts and writings inspired the modern environmentalist movement, and whose names I know but whose works I haven't read. I'd like to know what you consider some of these people's most important works, as well as those of people whose names I haven't heard but should've. I'd like to put together for myself a reading list of what I might call "environmentalist philosophy", the thoughts and ideas that underpin modern environmentalism.
I'd also like some good background material. It would be really good to read a well-written history of the environmentalist movement for instance, taking in the inspirations behind the idea, its rise in the popular consciousness, major milestones in terms of events that occurred within the movement and policies that could be thought of as inspired by it, that kind of thing. Biographies of some of its most notable figures would be good too. Finally, I'd really like some good material on the state of environmentalism as a cultural movement today – what does the playing field look like, who are the major players, what are the major challenges both internal and external, that kind of thing.
Thanks for your advice. I look forward to hearing your suggestions and to broadening my understanding.