Journal Articles

Autumn 2006 - Vol.37/No.1
Nature's Revenge: The Ecological Adaptation of Traditional Narration in Fifty Years of German-speaking Writing
Author : Axel Goodbody
Keywords : German literature, nature's revenge, apocalypse, ecology, environmental crisis, fantasy, myth, intertextuality, Max Frisch, Christa Wold, Franz Hohler, Karen Duve
"A Sort of America": Ecology and History in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy
Author : Catrin Gersdorf
Keywords : science fiction, utopia, ecology, history, landscape, America
Scenarios of Dissaster: Crying Wolf, Scaring Away the Elephants, and Heading'Em off at the Pass
Author : Patrick D. Murphy
Keywords : disaster, populatioln growth, famine, nuclear war, global warming, science fictionm horror, cautionary tales
Tornados and the Sublime: Discourse on the Human Place in Nature
Author : Davide R. Keller
Keywords : antiquity, ecological discourse,Enlightenment, evolutionary process,fallacy of safe space, metaphysical dualism, ontological interconnectedness,Shiva, sublime,supernaturalism,tornado,wildness
"Moral Friends" in the Zone of Disaster
Author : Deborah Rose
Keywords : moral friends,bushfires, Mencius, human-animal relationships, modernity, New Confucianism, globalization, moral mind, Levinas, dualisms, intersubjectivity.
Zones of disaster tear open the everyday fabric of life,revealing both the arbitrariness of the everyday and some of themanifold alternatives.This paper draws on the bushfires in Canberra,Australia,as a case study against which to develop a comparativeanalysis of ethics as conceptualised by the New Confucian scholarsand by a western mainstream philosophy of intersubjectivity.
Seascapes as a Critical Framework in American Sea Literature
Author : Shin Yamashiro
Keywords : ecocriticism, sea literature, seascape, storms, American literature, terrestrial and oceanic aesthetics
This paper will show that storms have been an importantcomponent of seascapes in creating catastrophes on the ocean. Bystudying some examples of storm representations, I wish to reflecton how storms have been represented, how their representationshave changed, and why. Lamenting the lack of ecocriticalscholarship in the study of sea literature, I would like to suggest thatwe need to subject seascape to a critical framework through whichto examine how it is composed. More specifically,ecocriticismneeds to treat seascape as a critical framework through which toexamine how it is composed, what kind of cultural and politicalperspectives it reflects, and how it reveals our perceptions about,and our relationship to, the oceanic environment.
Cries and Whispers: Nature, Value and the Development Crisis
Author : Murali Sicaramakrishnan
Keywords : Nature, value, development crisis, deep ecology, environmental aesthetics
This paper argues that the present is riddled with crises and theubiquitous development syndrome has been anything but awry andmisdirected. The very concept is challenged.Further, the paperfocuses on the idea that non-human nature has beenindiscriminately expioited and this causes severe concern.Alongwith the voice of the woman and the subatern, nature has beensidelined and all non-western philosophical and aesthetic positionshave also been devalued.What is caled for is a holistic awarenessbordering on the spiritual which would in turn reorganize meaning,value and responsibility.
The“Nature" of Environmental Disaster:George Catlin's Lament as Eco-genocide
Author : John Hausdoerffer
Keywords : nature,environment, disaster, catastrophe,George Catlin,discourse, injustice,politics,Andrew Jackson, lament
Nineteenth century America imposed a "catastrophe" on theenvironments and cultures of the American West. Areas larger thanthe continent of Europe were deforested in a single lifetime. Prairieswere eradicated,reducing plant biodiversity from 250 to fourspecies. Buffalo populations dwindled from fifty million to nearextinction. By1890,ninety-five percent ofthe originalpre-Columbian lndian population had been wiped out. Acatastrophe,indeed. In fact,an intricate discourse lamenting thiscatastrophe formed in the nineteenth century,encompassingpolitical documents, literature, theater,art,and science. My paperexplores this discourse, this rhetorical performance of assumptionsabout disaster, power,and justice. l claim that this discursive lamentlegitimated ways of explaining environmental and cultural genocidethat simultaneously perpetuated the practice. Underlying thisdiscourse,this language of lament,was a key and destructiveassumption —-that eco-genocide was as "Natural" as it was sad.l wilfocus on the discursive participation of George Catlin, ironically oneof the earliest critics of these practices. Catlin's desire to "preserve "the "Natural"West through his literary,artistic,and theatricallament both distracted audiences from social justice efforts amongIndian cultures and defined the "vanishing" fate of Indians as“Natural."Preserving "Nature," rather than struggling with culturesprotecting their environmental relations became the central goal ofCaltlin's discourse, and, unfortunately, ofAmericanenvironmentalism to this day. I thus argue for an "environmentalismwithout Nature," a discourse of ecological disaster that refuses toinadvertently naturalize social injustice.
Ethics of Natural Disasters: Tanaka Shozo and the Ashio Mine Poisoning
Author : Tsutomu Takahashi
Keywords : Shozo Tanaka,Ichibei Furukawa,Munemitsu Mutsu,Ashio MinePoisoning, Copper Sulfate,Yanaka Village,Watarase River,riverpollution,river control,Japanese modernization,environmentalethics, environmental justice
In this paper,I would like to discuss the ethical aspects ofnatural disasters, with special reference to the Ashio Mine PoisoningCase in nodern Japan. With the repeated "man-made floods" andthe unprincipled decisions of policy-making, the Ashio Mine caseepitomizes the case of environmental disasters where men's ethicsare directly questioned. In reviewing the Ashio case,we alsoexamine Shozo Tanaka's career as a prototype of the environmentalactivist and his discourse of natural conservation. In the face ofeconomic and imperialist discourses in the modernizing nation,Tanaka envisions the establishment of a democratic state wherevoices of the weak and the oppressed will be heard and whereWestern technology will be seamlessly harmonized with thetraditional values of the common people. Tanaka, in dealing withthe unprecedented disaster in modernizing Japan, spotlights thelocus of environmentalism where men's codes of behaviors play asignificant part.
Toward a Practice of Ecological Environmental Ethics: A New"Ecological Casuistry" for Case-Based Decisionmaking Based on Emerging Principles of Ecological Science
Author : Anthony Chiaviello
Keywords : ethics, casuistry, ecology, land ethic, consensus, rhetoric, probability,values, integrity, paradigm, intrinsic. nature
This article proposes and argues for an operationalized“landethic”that can respond adequately and appropriately to bothroutine environmental decision-making and unique cases of "slowdisasters": the sudden increase in the pace of global warming, forestfires,tsunamis,hurricanes and earthquakes,glacier retreat,andrapid extinction events, for example. l suggest a fresh rhetoricalconstruction of the basis of our environmental decision-makingprocesses. Founded on the principles implied in culturally specificproverbs and aphorisms, this bottom-up practice of applied ethics isbased on the work of Stephen Toulmin and Albert Jonsen (1988), apractice they formulated for bioethics and dubbed "the newcasuistry." I propose the extension of this practice into the realm ofenvironmental decisionmaking,based on emerging scientificprinciples as the equivalent of the ethical proverbs and maximsrelied upon in the practice of pre-modern casuistry. The operation of this process l base on the intrinsic values andfirst principles enunciated in Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic (1949), thesecond-order Principles of Ecological Integrity developed by LauraWestra (1994,1998),and the scientifically validated principles andpractices of ecology. The post-modern problem encountered istraditional ethics' difficulty in coming to grips with these emergingperspectives. l recruit the rehabilitated practice of casuistry as aprobabilistic approach to replace that of logical positivism and thesearch for axiological principles to explain the working of the world. Here, l propose that we extend environmental ethics beyondhuman society, to develop a basis for a moral, ecocentric view ofethical decision-making that appropriates this method of casuistryin the application of Leopoid's Land Ethic as a basis for theconstruction of asustainable,ecology-based, post-modernecological ethics.