Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic

Categories: EthicsNature

Aldo Leopold is considered to be one of the greatest philosophers of environmental ethics of all time. Scientist, forester, environmentalist, and professor at the University of Wisconsin, Leopold has influenced and shaped today’s environmental ethics. He impacted many environmentalists with his environmental ethics and emphasized the importance of biodiversity and ecology. Leopold’s most praised work is “Land Ethic” in A Sand County Almanac that he wrote. In this essay he emphasized the importance of conserving our environment and being part of it, instead of destroying it.

In Aldo Leopold’s essay he wrote “land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.” This means that us as humans and the top predator on Earth should take care of the environment and not destroy it by depleting on its resources. Leopold explains in his essay that everything in the environment depends on one another to survive and keep a healthy environment.

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Leopold experienced this first hand while he was a forest manager in Arizona and New Mexico; he believed that they should kill all the predators, wolves, to allow deer populations to grow. But as he analyzed it deeper he began to see the healthy balance the ecosystem had. Instead of us humans acting like the top predator or conqueror of the earth, we should consider ourselves as just another member of the ecosystem that cannot survive alone.

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We also depend on the other members of the ecosystem to survive and maintain a healthy environment.

Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic applies to my final paper topic on acid rain because we as humans consider ourselves to be the conqueror of this earth. We do lots of things that are harming our environment and acid rain is just one of the many effects humans have on our environment. Acid rain happens because there are excessive amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the reason why there is lots of CO2 in the atmosphere is because we produce it by burning fossil fuels for energy.

For example driving your car and powering your home. All this CO2 in the atmosphere causes acid rain. Not only does acid rain impact us but it also impacts the environment. It lowers the pH level in lakes, killing many species of fish, loosing biodiversity and can cause the extinction of various species. By killing different species of fish, we are not respecting our land ethics because we are not caring for the other members of the environment and we need those members to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

Land Ethic means respect for another member of the environment and for the community; we humans do not have the right to wipe out other species because we are the top predators. We must have respect for the all of the members in the environment and community to properly maintain a healthy and well balanced ecosystem.

Cite this page

Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic. (2017, Jan 11). Retrieved from

Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic

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