American Environmentalism: Values, Tactics, Priorities

By Joseph M. Petulla | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Epilogue Sincerity and Authenticity

It is obvious that environmentalists have been concerned to develop an environmental ethic because of their perception of the environmental crisis. They believe that new norms need to be generated immediately so that people may be moved to action quickly in order to save the natural environment, and indeed the world, from ecological disaster.

A major thesis of this book has been that the special imperatives and environmental ethics which are proposed by biocentric advocates, ecological scientists, and efficiency economists are derived from powerful but limited traditions and often are not intelligible within an institutional context. Worse, the directives are framed in such a generalized or unbelievable mode that when applied concretely in special situations, the prescriptions seem either meaningless, impossible to fulfill, or creative of undue economic hardships.

Of course, those who accept the traditions from which the dicta are taken understand their meaning and find them congenial to follow. It is difficult for these sometimes sectarian apologists to comprehend why, in the face of such impressive evidence, others do not share their morality, their classically imposed categorical imperatives. Their commitment comes from reasons they perceive to be overriding despite the incomprehension of outsiders. The latter, as has been emphasized throughout the book, have their own value systems.

It can be assumed that conflicting parties are sincere about their personal viewpoints. Most advocates of a sectarian position, from


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
American Environmentalism: Values, Tactics, Priorities


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 239

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?