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Ecological Justice

  • By: Jason Byrne
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Conceptions of justice typically address notions of what is right and what is fair. Ecological justice addresses how humans relate with nonhuman species and the natural world. Sometimes called justice to nature, it seeks to delineate human's moral obligations to other species. This entry considers definitions, concepts, and issues central to ecological justice, which is different from environmental justice. The latter term refers to social justice environmentalism. Commentators attribute the term ecological justice to geographers Nicholas Low and Brendan Gleeson, but its scholarly antecedents date as far back as the mid 20th century, to Aldo Leopold's “land ethic” and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, which sought to extend ethical behavior to biotic communities. As a research perspective, ecological justice recognizes that nature has intrinsic value and ...

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