Volume 23, 2008
Philosophy of Environment
Susan M. Parrillo
The Only Acceptable Alternative
This piece explores the proposition that environmental restoration is the only acceptable alternative to a world left with diminishing natural regions. The article reviews the ethical debate concerning the moral obligation of humankind to restore regions that have been stripped of their resources. It demonstrates that
through the assistance of both legislative and technological measures nature can be renewed to spawn healthy ecosystems when permitted to do so. Furthermore, the article claims that the restoration thesis is proven by the paradigm of the Adirondack region – a region that was once clear-cut and enabled to restore itself through both rewilding and the “Forever Wild” clause in the New York State Constitution. The article is particularly timely and provocative given the current Bush Administration’s environmental policies.