Environmental harm: Political not biological [Book Review]

In their fine paper, Evans et al. discuss the proposition that invasive non-native species are harmful. The question to ask is, “Harmful to whom?” Pathogens that make people sick and pests that damage their property—crops, for example—cause harms of kinds long understood in common law and recognized by public agencies. The concept of “ harm to the environment,” in contrast, has no standing in common law or legislation, no meaning for any empirical science, and no basis in a political consensus other than might be drawn from the Endangered Species Act. As a generalization, the proposition that INS cause “environmental harm ”—since this concept is empty of legal, scientific, and political meaning—must rest on definition, diktat, or diatribe. As Evans et al. suggest, however, the idea of “ harm to the environment” is not always and certainly need not be arbitrary; it might gather significance in the context of a particular place through a political process that weighs economic concerns with cultural, religious, aesthetic, and other relevant beliefs, practices, and commitments that people who care about that place present. It is not clear, however, that adaptive management, which Evens et al. propose, will provide that democratic political process
Keywords Invasive species  Adaptive management  Environmental harm
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10806-008-9127-4
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 21,496
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Daniel Simberloff (2005). Non-Native Species DO Threaten the Natural Environment! Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (6):595-607.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

116 ( #34,407 of 1,911,890 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #182,520 of 1,911,890 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.