Land and the will of man

    What is your land ethic? It is a question to ask of us humans these days. Our ethic toward the land determines how we view it as either good or bad. We exert so much of our will on the landscape, forming it in what we believe to be good.
    My parents naturally shaped my land ethic. As a boy, we traveled across the United States, where I saw the glitz and glam of the city and rugged serenity of natural areas. With my travels, I learned many things about our country, namely, Illinois is a pretty good place to live. No alligators or packs of wolves and I don’t have to check my shoes for scorpions in the morning.
    There are others that influenced my land ethic, namely Aldo Leopold (who mainstreamed the phrase “land ethic”) and Carl Sagan, astrophysicist and science communicator. These two scholars in their respective fields seem a bit juxtaposed. One was known for looking at the stars while the other at the land.

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