Linking Ecology and Ethics for a Changing World: Values, Philosophy, and Action
Both the need for and the rate of environmental decision-making are increasing rapidly, spurred by global changes in climate, urbanization, pollution, and conversion of natural to managed systems. Wise choices in the face of these daunting changes require sound ecological knowledge. What is less widely appreciated is that these pressing environmental decisions necessarily link ecology with human values. Yet the understanding of this linkage, requiring the study of ethics, is poorly developed among many environmental scientists and decision makers. Therefore, the 2011 Cary Conference brings together leading scholars and practitioners in ecology, environmental ethics, and decision making. Ultimately, we believe that building a clearer linkage between ecology and ethics will significantly improve environmental decisions and the implementation of current and future initiatives for sustainability.
The Cary Conference on Linking Ecology and Ethics for a Changing World: Values, Philosophy, and Action builds on the experience of 13 prior Cary Conferences. These conferences have addressed important core issues and problematic concepts within ecology, have explored key syntheses across disciplines and scales, and have linked ecological knowledge with such important broader concerns as conservation, restoration, ecological forecasting, policy, education, and urban design. The Conferences have resulted in impactful books and journal articles, and are routinely cited by both emerging workers and established scholars as changing their approach to their topic. The fundamental importance of human values in promoting the use of ecological knowledge in environmental decision making in this rapidly changing age makes this certainly one of the most compelling of the topics we have addressed in the 26 years of Cary Conference history.