Welcome to ConserveFewell
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, the stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” ― Aldo Leopold
“Without something like a conservation or land ethic, a sacramental regard for creation, a concern for future generations beyond one’s own short span on this planet, or some other moral and ethical North Star to guide and motivate citizens, farmers, ranchers, wood lot owners, and other actors, I am not optimistic that we can succeed on the basis of strictly free-market principles alone.” ― Tracy Mehan
Guest Contributor: Reed Watson
The following article was written by Reed Watson, Executive Director of PERC, and is being republished from PERC’s blog the Percololator.
A recently published article on predator conservation is generating significant attention in wildlife policy circles and in the mainstreammedia. The study, authored by Guillaume Chapron and Adrian Treves, points to changes in population growth rates of grey wolves during alternating periods of government-authorized culling to challenge the notion that legally killing threatened carnivores discourages illegal poaching.
Examining wolf populations in Wisconsin and Michigan during times when the species bounced on and off the endangered species list, the authors estimate population growth rates fell from 16 to 12 percent when culling was allowed.
Whether or not the data actually support that conclusion,commentators have conflated population culls by state wildlife agencies with hunting by individual citizens, inaccurately citing the article for evidence that hunting is bad for conservation. Worse, the current debate largely ignores the important connection between economic incentives and wildlife conservation. Read more here . . .
A must view film by director, Peter Byck, titled One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts, an inspiring story of Will Harris, owner of White Oak Pastures, in Bluffton Georgia, who shares his evolution from industrial to regenerative farmer. This is great stuff that has the potential to revolutionize farming here in the U.S., but it will require a culture change across consumers and producers.
By Brent Fewell Over the years, I've grown to appreciate Rod Dreher's contributions to environmental discourse and advancing the better elements of conservatism. Some may recall his work at National Review, where he was the king of Crunchy Con. It's difficult to improve upon his Manifesto, which I'm reposting here: We are conservatives who stand outside the conservative mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly. Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character. Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government. Culture is more important than politics and economics. A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship—especially read more
In Umberto Eco’s medieval mystery, The Name of the Rose, there is a famous scene in which Franciscans, Dominicans and other high Church officials engage in “a fraternal debate regarding the poverty of Jesus” (Eco 1983). In the film of the same name, the question is posed as “Did Christ or did He not own the clothes that He wore?” (Arnaud 1986). In other words should the clergy, following the example of Jesus and his Apostles and seeking a perfect life, renounce ownership in all things? Yet, it was argued, on one side at least, even they possessed some goods by natural right even though “things were common to all men.” One of Eco’s characters maintains, incorrectly, that it was only read more
I recently posted an item here, on Conservefewell.org, attempting to reconcile rights to and in private property with the concept of the universal destination of all material goods, in effect, for the good of all mankind. I noted that the Catechism of the Catholic Church maintains, and medieval Scholastic philosophers (as dramatized in Umberto Eco’s great medieval murder mystery, The Name of the Rose) argued that you could have it both ways. This discussion extends back to Aristotle and forward to John Locke and up to the present day. It is extremely relevant to another question: Who owns the environment? Are market-based or property-rights-based approaches to environmental protection, that is, the protection of the common goods of the earth-air, water, nature-morally read more
The recent controversy over the U.S. Government's increased proclivity to secretly paw through the electronic communications and telephone records of Americans has prompted some soul-searching by many. Is this just one more step toward fulfilling the Orwellian prophecy of 1984? Has the citizenry ceded too much of their freedoms and liberty for the sake of feeling safer and more secure? Some conservatives, like Andy McCarthy, over at NRO, argue the hype as non-sense and claims the government's action is not only constitutional, but completely appropriate and necessary to change and stop some very bad human behavior. McCarthy believes it's not "big government" to blame but the little people in whom we've entrusted the keys to the government, and our human frailties. Jonah Goldberg, over at NRO, however, takes issue with McCarthy, and argues read more
I had the pleasure of recently sitting down with Bob Inglis to discuss his views of life, liberty and the state of the GOP. Some may be familiar with Bob and his work since he left Congress, but others probably aren't. Bob is a former six term Congressman from South Carolina's 4th Congressional District (1993-1999 and 2005-2011) who was defeated in the 2010 GOP Primary by the feisty Republican, Trey Gowdy. I had never met Bob, but was intrigued by his story and his mission within the GOP, warning others about the dangers of climate change. It was that mission, however, that ultimately led to his political undoing in 2010 when he told a radio host that he believed humans were contributing read more
I had the recent pleasure of sitting down with the English philosopher, Roger Scruton, to discuss his new book, How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case for Environmental Conservatism. It was my first time meeting Roger, and the evening lived up to every bit my expectation. I, along with my good friend, Tracy Mehan, spent an enchanting evening with Roger, tucked away in a second-floor corner of the quaint, Tabard Inn, here in the Nation's Capital, swapping stories and enjoying each's company over dinner and a couple of bottles of Verget Bourgogne. A self-described conservative Tory, and author of over 20 academic books, Roger has made the most of life, sporting as a fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, a barrister, novelist, opera composer, journalist, former professor, teacher of aesthetics, church read more
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