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Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics

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ESEP Book 2

ESEP Books, an offspring of the international journal Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics (ESEP), publication organ of the Eco-Ethics International Union (EEIU), presents:


ESEP Book 2

Eco-Ethics and Sustainability Ethics


A collection of papers by

John Cairns, Jr.

(2003, 2004)


Part 1, Free download for personal use, PDF format, 656 kb


Part 2 , Free download for personal use, PDF format, 708 kb


Sale not permitted





Part 1

  1. A Declaration of Eco-Ethics, 9
  2. A Preliminary Declaration of Sustainability Ethics: Making Peace with the Ultimate Bioexecutioner, 12
  3. Ethics in Science: Ecotoxicology, 19
  4. Ethical Issues in Ecological Restoration, 28
  5. Integrating Top-down/Bottom-up Sustainability Strategies: an Ethical Challenge, 44
  6. Environmental Refugees, 51
  7. Terrorism, Racism, Speciesism, and Sustainable Use of the Planet, 64
  8. Espousing Sustainable Use of the Planet in an Age of Instant Gratification, 77
  9. Reparations for Environmental Degradation and Species Extinction: a Moral and Ethical Imperative for Human Society, 83
  10. Absence of Certainty Is Not Synonymous with Absence of Risk, 94
  11. The Diminished Charge on the Intellectual Electric Fence, 99
  12. Materialphilia, Biophilia, and Sustainable Use of the Planet, 107
  13. Interrelationships between the Precautionary Principle, Prediction Strategies, and Sustainable Use of the Planet, 114
  14. Repairing the Country's Ecological Infrastructure: the Cumulative Impact of Small Decisions, 123
  15. The Re-emergence of Multidimensional People: a Consilience of the Disciplines, 134
  16. Ecotoxicology and Sustainable Use of the Planet, 136
  17. Sovereignty, Individuality, and Sustainability, 146


Part 2

  1. War and Sustainability, 161
  2. Future of Life on Earth, 171
  3. Peace and Sustainability: Nurturing Complex Systems, 174
  4. Allocating Finite Resources on a Finite Planet, 186
  5. Sustainability Ethics Matter, 189
  6. Taboos and Denials: Major Obstacles to Sustainable Use of the Planet, 194
  7. Consilience or Consequences: Alternative Scenarios for Societal Acceptance of Sustainability Initiatives, 202
  8. The Unmanaged Commons: A Major Challenge for Sustainability Ethics, 210
  9. Carrying Capacity, Exponential Growth, and Resource Wars: Ethical Dilemmas of Human Society, 220
  10. Is Human Society in Denial Regarding the Tough Questions About Sustainability? 230
  11. Sustainability and Specialization, 245
  12. Sustainability Ethics: Tales of Two Cultures, 253
  13. Numeracy and Sustainability, 259
  14. Small Islands: Harbingers of Earth's Ecological Fate? 271
  15. You and Earth's Resources, 274
  16. Choosing Model Nations to Set Examples for Achieving Sustainability, 278
  17. Communication and Status: The Dilemma of an Environmental Scientist, 281
  18. Eco-ethical Issues: Self-regulating versus Subsidized Ecosystems, 288
  19. Sustainability and the Anthropogenic Alteration of Evolutionary Processes, 301
  20. Coping with Ecological Catastrophe: Crossing Major Thresholds, 307





John Cairns, Jr.

University Distinguished Professor of Environmental Biology Emeritus, Department of Biology


Director Emeritus, University Center for Environmental and Hazardous Materials Studies



Professor Emeritus John Cairns, Jr., Department of Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA

Telephone: (+1) 540-231-8010, E-mail:


The book My Quest for Sustainable Use of the Planet describes the increasingly important role eco-ethics and sustainability ethics played in Professor John Cairns, Jr.'s professional career. From a modest beginning they became his primary career interest, as did membership in the EEIU. The book is available at no charge at



Previously in the ESEP Book Series:

ESEP Book 1: Goals and Conditions for a Sustainable World, by John Cairns, Jr.



Citation format:


Cairns J Jr (2003) Eco-Ethics and Sustainability Ethics. ESEP Book 2. Part 1. Inter-Research, Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany. Available at


Cairns J Jr (2004) Eco-Ethics and Sustainability Ethics. ESEP Book 2. Part 2. Inter-Research, Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany. Available at



Published 2003, 2004 by



Nordbunte 23, 21385 Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany


© Inter-Research 2003, 2004. The articles in ESEP Book 2 are reproduced with permission of their original publishers. The book may be downloaded, stored, and redistributed (electronically or on paper) free of charge, provided that the contents remain unchanged and that the source is acknowledged. Neither the entire book nor any of its contents may be republished, sold or commercially distributed, except with permission of Inter-Research and of the original publishers.


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