Over the last forty years, the circle of organisms thought worthy of inclusion within an ethical framework has expanded markedly, in large part in response to Aldo Leopold’s ‘land ethic’. However, there are still clear limits to the forms of life we are willing to include in such a framework. In this paper I suggest that a strong case can be made for microorganisms to be accorded special ethical status, as they represent the base of all food chains and of the major biogeochemical cycles. Without lions there is life, but without microorganisms there can be no higher life forms. The notion of protecting individual microorganisms may be absurd, but microbial communities and ecosystems nevertheless deserve protection, and offer an example of the merit of a population based approach to environmental ethics. I argue that humankind should assume the position of a moral agent to the microbial world, by formally recognising the intrinsic worth of microorganisms, as well as their utilitarian value to humans and to the rest of life on earth. The practical implications of such an ethic are discussed.
Wayne,Twice in the last couple of weeks you have criticized my actions in a most public way. i have decided to answer your criticisms in a like manner.First, you did not like my vote concerning a resolution to do away with gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is the manipulation of political boundaries in order to give an unfair advantage to one party in an election. It is dishonest. It is unconstitutional. It is cheating. I do not wish to be associated with any person or organization that not only condones cheating but also actively supports it.Secondly, you criticized my actions as well as the actions of Councilwoman Mercer concerning our votes in favor of a tax increase. The fact that you are totally ignorant as to the financial condition of the City of Evansville alone makes your criticism unwarranted but that is not the reason that I find your last email so offensive. You have criticized us for exercising our independent judgement and doing what we feel is best for the people we represent rather that marching lockstep to political doctrine.I no longer wish to be affiliated with any person or organization that condones dishonesty. I no longer wish to be affiliated with any person or organization that punishes independent thinking and demands adherence to political dogma. This is 2017, not 1984.I resign my position as a precinct committeeman. I resign from the Vanderburgh County Republican Party. Remove my name from your party rolls, phone lists, email lists and mailing lists. Remove my picture and listing from your website’s list of elected Republican officials. I now consider myself anindependant and will act accordingly in all future actions.Dan McGinnOn Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 1:06 PM, Wayne Parke