Beyond Sovereign Territory: The Space of Ecopolitics by Thom Kuehls

By Thom Kuehls

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Additional info for Beyond Sovereign Territory: The Space of Ecopolitics (Borderlines series)

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Nature [as] a snapshot. . 16 • NATURES, ETHICS, AND ECOLOGIES fixed in time and space, as constant as the environment of a modern scientific laboratory,"66 is being undermined. In Discordant Harmonies, Botkin points to several examples of failed policies in environmental management that were based upon beliefs in the timeless constancy of nature, beliefs that nature left untouched by human hands would remain in a static state of balance forever. "67 Change occurs with or without human interference.

On the first and perhaps most obvious level, ecopolitics challenges the boundaries of sovereign territory as it slices effortlessly from one state to another, in the form of acid rain, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), radioactive fallout, polluted waterways, and so on. From this perspective, ecopolitics might more properly be said to occupy the space of international political theory, for international political theory is said to involve problems that exceed separate sovereign territorial state boundaries.

The rejection of openly, or shadowy, theological underpinnings for nature and our relationship to it need not release humans to assert their mastery over the world, even if that would involve taking 22 • NATURES, ETHICS, AND ECOLOGIES responsibility for the future condition of the world. Rather than cutting us loose to do anything at all, a Nietzschean eco-ethic inserts a profound and troubling element of caution, that in our actions we may be imposing our designs and interpretations on the world and the vast diversity of life that occupies it along with us.

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