Two Conceptions of Embracing Ecological Change in Ecosystem Management and Species Conservation: Accommodation and Intervention

  • Ronald SandlerEmail author
Part of the Ethics of Science and Technology Assessment book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 46)


In this chapter I consider two different perspectives on what it means to acknowledge and embrace anthropogenic ecological change with respect to ecosystem management and species conservation. On one view, embracing anthropogenic change involves taking greater responsibility for and control of the ecological future. We ought to use our best science and technology to thoughtfully and intentionally manage, and where necessary design and modify, ecological systems and species. On another view, embracing ecological change involves reducing human influences and allowing systems and species space and opportunities to transition and reconfigure without intentionally designing them in accordance with how we think they need or ought to be. Anthropogenic change does not itself imply that there is a responsibility to take an interventionist and control-oriented approach to ecosystem management and species conservation. Whether and when people ought to do so will vary by case and context, not only in accordance with the relevant empirical information, but also in accordance with the operative values as stake.


Climate change Ecosystem management Anthropocene Values Anthropogenic change 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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