Busy day tomorrow, so I'm posting this a day early.
In a Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold makes a number of references to religious views of land. Those are of great interest to me. I'll try to expand on those during the course of these postings, but for starters:
A land ethic of course cannot prevent the alteration, management, and use of these "resource," but it does affirm their right to continued existence, and, at least in spots, their continued existence in a natural state.
In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.
In human history we have learned (I hope) that the conqueror role is eventually self-defeating. Why? Because it is implicit in such a role that the conqueror know, ex cathedra, just what makes the community clock tick, and just what is valuable, and what and who is worthless, in community life. It always turns out that he knows neither, and this is why his conquests eventually defeat themselves.
There is a great deal to digest there. But I see a number of parallels with society as a whole as we deal with any number of social issues. Perhaps humans have it too difficult. We are called to be community with our fellow man AND part of the larger community of God's creation. Somehow I don't think God would have given us a role of caretaker, conservators of His creation if He didn't think we could handle it. The question then becomes how are we doing in that role?