The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
This book successfully combines an academic approach with a readable and comprehensive guide to the complex area of environmental ethics.
In it Curry queries the view that current ethics can be transformed to meet the continuing ecological crisis.
He starts from the perception that nature, including humanity, is the ultimate source of all value and not simply a "set of resources."
He resituates humans in ecological terms and non-humans in ethical terms.
He argues convincingly why the current eco-crisis demonstrates that all established ethics are inadequate in tackling it.
The book covers an enormous range of viewpoints, from secular and religious ethics to climate change, the food system and green citizenship and education.
The main thrust of his argument appears to be that where you come from ideologically, geographically or in terms of religious affiliation is irrelevant.
The urgent issue of developing new ethical principles to deal with threatening environmental catastrophe has to be addressed by all.
This involves leaving behind the false dichotomy of humans versus nature and realising that humanity and nature are one and the same, but that humanity has now reached an evolutionary position which would allow it to destroy that which keeps it alive because it has not yet accepted this fact.
It is unfortunate that in his short chapter, Ecocentrism and the Left, Curry's cursory review of "Marxists" on ecology is so outdated and deeply fallacious.
The days when Marxists praised humankind's domination and taming of nature and glorified industrial expansion were left behind with the demise of Stalinism.
In the same way, no thinking Christian today would subscribe to the words of Genesis: "And God said unto them...replenish the earth, and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
Curry clearly hasn't read writings by Marxists or spoken with any in recent decades.
And even if he had read his Marx and Engels more closely, he would have recognised that they became increasingly aware of environmental concerns and the need for living in harmony with nature.
But don't let this shortcoming put you off.
Curry's is a profoundly useful and informative guide.