This broad field which I have looked at so long looks not to me as the principal cultivator, but away from me to influences more genial to it, which water and make it green. These beans have results which are not harvested by me. …


Given our imminent turn to a more conservative Supreme Court, and
Given the skepticism that our conservative justices have shown about the constitutional footing of even the most necessary environmental regulation, and
Given the urgency of the climate crisis and widespread ecological collapse,

The time seems right for a constitutional…


A friend recently shared a comment on social media to the effect that conservative justices apply the law, while liberal ones make it up. This is a common view, which I once bought in to. I no longer think this is the case at all, and I would like to…


Human rights, as recognized in international and US constitutional law, are routinely infringed by our border policies and infrastructure, in ways not clearly tied to any compelling state interest that might be able to justify that infringement. It is the border, in other words, and not the crosser that is…


image of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC

I’m surprised by what is missing in popular debates about economic inequality. A few arguments get repeated over and over — namely, that nobody could possibly work hard or smart enough to deserve billions and, in reply, that envy and resentment of the rich is a poor basis for policy…


There is a lot of discussion right now about how to save the economy, or whether certain trade-offs are permissible in order to save the economy, like foreseeable deaths. The animosity in this discussion is partly enabled by the vagueness of the term. People are using the same word, the…


Public science is an essential part of our democracy, but not one that is always so well appreciated or supported. This may be because we have not done that great at telling its story. But in times like these, it is important that we have a source of expertise devoted…


Here is this vast, savage, hovering mother of ours, Nature, lying all around, with such beauty, and such affection for her children, as the leopard… -Thoreau

The corona virus is not Nature’s revenge on humanity, nor is it Nature’s immune system trying to flush us or put us in our…


As we face the awful exigencies of the climate crisis, there are choices to make in how we direct our limited capacity to respond. Our tendency, on the American environmental scene, has been to focus on our role as individual components of a destructive system. Respond to climate change, we…


This essay is adapted from a talk first delivered at Akaki Tsereteli State University in Kutaisi, Georgia, November 1, 2019. It was part of the “International Multidisciplinary Conference: The Humanities in the Age of Globalization” and is forthcoming in those proceedings.

We all know and love nature in the particular…

David Henderson

David is an environmental philosopher who teaches at Western Carolina University in the southern Appalachian mountains.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store