Do humans have a responsibility for nature? If so, what is that responsibility? Are we obligated to protect other species because of their intrinsic value? Or, do we protect our natural resources from over-use and contamination in order that they may better serve human beings? When managing our natural resources, should our priorities be for present or future generations? These ethical and philosophical questions are at the root of some of the most serious questions facing us today. Solving such issues as climate change, dwindling water supplies, depleted oceans and accelerating extinctions will require deliberate efforts to change current attitudes and practices with respect our traditional use of natural resources. Those behavioral changes, whether executed at a personal or policy level, must ultimately involve decision-making processes that will limit the advantage some groups and individuals make of nature in order to benefit others. A better understanding of these ethical choices is the goal this new encyclopedia of environmental ethics and philosophy. From animal ethics to wilderness preservation, the 322 essays by more than 250 contributing experts explore the issues behind both historical and contemporary environmental debates. Predictably, many articles address environmental issues like consumption, habitat loss, mining and pollution. However, topics also are drawn from economics, agriculture, philosophy and technology. Thus entries include animal cloning, biological patents, desertification, factory farms, hunger, genetically modified foods, intergenerational justice, pesticides, sustainability and vegetarianism. The individuals and groups that have defined environmental theory and policy also are described. So, numerous entries profile scientists and environmental philosophers as well as government agencies, professional associations and non-governmental organizations. While Hetch Hetchy, Bhopal, Chernobyl and Katrina illustrate the consequences of local environmental decisions, global perspectives are provided with profiles of selected regions, religions and traditional cultures. Summary articles provide chronological overviews of the historical development of environmental philosophy as well the related disciplines of ecology, evolution, resource management and geography. This historical perspective is reinforced a selection of 10 primary documents demonstrating changes in environmental philosophy. The excerpts range from “The Land Ethic” by Aldo Leopold to the 2000 Earth Charter. Student users are assisted by substantial suggestions for further research, numerous illustrations, a glossary of technical terms, an annotated general bibliography and a detailed index. The result is a groundbreaking reference tool that is highly recommended for academic libraries.