1st Edition

Moralizing The Environment Countryside change, farming and pollution

    First published in 1997. There was a time when pollution was equated with the urban and the industrial. But things have changed. What were previously mutually exclusive cat­egories of "agriculture" and "pollution" have been brought together in a new, morally charged atmosphere. Moralizing the environment is a study of how this shift came about. It examines the emergence of the farm pollution problem in Britain in the 1980s. It draws upon a study of the regulation of farm wastes - cattle slurry, silage effluent and the dirty water from farmyards - conducted between 1989 and 1995. Detailed surveys and ethnographic fieldwork were carried out in the south-west of England among dairy farmers, pol­lution inspectors, agricultural advisers and environmentalists. In trying to get to grips with farm pollution they were pursuing different notions not only of sound agricultural practice but also of nature, morality and the law. What ultimately was at stake was who could be trusted to safeguard the countryside.

    I Moralizing the environment: understanding farm pollution 2 Changing dairy farming and the pollution problem 3 Farm pollution as a non-issue 4 The politicization of farm pollution 5 The Pollution lnspecton' accounts of farm pollution 6 The dairy farmen' accounts of farm pollution 7 Pollution control and social networks 8 Conclusions: constructing moral orders


    Philip Lowe, University of Newcastle upon Tyne; Judy CLark, University College London; Susanne Seymour University of Nottingham; Neil Ward, University of Newcastle upon Tyne