So the message the other day about acting on your values came from reading an article called Confessions of a recovering environmentalist. The article isn’t about self-affirmation. Its about the death of ‘environmentalism‘ and its a doozy. Well worth a read. The comments are too.
The author talks about how ‘environmentalism’ was once about humans living along side the earth, valuing it asthetically and as equally important as humans – an idea that almost seems absurd in more recent and popular discourse – but has now slipped into finding and justifying ways to maintain the lives we lead now.
Now it seemed that environmentalism was not about wildness or ecocentrism or the other-than-human world and our relationship to it. Instead it was about (human) social justice and (human) equality and (human) progress and ensuring that all these things could be realized without degrading the (human) resource-base which we used to call nature back when we were being naïve and problematic. Suddenly, never-ending economic growth was a good thing after all: the poor needed it to get rich, which was their right.
The article is good in that it questions what we are all told is “good.” Is it our right to be ‘rich‘? Who has right to what? Are we living in the ideal world that everyone deserves? Would you go so far as to say the way we live is fundamentally wrong? Slightly misguided? Well intended? Fine?
Ideally there is a middle ground where we can all live happily, and perhaps more simply in a way that benefits the world. Can you think of a reason why we need to maintain the highest way of living that we have now? All the separating of plastic and glass won’t justify a wastefulness in other areas (like excessive driving). Do you feel it does or can?
Getting personal here, I really feel it is better to not buy a new phone, for example, when you have a perfectly good one. Or spend a little more and support a complany with a good reputation, rather than a bad one. In this culture the money we spend, or don’t spend, or where we spend speaks very loudly.
What do you do to make the world better? What do you wish/encourage others to do. In the end, perhaps is it all about action? Do you even think things need to change?