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A symbol of Environmentalism.

Environmentalism is about carefully considering the environment and our interaction with it so that our lifestyle is cooperative to growth for both humans and nature. It is about striving to achieve a pro-active culture in which green grassroots ideology becomes part of mainstream thought. Environmentalism is about designing and implementing community ethics which prevent unrestricted industrialism.

A lack of environmental consciousness, and the essential irrationality of the capitalist economy, which is not guided by human reason at the macro level, threatens the needs of the living beings of planet Earth, including humans. We need clean water, safe food and fresh air. A poor local environment can lead to a lack of adequate shelter and unhygenic conditions which, in turn lead to an increased frequency of disease. So a strong environmental policy is conducive to better physical security, quality of life and standard of living.

Environmental concerns tend to be marginalised under capitalism because the competive nature of that system forces considerations of profitability and growth to be paramount. Public opinion as manufactured and represented by the mainstream media tends to undervalue environmentalism.

Environmentalism may advocate the restriction of some peoples' personal privileges for the good of the whole of society. The interest, or stake, of some people in having a good environment may be distant and difficult to communicate, especially for out-of-work voters, un-informed workers and impoverished people in developing countries.

Ecology and biology, psychology, genetics and evolution are the sciences most closely related to the study of the environment.

Who is an Environmentalist?

Environmentalists may be radical, calling for large and fundamental reduction in levels of material consumption. While some may see this as sacrifice, environmentalists would respond that a good life doesn't have to come at the expense of nature's existence. Production, and value, can be shifted to activities with a much lower impact in gross material terms and that rely more on intelligence and creativity (like wikis).

Conservation is about decreasing the amount of waste we create and about moving away from the idea that it is perfectly acceptable to buy, consume and then throw away regardless of the consequences.

Environmentalists are concerned with creating a sustainable society; that is, one that is not doomed to run into drastic problems because of resource depletion and pollution. They are aware of the dangerous incompatibilities that are arising because ecosystems change at rates and scales far slower than is being forced by human activity.

There are many issues world-wide which need practical solutions. Nuclear waste, global climate change, ozone layer protection, acid rain, destruction of rainforests, wetlands, disposal of plastics, pesticide usage, hazadous waste collection, overfishing, increases in mercury in fish, other toxic chemical dispersions on the land, in water and the atmosphere and even "moderate" pollution inssues such as athsma in kids all give pause to environmentalists.

The Future of our Environment

The accumulation of environmental problems creates liabilities and ecological debt for everyone. When the environment is not maintained in a sustainable manner, great expenses are needed to rectifiy the situation. A good example is the eradication of invasive species.

Another major threat to the environment is humans wasteful use of energy. For example, the electricity that is used to power most computers is done in a manner which products tonnes of carbon dioxide amongst other pollutants. We suggest users apply Power Conservation to counteract these long-term threats.

Conservative vs. Liberal Perspective

Some people on the liberal side of politics have a growing understanding of how capitalism is not compatible with environmental preservation. They understand that technology is the cause of the problem and that our culture needs to undergo massive changes.

Some people do not percieve a problem with environmental degradation. Many religious conservatives are often anti-environmentalism based on two entries in the old testament:

  1. Genesis 1:26 "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
  2. Genesis 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it."

External links

More on religious anti-environmentalism.

This page contains information from Anarchopedia (view authors). It has been modified so that it meets Communpedia's standards. AP