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Environmentalism and Ecology notes.
Definition: Advocacy for or work toward protecting the natural environment from destruction or
pollution. The theory that environment rather than heredity is the primary influence on intellectual
growth and cultural development.
The difference between environmentalism and ecologism
Environmentalism is more of a single issue e.g. save the whales, Climate change. Whereas
ecologism sees humans as the problem and wants to redefine the overall relationship amongst
humans and the environment.
Environmentalism seeks to tinker with the problems bit by bit, whereas ecologism seeks to
change the problem radically.
Features of Environmentalism
More single based issue focuses on the use of capitalism and its impact on the environment
e.g. save the whales, climate change.
Tries to tinker with the structure doesn't seek to provide radical change but to raise
awareness = `The techno-managerial approach'.
Features of Ecologism
Sees humans as the problem
Promotes radical change humans must define their relationships to the non- human world.
Pessimistic attitude nature isn't connected (James Lovelock Gaia hypothesis)
Tackles controversial issues such as population control (Daniel Bell) leaving aids and malaria to
kill instead of intervening.
Rather than control or manage the environment, we are meant to live in harmony.
Bentham's utilitarianism was extended to the environment by ecologists.
Equality of animal rights because of their inability to reason.
If animals suffer then they deserve the same rights as humans.
Stands of Ecologism.
Recognises there is a problem
Still desires to manage the economy and not live in harmony.
Uses technology and modern practices to resolve the problem reformist approaches not
No real change just radical tinkering.
Challenges anthropocentric views.
Reject any idea of human supremacy
Exist to create a radical social change i.e. through communities Totnes, transition town.
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Argue for a return to permanent culture practices based on nature, not a mastery of it.
Shallow ecologist/ Environmentalist thinkers.
Belief that humans are affecting the environment and that the planet has limits and
therefore not abusing these.
Research on DDT impact of pesticides on the environment, focusing on birds and insects.…read more
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Key ideas of Rob Hopkins include
Either on a small (individual) or large (collective) scale.
Lead by doing not petitioning
Aim to develop ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems that can be used by
E.g. Faming in Mexico and Japan
Key thinker: David Holgan
Work with nature rather than against it.…read more