Politics A2 4D - Environment

Global Environmental Issues - Philosophical debate

  • Created by: Abs
  • Created on: 05-05-11 15:32

Reformist Ecology

Ecology + Capitalist Modernity  = Reformist Ecology (Modernist)

Want Ecological Balance

'Limits to Growth' - Environmental degradation ultimately threatens prosperity + economic performance. So. . . Sustainable Development

'Weak' Sustainability = Getting rich more slowly

Damage to environment = Externality (social cost)

Modernist ecologists attempted a balance of . . modernization + sustainability

Chief influence on Reformism = Utalitarianism

Reformist Ecology practices 'enlightened' Anthropocentrism = encouraging individuals to take account of long term interests

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Future generations are entitled to the same living standards as the present generation


Hope . . . New technology + Human ingenuity = Environmental improvement

  • Market Ecologism (green capitalism) ie green taxes - adjust markets to account for damage to the environment.  making externalities internal to businesses responsible for them.
  • Human ingenuity and green technologies ie drought resistant crops, energy efficient transport - create environmentally friendly form of industrialization
  • International Regimes + transnational regulation - global governance = impact of 'tragedy of the commons' can be reduced (never removed)
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Radical Ecology

Radicalism - encompasses a range of green perspectives 'Social ecology'

Explain balance humankind + nature via social structures

capitalist modernity = root cause of environmental degradation

3 ways of social change:

  • Ecosocialism - environmental critique of capitalism. Capitalism's anti-ecological bias from tendancy of private property & 'commodification'.  Hope = socialist society
  • Ecoanarchism - environmental critique of hierarchy and authority. Domination over people = domination over nature. Balance of nature and mankind restored through abolition of state.
  • Ecofeminism - environmental critique of patriarchy.  Domination over women = domination over nature. Respect for nature = creation of a post-patriarchal society.
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'deep' ecology - change in way of thinking about the world. Rejecting anthropocentrism, embracing ecocentrism.

World should be understood in terms of interconnectedness + interdependance.

Humans are part of nature, not more important.

Critical of consumerism +materialism - distort relationship between humans + nature.

Argue that morality is from nature, so support idea of . . . Biocentric Equality

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