Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds: Empowering our Children with Ways to Protect the Environment while Cultivating the Earth

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

a renaissance of environmentalism?

So Amanda and Melissa have completed their session at St. Thomas with much success. Justin and I are hoping to have a similar experience, and we are all looking forward to the field trip to the Park Slope Co-op on Friday.

Regarding the readings, I found "The Death of Environmentalism" to be a very pragmatic way of looking into the future of environmentalism. I agree that what is necessary is the building of bridges and alliances between more narrowly defined issues. We need a more holistic approach to change the way things are.
I did not get to see the premiere of "The Great Warming", the movie about global warming, but I am quite sure that this is the kind of direction that the movement ought to go in. We need to be more accessible and have a more integrated approach to looking at the state of our planet. It doesn't only include saving the rainforests because there are pretty flowers and cute monkeys there. It doesn't only mean keeping pollution our of our rivers because it stinks. It doesn't only mean preserving endangered species. Maybe we should call it humanism, to reach a broader audience. We are really trying to save the human race. Without rainforests, we would no longer be able to breathe. Without clean water, we would no longer drink. Without biodiversity, our species would not survive. And the biggest problems of the world, if we look at them closely, are products of industrialization, overpopulation, and other forms of destruction of our natural world. If we can learn to have more respect for nature, by seeing ourselves as a part of it, then we have a chance to reinvent environmentalism. But I don't necessarily agree that we need to do so within policy. We have already seen the failures, which the authors repeatedly say are really victories since they were put out there at all. But politics does involve and revolve around money. We can not take the money out of politics, as the authors suggest. We must find new channels to reach people and make changes in our own lives, as the famous Gandhi quote says, we must be the change. Though politics is a very contolling influence in our lives, it is not the only influence. That's why I think the global warming movie is a good idea. Trying to reach people through other means, with new motives and new methods. I think that the meat of Shellenberger and Nordhaus' article had good intentions, but it is only a beginning, and though it was more than 30 pages, there is much more to be said and learned about how to have a sort of renaissance of environmentalism. I hope to continue to live my life with respect for the earth and those around me and I hope that others will continue to realize our integral role not as keepers of nature but as components, as pieces of the puzzle, of the entire system of life.

This page has been created and published by a Columbia University student, faculty or staff member as part of course or other requirements. The ideas and information expressed in this publication have not been approved or authorized by Columbia University, and the University shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with its publication. Columbia University is not responsible for the contents of any off-site information referenced herein.