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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 the most important political issue. Environmentalism is about designing and implementing community ethics which prevent unrestricted industrialism.
A lack of environmental standards threatens human needs such as clean water, safe food and fresh air. A poor, local environment can lead to a lack of adequate, safe shelter and unhygenic conditions which, in turn leads to an increased spread of communicable diseases. So a strong environmental policy is conducive to better physical security, quality of life and standard of living, now for the future.
Ecology and biology, Sociology, genetics and evolution are the sciences most closely related to the study of the environment. Environmentalism is not a mainstream topic of discussion because economic interests are nearly always placed in front of environmental concerns. So in broad terms public opinion does not place a high value on the conservation of our environment. This is because environmentalism often restricts personal privileges and industrial growth for the good of the whole of society. Often these beneficial freedoms are distant and difficult to communicate, especially to out-of-work voters, un-informed workers and impoverished people in developing countries.
Who is an Environmentalist?
Environmentalists are sometimes considered extreme because their ideas can be radical. In reality, those preoccupied with environmentalism, realize it is about ideas for those people who understand that a good life doesn't have to come at the expense of nature's existence. 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 an ideal sustainable society. They are aware of the dangerous incompatibilities that are creating ecosystem change at rates and scales far faster than these environments can adapt. They are concerned with issues visible 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 increases athesma in kids all give pause to environmentalists.
The Future of our Environment
The accumulation of such 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. If authorities did not allocate funds for the removal of such pests the damage otherwise created would be far greater.
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 perceive a problem with environmental degradation, nor even the substance of the left's criticism, but they have perceived that it IS criticism; fearing what they do not understand and believing only the rhetoric of the right, they cling to allegiances they might even previously have discarded, (for example the southern US working class, as Red States, now support industry, which they had previously objected to so violently that it was one of the causes of the South's secession in the Civil War) and have reacted against environmentalism.
Religious conservatives are often anti-environmentalist, and may quote two entries in the old testament, written before the Iron Age, when the world was still a very threatening place for humans, with predators with deadly potential such as wolves and lions present and very little of the medical care or even the shelter we have come to expect:
- 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."
- Genesis 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it."
More on religious anti-environmentalism.
- US President George W. Bush stated environmental policy - (whitehouse.gov)
- Bush policies alienate even Republicans - (NPR)
- Enviornmental Protection Agency Cheif quits in protest - (waterconserve.info)
- Crimes against nature - (Rolling Stone)
Non-American-Centric additions welcome.
- Earth911 - contains a database of locations in the USA where everything from newspaper, automobiles, batteries, computer hardware and other metals can be recycled.
- World-wide list of environmental services and organizations.
- Environmental dangers to kids
- Central Texas Recycling resource: ecology-action.org
- Environmental Communications Options
- GreenPC - contacts for computer recycling in Australia
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