It seems that today many environmentalists think it is best to become as ecocentric as possible. As we learned in class, Native Americans and Eastern Traditions are the closest examples we have of it. They are very concerned with essential sameness which means that everything has a reciprocal and equal relationship. Both humans and nature are inextricably intertwined. Though some of their practices may be unsustainable today with large population sizes, it is still important to learn from them.
One concern people not as aware of the environment might have is that changing our ideologies from anthropocentric to ecocentric is not possible to be able to keep advancing with technology, medicine, and civilization in general. If we succumb to living with the land and being more conscious, we may have to largely revert our ways. We would have to largely redo the economic and political system, and this would take decades. Ideologies are deep-seated, and to be able to change them much work need to be done. It is possible that the public will never think differently. The question is, is this even possible? It would be great to say that everyone wants to live sustainably, but with the American-way we are so obsessed with materialistic culture and being better. We are an individualistic culture, where Native American and Eastern cultures are largely collectivist. We are so fast-paced and preoccupied with “success,” making this ecocentric type of lifestyle would be quite challenging. How could we even approach this change? I have already seen some small changes toward being more sustainable just on campus, like more recycling opportunities as well as groups rallying against investment in fossil fuel companies. The thing is, these things are miniscule compared to what would need to be done nationwide, and a college campus is quite contained and easily influenced (compared to the federal government at least). Would incentives, subsidies, or just straight up changing of laws be best? We have to look at people’s motivations, whether by reward or punishment, and make sure these actions put forward can reach and affect everyone in a positive way for the environment.
Annelise Wilimitis (Blog 5)