I am convinced that life on Earth, as we know it, is on its way out. Incredibly, the sixth mass extinction, which is progressing with increasing rapidity all around us, is being driven solely by human action. Beside species extinctions, and leading to them, life’s numbers are rapidly diminishing; an average of 60 percent of wild animals have been driven from the face of the Earth. While humans have been smashing down life for several millennia, the dying has progressed exponentially faster during my lifetime. Something is hugely wrong.
Climate breakdown, and now COVID-19, are two more symptoms of the great malaise infecting humans and affecting all life on Earth. There are many more, obvious to any individual who cares to look.
Paradigm issues must be addressed in some sort of evidence based manner, and from an ecocentric point of view. Bluntly, the current human-centered paradigm is a death dealing one. It is a failure. Basically, everything must change for life to prevail. We need to draw into focus ecocentrism’s two dimensions: the philosophical and the active. For ecocentrism to be valid and effective, its philosophical principles must lead to extreme, determined and passionate action.
We need to draw into focus about the different levels of responsibility. Some things, the results of which are limited to affecting the individual, are best dealt with at that level. Actions, the results of which affect others or the ecosphere, are best undertaken at the group level. It seems obvious to me that the level of population and/or existing problems should be a deciding factor in deciding upon to which group an action belongs. Currently, I believe that the pendulum has swung far too far away from the ecosphere’s, or societal, rights.
I question myself, and others too: What is the source of this malaise? What can be done to reverse it? What am I doing? Am I doing enough? Why am I, and are we, not doing more? How can I bring others on board? What about my aware friends, those who know, those who tend towards ecocentrism?
A couple of examples can clarify my questions. Because flights are available, many people, including ecocentric thinkers (and myself, three times in six years), fly. But why, when we understand the consequences? Whatever personal advantage or enjoyment may be experienced from air travel, how can it be justified in light of its ecological damage? Similarly, personal automobile driving? And why the huge vehicle with its huge engine?
How many ecocentrics have gone over their lives in detail and expunged the detrimental? For that matter, how many have changed even the easy things? Or refusing to buy any more throw away products? Or printing on both sides? Such as refusing to use a motor for recreational purposes? And so on. If you believe that overpopulation is a fundamental problem, what have you done about it? Donated to planned parenthood? To girls’ education programs? Spoken to organized groups or government?
Personally, I have trouble understanding how a person who can pay 25 or 40 dollars for a bottle of wine makes so few financial contributions to the continuance of life on Earth.
Now, what about the responsibilities of the group, now largely abandoned? Who does anything to influence either groups or government? Who is actively engaged in conservation? Who is trying to influence politics? Who is satisfied with the results of the last election? So, what are you doing about it?
Read ‘What are you doing about the ecological crisis?’, by Ian Whyte, on the #EarthTongues blogTweet