The Lorax complex: deep ecology, ecocentrism and exclusion

Helen Kopnina
  • Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, December 2012, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/1943815x.2012.742914

Love of nature: The Lorax complex

What is it about?

Biodiversity preservation is often viewed in utilitarian terms that render non-human species as ecosystem services or natural resources. The economic capture approach may be inadequate in addressing biodiversity loss because extinction of some species could conceivably come to pass without jeopardizing the survival of the humans. People might be materially sustained by a technological biora made to yield services and products required for human life. The failure to address biodiversity loss calls for an exploration of alternative paradigms. It is proposed that the failure to address biodiversity loss stems from the fact that ecocentric value holders are politically marginalized and underrepresented in the most powerful strata of society. While anthropocentric concerns with environment and private expressions of biophilia are acceptable in the wider society, the more pronounced publicly expressed deep ecology position is discouraged. “Radical environmentalists” are among the least understood of all contemporary opposition movements, not only in tactical terms, but also ethically. The article argues in favor of the inclusion of deep ecology perspective as an alternative to the current anthropocentric paradigm.

Why is it important?

Biodiversity preservation is often viewed in utilitarian terms that render non-human species as ecosystem services or natural resources. The economic capture approach may be inadequate in addressing biodiversity loss because extinction of some species could conceivably come to pass without jeopardizing the survival of the humans. People might be materially sustained by a technological biora made to yield services and products required for human life. The failure to address biodiversity loss calls for an exploration of alternative paradigms. It is proposed that the failure to address biodiversity loss stems from the fact that ecocentric value holders are politically marginalized and underrepresented in the most powerful strata of society. While anthropocentric concerns with environment and private expressions of biophilia are acceptable in the wider society, the more pronounced publicly expressed deep ecology position is discouraged. “Radical environmentalists” are among the least understood of all contemporary opposition movements, not only in tactical terms, but also ethically. The article argues in favor of the inclusion of deep ecology perspective as an alternative to the current anthropocentric paradigm.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1943815x.2012.742914

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Helen Kopnina