David Suzuki at the Georgia Straight asserts that environmentalism has failed to recognize and address the fundamentally different worldviews that posit a separation of the economy from the environment.
He notes that this year marks the birth of the modern environmental movement, which was ushered in with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962. The first thirty years of environmental activism produced laws to protect air, water, farmland, and endangered species. Since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, however, environmental protection has been portrayed successfully by corporate and neoconservative interests as an impediment to economic expansion. Ironically, the creation of dedicated departments and ministries has helped to position the environment simply as another special interest competing for limited economic resources. Suzuki opines, however, that the environment subsumes every aspect of our activities—our lives, health, and livelihoods absolutely depend on the biosphere. Without air, water, soil, sunlight, and biodiversity, we will sicken and die. Suzuki thus calls for a paradigm shift to meet the challenge of the environmental crisis our species has created. That means adopting a biocentric, rather than anthropocentric, view of the world that recognizes that we are part of and dependent on the web of life that keeps the planet habitable for a demanding animal like us. (link to article)