$115 Designer Cosmetic Collection From Cosmetique — Only $1!Environmental Activism1. The large mainstream environmentalismgroups started to compromise too much with regulatory agencies and bureaus,starting with the Glen Canyon Dam project. This began an estrangement withthe mainstreams that culminated in the rise of more militant groups likeEarth First! Glen Canyon represented what was fundamentally wrong withthe country’s conservation policies: arrogant government officials motivatedby a quasireligious zeal to industrialize the natural world, and a diffidentbureaucratic leadership in the mainstream environmental organizations thatmore or less willingly collaborated in this process.The mainstream environmental groups andgovernment held the premise that mankind should control and manage thenatural world. The radicals held that our technological culture with itsintrusions on natural world had to be curtailed, perhaps even undone, tokeep the ecology of this planet and our role in it viable.
It marked ashift from a rearguard strategy (mainstream) to protect wilderness to anaffirmative attempt to roll back the artifacts of civilization, to restorethe world to the point where natural processes such as the flow of riverscould continue.The mainstream environmental movement isnow perceived by many as out of touch with people’s deep concern aboutenvironmental degradation, has become systematized. The activists use approachessuch as industrial vandalism or “ecotage” to foster dramatic results.Some other methods employed are tree spiking,tree sitting, road blockading, demonstrations, tree pinning, ship sinking,dam breaking and outright terrorist-type sabotage (bombing power stations,bridges, power line, etc.)There may be some complimentary resultsof the efforts of both mainstream and radical groups. The large environmentalorganizations, while denouncing the radical’s confrontational activities,have then been able to use their ample finances to take the campaign toCongress or the courts with the impetus of public support the radicalsgenerated.
2. With Soule’s quote, including “Vertebrate evolution may beat an end” it means that the civilization complex has lost its referencepoint by overwhelming the natural processes it has always used to defineitself. The otherness of nature is disappearing into the artificial worldof technology.
As the environmental crisis worsens, we can expect increasedattention directed at the ecological sciences, resource management, pollutioncontrol, and technological supervision of the reproduction of valued species,including man.Toynbee writes that the ecological scarcityof the future will be so severe that the “within each of the beleaguered’developed’ countries there will be a bitter struggle for control of theirdiminished resources”.This conflict will inevitably lead to theimposition of authoritarian regimes. There is already evidence of “ecologicalelite’s” where power and status are increasingly measured not merely byeconomic control, but by control over the ecology. Access to clean water,fresh air, open wild spaces, and natural products is competing with ownershipof German autos and Swiss watches.
It is becoming the main preoccupationof political debate. As an example, even when a corporation decides tocreate a item through genetic or non-genetic engineering, it is often indirectlydetermining what species will be exterminated to increase profits, whichhabitats will be sacrificed for economic growth, and whose children willbe allocated the toxic water, poisoned food, and radioactive living space.If the environmental crisis is causing us to reexamine and reject the acceptedvalues of the civilization complex in its entirety, a unique event is takingplace: the passing of civilization into history.2. Societal breakdown in the face of acontinually deteriorating physical world may face many problems.
As stated above by historian Toynbee, aconflict may lead to the imposition of authoritarian regimes.Political scientist Ophuls offers a similarview, that “in the light of ecological scarcity… the individualisticbasis of society, the concept of inalienable rights, the purely self-definedpursuit of happiness, liberty as maximum freedom of action, and laissez-faireitself all require abandonment if we wish to avoid inexorable environmentaldegradation and perhaps extinction as a civilization”. Economist Heilbronersee this process of environmental disarray as transcending political distinctionsbetween capitalist and socialist countries, irregardless of the conservativethinking that “democratic” capitalism has triumphed over communism.
Hebelieves that the urgencies of the future “point to the conclusion thatonly an authoritarian, or possible only a revolutionary,! regime will becapable of mounting the immense task of social reorganization needed toescape catastrophe”.The story of the IK tribe and its analogyto the future of the western society in the face of continuing biologicalmeltdown may prove true. We have had various authorities from a varietyof disciplines reach similar conclusions about this unproecedented problem,it suggests, at the very least, that the environmental crisis has madeour culture obsolescent in ways we have yet to contemplate, with our extremelyweak rhetoric about alternative energy sources, recycling, and appropriatetechnology.
The scope of the environmental crisis should make us questionour entire history on Earth, back to the origins or civilization. WorldWars, space flight, and the nuclear arms race may be looked at by futuregenerations who may wonder how these generations could have been caughtup in such minor distractions.4. They were fed up with the lack of visionin the environmental movement, the ineffectiveness of its moderate stance,the estrangement between its professional leadership and grass-roots activists,the extremism of industry and government opposition to environmental protection,the crisis of wilderness destruction as a result of unfettered industrialdevelopment.The Sierra Club and other mainstream environmentalgroups concentrated its efforts on environmental health hazards to peoplecaused by air, water, and pesticide pollution.
Its members and clientelewere worried about the effects of toxic waste, radiation, and smog. Thequestion of keeping natural areas pristine for the benefit of the nonhumancreatures that dwelt there was considered somewhat ethereal and elitist.On the other hand the founders of EarthFirst! chose big wilderness whose ecological equilibrium was still undisturbedby industrial society as their central concern – the basic unit of radicalenvironmentalism. This priority was grounded on the scientifically soundpremise that since all parts of the environment are ultimately connected,any particular component, including that relatively expendable part calledhumanity, can be secure only if the entire ecosystem remains healthy.
Keepingpollution under control-that is, within politically determined standards-didnothing to ensure that the more subtle environmental imbalances causedby industrial development and overpopulation would not also come back toafflict human welfare in insidious ways.The basic tenets of the Earth First! movement:No compromise in defense of Mother Earth.There is a need for a radical wing thatwould make the Sierra Club look moderate.
Someone has to say what needsto be said, and do what needs to be done and take the kinds of strong actionto dramatize it.Earth First! wants to make the mainstreamenvironmental groups operate more effectively by making them appear reasonablein comparison. It also strives to be a force in its own right, taking whateveractions within its means that were necessary to protect the ecology, irrespectiveof the mainstream environmental movement’s agenda or the niceties of politicsor even the constraints of thelaw. Earth First! should stand for the radicalproposition that the natural world should be preserved for its won sake,not for the sake of any real or imagined benefits to humanity. Restoringthe natural world to its wild state, thereby putting the integrity of ecosystemsabove economic and political considerations, a position that in its academicsetting was known as biocentrism, or more generally Deep Ecology.The central idea of Earth First! is “thathumans have no divine right to subdue the Earth, that we are merely oneof several million forms of life on this planet. We reject even the notionof benevolent stewardship as that implies dominance.
Instead we believe,as did Aldo Leopold, that we should be plain citizens of the land community”.This meant no permanent human habitation (with minor exceptions); no useof mechanized equipment or vehicles; no roads; no logging, mining, waterdiversion, industrial activity, agriculture, or grazing; no use of artificialchemical substances; no suppression of wildfires; no overflights by aircraft;no priority given to the safety and convenience of human visitors overthe functioning of the ecosystem. Even more visionary than these land communityguidelines was the demand for the restoration of dams, roads, power lines,and the other intrusions of industrial society.5. The campaign of the Sea Shepherds broughtinternational attention to the problem of unregulated whaling. Norwegianauthorities began an investigation of a bank that had part ownership inthe pirate operation, a Japanese fishing company became the object of aninquiry, and theSouth African government began a crackdownon pirate whalers operating out of its country. Over the years the SeaShepherds made many campaigns, from stopping seal hunts along the Labradorcoast to interfering with B.
C.’s wolf eradication plans to chasing offJapanese fishing fleets using highly destructive drift nets in the NorthPacific. The action of most note is the raiding of a Reykjavik whale processingplant and the harbor and subsequent sinking of whaling ships operatingunder the guise of “research”.The Sea Shepherd activities not only attractedmedia; its militant activities also succeeded in influencing the environmentalmovement as a whole.The Sea Shepherd movement, after the eventsof Reykjavik, proved they could be successful in the war on commercialwhaling. The “ecological awakening” felt by the Icelandic people as andirect result of the raid was proof that radical environmentalism was affectingpeople in ways the leaders of the mainstream environmental movement neverdreamed of.
The ability of the Shepherds to win the support of a numberof people, including celebrities, despite of or perhaps because of itsmilitancy, who might otherwise have been reluctant to endorse ecotage.6. Though both groups share common feelingsabout environmentalism, their actions are at opposite ends of the spectrum.Deep Ecology is basically theologic in its approach, whereasEarth First! is an activist group. An analogyto the Irish Republican Army may be made that Deep Ecology represents theSein Fein faction while Earth First! represent the armed radical factionof an army of activist environmentalists.Deep Ecology is based on a respect or areverence for the life community which consists of innumerable individualsinteracting in a variety of ways.
It is ecological, recognizing that lifedepends on life, that some suffering and pain is inherent in nature, thatdeath is not evil. It is naturalistic, believing that nature knows best,going beyond good and evil to simply letting being be. Deep Ecology hastried to keep to the perception that makes the environmental crisis a subjectof discourse: the deep feeling people have that nature is under siege bythe artificial, destructive cultures of modern humanity. The grief andoutrage many people feel at the extirpation of nature is directly addressedby Deep Ecology’s message that we must unlearn anthropocentrism and developa less imperial culture that allows for the continued existence of thenatural world. While humanist environmentalism remains in its academicsetting, Deep Ecology has inspired people to begin education t! he cultureof extinction about the necessity of environmental humility.
Some havelikened the theory and practice of this activism to the civil rights movementof the 60s, a new civil rights movement seeking moral recognition for thatvast part of the biosphere-the nonhuman-that the Enlightenment spurned.Earth First! represents the “rage” andreaction that radical environmentalists feel toward the destruction ofthe natural world. They are not only acting out their rage, on the contrary,the theory and practice of ecotage are as well thought out as the politicsof reform.
Forman’s notion of monkeywrenching, based on the belief thatif profit brings the resource industry into the wilderness, loss of profitdue to continuing equipment damage, production delays, and increased securitywill drive it out. “The cost of repairs, production delays, and increasedsecurity will drive it out.” It may be too much for the bureaucrats andexploiters to accept if there is a widely-dispersed, unorganized, strategicmovement of resistance across the land. Such a movement has developed,though not on the scale radical environmentalists would wish.Ecotage probably costs the resource industryand government agencies between $20 and $25 million annually.
One can onlyspeculate as to the ef! fect that has had on decisions made in corporateboardrooms. Most Earth First!ers do not believe ecotage is a substitutefor major social changes; rather, it is a stopgap measure – “damage control”- to protect as much of the natural world as possible until such changeis brought about, one way or another.7. It tells us that society values propertyand the higher standard of living through technology over the natural worldand any rights the natural world may be entitled to even though the majorityof society on a personal level is sympathetic to the cause of radical environmentalistsin theory. The American people are not accustomed to thinking of such nonhumanentities as mountain lions, forests, and rivers as exploited groups whose9th amendments rights can be violated. From the perspective of the radicalenvironmentalists movement, this state of affairs is exactly the problem.
In the ante-bellum South, people were notaccustomed the thinking of slaves as human beings who had any claim tothe protection of the law. We now find this position both repugnant andridiculous. In the future, so goes the biocentric argument, we will feelthe same toward contemporary society’s refusal to extend legal and ethicalstanding to the “deer people” and the “tree people”.Radical environmentalism is best understoodas an attempt to enlarge the circle of legal and ethical standing (9thamendment rights) to include other species and even entire ecosystems.
Using this theory as a 9th amendment weapon to extend the rights to thenatural world can only, in my opinion, happen when society as whole, i.e.in large numbers, gets behind the biocentric movement to the magnitudeit got behind the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 60’s and 70’s.8.Much of the breakdown of civilization is that we seem to rely on a totalizationof values, values represented as universal, applicable to everyone, atall times. Through totalized values, organized societies have at theircommand a medium through which to dictate the kind of human behavior thatenhances the power of those in control.
Whether those values result inpeople plowing a field, working in a factory, or dropping an atomic bombon helpless civilians, the discourse of civilization can find a justificationin God’s commandments, progress, national security, or humanism. Socialpower shapes the most intimate and quotidian acts of civilization’s citizens.’Industrial man and the industrial society may be the most deleterious andunsustainable economic system the world has ever seen, since it constantlyeats into the ecological systems on which it depends.We are beginning to realize just how costlya system it is as the health and cleanup bills from years of environmentalabuse come due. Not surprisingly, those who benefited most from the extravagantrise of the industrial economy have done their best to pass the burdenon to others: the poor, the unwary, or the next generation. Industrialismis perhaps the greatest pyramid scheme in history.The role that industrial man must takefor the ultimate survival of the natural world is that he must take theaction to slow and reverse human population growth .
There are ecologicallimits to how many people can live in dignity on this planet; to quibbleover whether that line has yet been crossed is to invite a game of ecologicalbrinkmanship that there is no need to play. And if human population hasnot exceeded carrying capacity, the arguments of the humanist critics leaveout the whole question of the effect present population levels have onthe nonhuman world.