26 Nov
2016

Of Progress and Continuity

In the current issue of Resurgence & Ecologist an article entitled “Small is Still Beautiful” by Paul Kingsnorth very effectively identifies the dead-end that the broad ecology movement from the 1970s has ended up in with the current political Green direction. Brexit being the lens which has brought this into sharp focus.

Aside from some very pertinent reflections on the almost complete failure of the political wing to achieve the relevance or mass support which the EU debate could have gifted it, he also references John Berger’s distinction between a “culture of progress” and a “culture of survival”.

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21 Nov
2016

Developers vs Conservationists

Came across this in an essay by Arne Naess called “The World of Concrete Contents”. It is a pretty abstruse philosophical essay but this passage stood out:

“Confrontations between developers and conservationists reveal differences in estimating what is real. What a conservationist sees and experiences as reality the developer does not see – and vice versa. A conservationist sees and experiences a forest as a unity, a gestalt, and when speaking of the heart of the forest, he or she is not referring to the geometrical centre. A developer sees square kilometres of trees and argues that a road through the forest covers very few square kilometres, so why make such a fuss? And if the conservationists insist, the developer will assert that does not touch the centre of the forest. The heart is saved, he or she thinks. The difference between the antagonists is one of ontology rather than one of ethics.

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