Carnezi Registered Trademark       LinkedIn  Twitter  Facebook
Transition communities  
Sustainable cities  
Inspiring quotes  
Quality living  
Environmental approaches  
Ethical concerns  
Ecocentric philosophy  
Ecocentric orientation  
Technocentric orientation  
Two perspectives  
Combining the two  
From theory to action  
Is nuclear viable?  

     How the world is and ought to be

Environmental and ethical concerns
Environmental concerns started coming on the scene before the 20th century's environmental crisis emerged and were expressed as various ideas and philosophies particularly influenced by the romantic, idealist and anarchist tradition. Questions on how the world is and ought to be and the need for a renewal of spiritual values following the moral decline instigated by industry and commerce, initiated a reaction against materialistic values and a desire to hold on to traditional values and beliefs. An artistic and intellectual sensibility characterised by emotion, passion and love for nature developed and was expressed in Romantic music, painting, literature, and poetry.

Realising that in the name of human progress, war, violence, alienation and repression sprang out, some developed mistrust of high science and technology as well as scepticism against those who promised to control
and manipulate nature to the benefit of mankind. Transformation at the level of individual consciousness was sought (deep ecology), with the divided forces of humanity unified and by 'greater cohesion and greater human solidarity' (de Chardin) to 'put individual differences aside and collectively build the earth'. The Good and bad
idealist notion of natural interdependence between humans, society and the environment (Peter Kropotkin) was formed as 'all things are interconnected'. Anarchist theories on autonomy, federalism, natural harmony, mutual aid and support, minimal centralised control were developed along with manifestos against pollution, urbanisation, the commodification of nature and human labour, alienation, and consumerism, rejecting material luxury, instead advocating a relaxed and rich quality of life, in education, in the appreciation of nature, community, and creativity.

A new ethics and morality was dawning with lessons on how we might treat others better, in the quest of M. Bookchin's "emancipated humanity that will become the voice, indeed the expression, of a natural evolution rendered self-conscious, and sympathetic to pain", focused on the ideals of justice, freedom, equality, the appreciation of nature and the human desire for beauty.

The isles of Greece! The isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.....   (Lord Byron)

Lord Byron fought for the Greek Independence in 1821 and died in Messolonghi, Greece, in 1824

It is this eighteenth and nineteenth century way of thinking which influenced what later developed as modern ecocentrism

previous next


    Building Environmental Performance