Essay question: evaluate the different reasons for the failure of political ecological policies
The environment has become a subject of global discourse and a major concern for communities, politicians or policy makers and people in general. This concern has led to political actions and to the creation of green parties and activist groups mostly in Europe and in North America. However, despite the efforts of actors involved in these issues to apply ecological policies, the evidence points to a general failure in planning and implementing ecological policies. This is because these policies are environmentalist rather than ecological. In this essay I will discuss the differences between environmentalism and ecologism, while explaining why Western societies – due to their values – aim more at environmentalist approaches instead of the ecologic approach. Furthermore, I will explain how Western societies, instead of solving their environmental problems, have sought to export these to the Third World, creating ecological and development problems in that region in medium and long term.
Environmentalists are concerned with controlling the impact of human activity on the environment and with taking care of nature up to the point in which this is compatible with human aims. Environmentalist do not propose radical ideas to change these aims, they usually fight for recycling, economy in the usage of resources, and for preservation and maintenance of wildlife and the countryside (Goodwin, 2007).
On the other hand, Ecologism is a principle that supports the complete change of the relationship between humans and their environment. Hence, in contrast with environmentalist propositions, ecologists or Greens would advocate a more radical solution to environmental issues. Among ecologists we find two types of Greens: Deep and Light. Deep greens claim that all species inhabit the same world and that this fragile world is threatened by human activity (Goodwin, 2007). They...