Ecocentric Environmentalism and Pragmatic Strategy: The Means for an Effective Convention on Biological Diversity
Throughout these pages, I have argued that a reinvented Convention on Biological Diversity, based on ecocentric environmental theory, would curb today's frightening rates of biodiversity loss, and I have no doubt that it would. However, the biodiversity crisis, along with the full range of environmental crises, can never be completely solved by even the most ecocentric of policies. As long as people, both at the governmental level and the private level, feel disconnected from environmental problems, there is no incentive for them to modify their practices. If humans were educated as to the hazards of today's environmental practices and reminded of their obligations to future generations, they might engage in more ecologically-friendly social practices like recycling and using public transportation. However, these approaches, like ecocentric international policies, would not be enough to create a sustainable human society. These are merely weak, short-term solutions that are compatible with the existing worldview. Some environmentalists contend that the most fundamental reason for our current environmental crisis is the consumerist worldview held by much of the world's human population (Reitan 1998). As long as the majority of the population maintains a consumeristic, anthropocentric view of nature that allows the biodiversity and physical processes of the earth to be viewed as merely resources to be used as humans see fit, our actions will reflect this worldview. If we do not attribute intrinsic value to nature within our personal philosophies, our behavior will quite obviously not reflect this value. Ultimately, any lasting solution to the world's mounting environmental problems must be rooted in the embracement of a new ecocentric world view.