An integrative approach to geography and environmental development is one that seriously engages with the biophysical as well as the social worlds. Political Ecologists view the world as not simply just a stage or arena in which struggles over resource access and control take place, but consider nature, or the biophysical processes to play an active role in shaping human-environmental dynamics. It is important to consider that both economic income and environmental quality are objectives of equal worth. Environmental concerns have become more mainstream since the 1960s, and the combination of both economic growth and a clean environment is desirable, and must exist in synergy; it is just a matter of finding the correct trade-off. That is one possible interpretation of the more common phrase ‘sustainable development.”
Political Ecologists consider knowledge, history, economy and the use and misuse of land in order to approach the correct decision-making processes for solutions to current environmental changes and particularly how these changes affect the local. It is a relationship driven by conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, in the constantly shifting dialectic between society and land-based resources. Environmental changes and how they are distributed, experienced and managed reflect the unequal social and economic differential power.
Power is relative and the crux of the matter lies in the adverse use, abuse, availability and access of power, in order to make sense of the environmental issues related to power, we have to look at critical social theories, where power is seen as a hierarchy, exploiting and feeding self-interests. Those that possess the power to initiate change seek to create such a change which will only provide the means to legitimize their unsustainable practices of seizing more power, or capital, only to create more in order to quench a desirable lust at the expense of those that are left harmed by the destruction of economic growth, and those who do not possess the will or might to defy such policies and legislation pertaining to governance of resources, resource as a commodity and the resentful pursuit to gain more privileges for their overtly grotesque sense of entitlement.
Creating a global economy means generalizing destructive processes, which means transforming the vast mass of self-sufficient people living in rural areas in Third World countries into consumers of capital-intensive goods and services, most considerably those provided by multinational corporations. Cultural patterns in many of these areas are still imbued, and these self-sufficient life-styles have to be destroyed by Western advertising of the culture and values of Western mass-consumer society. The environment is incapable of sustaining the impact of the economic activities required by the appetite for this lifestyle.
The shift from agrarian societies to the contemporary world is brought about by development that changes the...