What's Best For The Environment? Essay

927 words - 4 pages

What is best for the environment? Edward O. Wilson’s book The Future of Life takes a satirical look at the two views of what the world needs and how they relate to humans. He alludes to the anthropocentric desires of “people- first” supporters, and the goals and solutions of left-wing environmentalists. Wilson portrays substantial rifts between the two groups which ultimately produce ineffective results due to the fact that they maintain preexisting stereotypes of their “opposition”, entirely distinct goals, and solutions which seek different sectors of development.
When solving a problem of dispute, one of the greatest boundaries to overcome is preexisting notions about one group’s opposition. Wilson outlines three definitive misconceptions that both parties maintain about the other. Chiefly: derogatory terms, their political orientation, and their goals in power. He begins his different narratives with a list of names to describe the resistance- “…greens, enviros… wackos…” for the people-first group to describe environmentalists, and “brown lashers” and “wise users” for environmentalists to refer to the People-First group. These terms represent the misconception of both parties in their beliefs that all people who support these causes fall within these terms. This is promoted when Wilson speaks on behalf of the People- Firsts and says that an environmentalist “…always comes from the left, usually far left.” Not only does he automatically align them with the liberal party, but he labels them as extremists meaning that a person speaking on behalf of this position can never consider the counter-argument “normal.” This same pattern appears in the environmentalist’s stance in which they reference to their resistance’s “…right wing political agenda…” These agendas are the preconceived ideas about what the differing groups want out of policies, and how they are destined to be counter to those of the opposition’s desires. This is reinforced as the adversaries define what they perceive as the inherent goals of all members of the opposition. For environmentalists, it appears as though all “people-firsts” are laced with an anthropocentric hypocrisy which wants nothing more than “…unrestrained capitalism with land development…” Alternately, the critic of the environmentalist movement regards the conservationist’s goal as an expansion of government, “…especially the federal government.” These are two entirely distinct desires out of environmental policies and embody the division that exists as a barrier to conciliatory discussion between the two associations.
The two different preexisting goals of the groups affect their blaming strategies. This entails recognition of the tactics utilized by both parties. Each narrative points to the other’s goals as a negative choice. The tones are established as harsh and accusatory when referencing the “governmental expansion” of the environmentalist goals. Conversely, environmentalists recognize a need to gain...

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