Friday, 28 December 2007

Rethinking Basic Assumptions

One of the problems of buying all my books second hand is that sometimes I find topical books a bit late in the day. Never mind, Hijacking Environmentalism (ed Richard Welford) seems to be (sadly) just as relevant today as it was when it was written 10 years ago. The book addresses basically what we would now call greenwash, how business adds on environmental extras to its work without addressing the real environmental issues. I've only read the Introduction so far but this quote leapt out at me:

When for example, an oil tanker runs aground causing massive environmental destruction we blame the disaster on the fact that the tanker had a single skin hull rather than a double skin, we blame the pilot or the adverse weather conditions. We rarely ask ourselves why millions of gallons of oil are transported round the globe in old vessels.....We do not ask ourselves what kind of consumption patterns, which we take for granted, have resulted in thousands of seabirds, fish and seals dying to satisfy our greed.

It promises to be an insightful read, which takes into account the interconnectedness of environmental sustainability and social justice, but also demands some serious rethinking of basic assumptions about how our society works.

7 comments:

Poet with a Day Job said...

God, that sounds terrific. I will put it on my list. But first I am reading Ice - some plain old fantastic science to give counterpoint to all that's wrong with the world! in this way I always see science as a way to praise God and the natural world. It's the scientists who think they're god that get us off-track...

selmainthecity said...

Oh God, sometimes I can't bear to think about how our greed is destroying the planet. The images of those birds coated in oil after the Exxon Valdez disaster still haunt me. Thank you so much for bringing this to everyone's attention. It is very important we keep pushing the point. I don't want my son or his children to live in some apocalyptic kind of world in the future. I want to go outside when I'm 80 and hear the birds sing. Is that too much to ask?
-Selma

Crafty Green Poet said...

Poet with a Day Job - I did a science degree because I loved science and then was put off a career in that field because of the lack of respect i saw for nature (and because my lab skills weren't up to it!)

Selma - I'm with you there.

Tracey said...

Sounds like a great read! Sometimes the best secondhand books discover us this way, regardless of how long it has been since their release. And unfortunately the world generally continues to ignore important environmental messages despite the mass of information available in the public domain.

Tracey

Crafty Green Poet said...

I think you're right with all your points there Tracey...

karinmc said...

It's great to be connected to people of the same mind world wide. Unfortunately the pillage of the earth is not always as big and as headline grabbing as the Valdez disaster. I rage every time I see a new house built where there was a lovely oxygen producing forest. It seems to be happening a lot around our home lately. More of the nature we love is being destroyed in dribs and drabs all over the planet in the name of development... I like that the green movement focuses on the small things we can do because if everyone tiptoed around our world change would be easier to attain. Now if only big business would be held accountable for their huge feet!

Thanks for commenting on my blog.

Crafty Green Poet said...

karin - thanks for your comment - I agree absolutely, I feel so sad when new houses go up where there used to be open space, when those houses have not been well planned. When gardens are zoned as brownfield and then bought over by developers annd built on.