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Lecture 19 – The “Practical”. Activism. Things. Coffeehaus Sign-Up Sheet on back of Attendance Sheet Artifact Marks Papers. Today: Activism – General to Specific Examples.

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  • Coffeehaus Sign-Up Sheet on back of Attendance Sheet

  • Artifact Marks

  • Papers

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Today: Activism – General to Specific Examples

  • (1) CP Curry, P. (2006). Ecological ethics: An introduction (pp. 71-89, 95-99). Malden, MA: Polity Press. (deep ecology+ecofeminism)

  • (2) NET Gender and the Animal Rights Movement.


  • (3) NET People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Draggin' ‘Ladies’ Prove That There's Nothing Glamorous About Fur.

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Consider the Social Implications Below;

Can we wonder why there is environmental activism?

Http www learner org jnorth images graphics s songbird migration lights01 jpg l.jpg

As much as we might like to think we did westerners did not invent environmentalism l.jpg

Where does Environmental Concern Originate? http://www.learner.org/jnorth/images/graphics/s/songbird_migration_lights01.jpg

In the individual? In society? …?

Is environmental concern an “innate” human condition?

What are some signs that this COULD be the case?

What are some signs that this is NOT the case?

What about you…do you remember your own initial environmental concern?

As much as we might like to think we did, westerners did not invent environmentalism.

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The definition of environmentalism is not “clear-cut” - http://www.learner.org/jnorth/images/graphics/s/songbird_migration_lights01.jpg

Is this environmentalism?

LINK – consider sexuality here

This? – is the body, here, sexualized? Why or why not?

This? – How is gender implicated in this intervention?





Do you feel implicated in any of these examples? Why? Why Not?

Introduction to Environmental Ethics

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But, why? –http://www.firstnations.de/development.htm?06-1-coast-salish-1.htmaren’t we all in this together?

  • Michael Bell believes that, as long as people have dominated the natural environment, other people have been concerned about it.Things Can get quite Tense…

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Rachel Carson was concerned…for examplehttp://www.firstnations.de/development.htm?06-1-coast-salish-1.htm

  • 1907-1964

  • (photo: rachelcarson.fws.gov)

    • From Silent Spring: “It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modern and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth.”

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Why was her book called Silent Spring?http://www.firstnations.de/development.htm?06-1-coast-salish-1.htm

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First Earth Day in 1970, reflected the peak of modern environmental concern…How old were your parents in 1970? Your grandparents?(www.orlock.com)

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( environmental concernmsnbcmedia.msn.com)

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Environmentalism/ environmental concern is a good thing, environmental concernright?

There is an emerging claim that environmentalism is a passing phase and elitist!

What do you think?

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Consider the social institutions: (2004)…

…Boredom with being “green”

+ media taste for something new

+ realization of scope of economic costs to reverse environmental damage

+ “they” are taking care of things (government)

+ social trends, such as environmental concern, come and go

= “compassion fatigue”

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Social Status and Environmental Concern (2004)…

  • Data show demographic differences in those interested in environmentalism : race, gender, and other indicators

  • Within those data, many contradictions persists, such as income: the higher the income did not predict a higher environmental concern

  • Indicators include: income, gender, race/ethnicity, social power, egalitarian attitude

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c. f. http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/Front/1042592.html (2004)…

  • Smarter, busier, poorer than everWage gap between women, men wider now than 10 years agoBy SHERRI BORDEN COLLEY Staff ReporterSat. Mar 8 - 5:05 AMNo matter where they live or how much education they have, women still have a long way to go before they get equal pay in many workplaces, says a newly released Canadian Labour Congress report.

  • "In fact, over the past 10 years, young women have done everything they were told to do to get ahead economically," Ivy Shaw, secretary treasurer of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, told a news conference at Province House on Friday.

  • "Young women have put off starting a family so they could earn a post-secondary degree and build a career. And now they are actually worse off. The wage gap between them and their male counterparts has actually grown.“

  • Women in the class…how does this make you feel? How might you become empowered?

  • Men in the class…do you feel more empowered to be green?

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Ramachandra Guha, sociologist (2004)…

  • Poor people can be and are concerned about the environment – but are often focusing on eating and careful spending and working hard

  • Guha dissolves the myth that poor people do not care…

    • Why this should make sense to us: Consider that most if not all of us here in this classroom are poor because of student status, and most if not all of us are concerned

    • (www.newstoday.net)

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Guha claims that (2004)…

  • “’environmentalism of the poor’ often differs significantly from the environmentalism of the rich…‘it combines a concern with the environment with an often more visible concern with social justice’” (qtd. in Bell, p. 160)

  • What are some present-day examples?

    • Think of Halifax…where are the laundromats, power lines…

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Three Theories of Contemporary Environmental Concern (2004)…

  • 1. postmaterialism

  • 2. paradigm shift

  • 3. ecological modernization

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1. Postmaterialism (2004)…

  • (Political Scientist) Ronald Inglehart’s theory of postmaterialism

  • First, what is materialism?

  • What is postmaterialism?

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materialism (2004)…

  • What materialism, in Inglehart’s view, is NOT:

    • NOT based on direct relationships between people and economy, technology, biology, greed, …

    • Rather: he considered materialism to be the learned and internalized values behind choices/concerns based on those cultural norms

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postmaterialism (2004)…

  • Material ideals TO postmaterial ideals

  • That is:

    • Postmaterialism is an ideological shift FROM concerns about money and physical safety (these are material values) TO concerns about freedom, self-expression, and quality of life (these are postmaterial values).

    • Many surveys have been conducted…to support this theory …Do You Agree?

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2. Paradigm Shift (2004)…

  • the paradigm shift theory’s involvement in the rise of environmental concern: in response to discrepancies between the evidence of environmental threats and ideologies that do not consider environmental implications, people are slowly and steadily adopting a more environmentally aware view of the world…becoming more aware of the real material effects that industrial like has on the environment…their own ideologies, then, are beginning to change to match this new understanding.

  • OLD/TIRED VIEW - Human Exemptionalist Paradigm: Humans can overcome environmental limits through technological mastery

  • NEWLY EMERGING VIEW - New Environmental Paradigm: Humans are part of nature and need to learn to live within certain natural limits

  • A Conflict: Environmental Beliefs: how we think things ARE

  • Environmental Values: how we think things SHOULD be

  • What are some current examples of this conflict?

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Challenging the Paradigm Shift (2004)…

  • There is an obvious problem of reducing such a complex matter as environmental ideology to only two categories; paradigm shift researchers are only assessing the degree to which the rest of the world agrees with them about what environmentalism is. (Western-Centric)

  • They use closed-ended surveys, so that doesn’t give respondents a chance to explain why they answered the way they did.

  • Finally, how might we assess long-termideological change with surveys of current public opinion?

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3. Ecological Modernization (2004)…

  • The belief that we can safely include our institutions in our path to ecology in order to settle the environmental disputes between business ($$$) and nature.

    • Examples:

      • Clean air standards/laws

      • Energy efficient housing

      • Recycling

      • Carpooling

      • Return to the village way of life

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Challenging Ecological Modernization (2004)…

  • Modernization is what we are living in right now – science and technology and industry, capitalism, availability, distribution, …

    So, we cannot easily escape those trappings of Modernity, and ecological modernization cannot help fast or effectively enough with those problems

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Which one rings most true to your social and individual experience? Why?

  • 1. postmaterialism

  • 2. paradigm shift

  • 3. ecological modernization

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Okay…so, we are all on board with environmental concern... experience? Why?

  • Now what? There are plenty of bandwagons to hop onto.

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Deep experience? Why?Green Environmental Ethics

  • Based on your reading on Ecological Ethics (2006) by Patrick Curry

  • Deep green movement = an ethical movement

  • “Ecocentric” - earth-centred; holistic; non-anthropocentric (not people-centred)

  • A Deep green ethic must accept at least:

    • There is a value in all environments

    • People cannot always win against nature

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Deep green ethics also claims: Nothing in any environment has more value than something else in that or any other environment

  • How might this stance be challenged?

    • We eat meat. Is that in and of itself breaking the “value” rule?

    • Is it possible for societies to act as if everything is of the same equal inherent value?

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Old Farts of the Deep Green Movement: has more value than something else in that or any other environment

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Aldo Leopold has more value than something else in that or any other environment – 1887-1948

“Land Ethics” Movement

Famous for saying: “Think like a mountain. … A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. … The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, animals, or collectively: the land.”

How does one “think like a mountain?”

What do you make of the stamp illustration?

Who gets to say what beauty is in order to preserve it?

What would our society look like if there were laws against swatting a mosquito?

Who would we choose to govern against sabotage on the commons?


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James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis has more value than something else in that or any other environment

  • “Gaia Theory” (Gaia – ancient Greek goddess) originated around 1970.

  • Earth is a living organism, interconnected and complex, always adapting to changes toward survival and self-renewal

  • Famous for its claim against “the three Cs: cows, cars, and chainsaws”

  • Critiqued for its monist qualities, and how the earth may become its own enemy

  • What in our Halifax society promotes survival and self-renewal?

  • (worldisgreen.files.wordpress.com/2007

  • content.answers.com/.../200px-Lynn_Margulis.jpg)

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“Deep Ecology” Movement – figured out while wondering about the dynamics of ecological activism


8 main principles: (link)


What is a “vital need?” What isn’t one? Who would decide?

Which nations or groups of people will be expected to be the first to reduce

the number of children they have in order to help other species “flourish?”

What will be the first to go in Economics? Technology?

How do we change our western

standard of living? Do we aim to become more like certain other cultures?



Arne Naess – Norwegian philosopher

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Val Plumwood about the dynamics of ecological activism

  • Ecofeminist philosopher

    Life-changing event 22 years ago in 1985 gave way to an incredible academic and personal journey



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“Transpersonal Ecology” Movement about the dynamics of ecological activism


The movement resembles Deep Ecology, only leans toward replacing the personal self with a cosmic self.

Warwick Fox

How do we “switch” who we are? How would such a drastic change affect society, your family, community? Your sexuality? Your gender roles?

Plumwood worries that the transformed self is an androcentric self.


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Richard Sylvan about the dynamics of ecological activism

  • “Deep Green Theory” Movement

  • 1936-1996 (died right after climbing a mountain); philosopher, logician, anarchist

  • Principles (somewhatcomparable to Deep Ecology’s)

    • All present ethics are ecologically inadequate

    • The inherent value of nature can sometimes override human interests

    • Eating food to survive is one thing; reckless hunting is another

    • We don’t need to worry over distinguishing between humans and non-humans, because one does not deserve special ethical treatment over the other

    • *Rather than spend a whole lot of time in the future on what NOT to do to protect the environment, more significant attention must turn to what TO do for it

    • Individual change is not enough. Nor is a top-down change (institutional). It must be collective

  • Do you feel on par with an amoeba? A polar bear?

  • Will society as we know it ever comprise a collective environmental concern?


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Right in our own backyard…Saltsprings, NS about the dynamics of ecological activism

Left Biocentrism

Runs Green Web (link)

8. Social ecology, eco-feminism and eco-marxism, while raising important questions, are all human-centered and consider human-to-human relations within society to be more important and, in the final analysis, determine society's relationship to the natural world. Left biocentrism believes that an egalitarian, non-sexist, non-discriminating society, a highly desirable goal, can still be exploitive towards the Earth.

9. Left biocentrists are "movement greens" in basic orientation. They are critical of existing Green political parties, which have come to an accommodation with industrial society and have no accountability to the deep ecology movement.

BUT: HOW MANY WOMEN ARE IN POLITICS/ABLE TO BE PART OF A “MOVEMENT” IF THEY HAVE CHILDREN…? What kind of membership limitations do men have?

David Orton

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Reading 2 about the dynamics of ecological activism

Gender and the Animal Rights Movement.

  • LINK http://www.utanimalrights.com/gender.htm

  • Animal rights is “part of a system of gender oppression” ---


  • The Home: If animals are abused, or are threatened, in households, it is more likely that violence against women also exists.

  • Fur Industry: targets women; some say that fur marketing campaigns is a form of sexual harassment against women

  • Cosmetics: targets women; Is “Beauty without Cruelty” possible?

  • Nature is Feminine/Mother Nature: male domination of nature is said to parallel male domination of women/females

  • Animal Rights Movement: predominantly women; polemic challenge:

    • 1. women are objectified in “sexist imagery” in order to draw attention to the movement (Playboy references; PETA has been heavily criticized for placing a tiger-painted woman in a cage with a slogan saying that wild animals don’t belong in cages…);

    • 2. to draw attention to sexism, organizations such as Feminists for Animal Rights (FAR) attempt to bridge feminist concerns with other social concerns, such as companion animal organizations. Also, they work with women’s shelters around pet rescue in abusive situations.

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Peter Singer about the dynamics of ecological activism http://www.princeton.edu/~psinger/11.jpg

  • Social Action Case Study: The Animal Protection Movement – Australian philosopher Peter Singer in 1975 wrote “Animal Liberation” stating that there cannot be any moral justification for refusing to take suffering into consideration, and, indeed, to count it equally with the like suffering…of any other being” CAN SOCIETIES EXIST WITHOUT CAUSING ENVIRONMENTAL/ANIMAL SUFFERING?

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Reading 3 about the dynamics of ecological activism (…the difference that sexuality makes…huge!)

  • LINK

  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Draggin' ‘Ladies’ Prove That There's Nothing Glamorous About Fur

  • LINK

  • What are some similarities and differences between these websites and the last one on gender and the animal movement?

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Readings for next class: about the dynamics of ecological activism (also, we’ll finish up the week on sexuality and toursim)

1. Start reading A&S on Parsons---keeping in mind his theory about systems

2. SMUO Tindall, D.B., Davies, S. and Mauboules, C. (2003).

  • Activism and conservation behaviour in an environmental movement: The contradictory effects of gender. Society and Natural Resources, 16 (10), 909-932.