Are Environmentalism and Politics the Same Thing?

Having finally found a category plugin that I finally like, I'm beginning to see some importance to how I classify blog entries. And when I see how many of my entries are simply categorized as "uncategorized" it's a little embarrassing.

As a result, I've spent some time the last three days going back over old entries, particularly those written when there wasn't a means of classifying entries. Doing so has reminded me that this blog was started as a form of political protest and played an important part in my blogging for a several years. Heck, at one time a reader had the nerve to call this an "anti-war blog," and by then I'd begun to transition to being a "poetry blog" before becoming a photography blog and, even later, a birding blog.

Luckily, long ago when I started, or thereabouts, I described this site as, " Focusing on poetry, literature, and photography and using the arts to explore and develop a personal philosophy." And that's pretty much what I've done here. What you see here is, generally, who I am, and, hopefully, who I'm becoming.

Most recent visitors have been spared the political polemics, but that doesn't mean they're not part of my philosophy. I can't imagine having values if you aren't going to advocate them openly and publicly. It's just that lately I have expressed that side of my philosophy on Facebook.

However, I'm a devoted environmentalist and when this video showed up on one of the political sites I follow, Organizing Notes, I had to pass it on:

7 thoughts on “Are Environmentalism and Politics the Same Thing?

  1. Interesting video – and an interesting question.

    I often wonder about the question. I think environmentalism can easily get hijacked. There was a turning point years ago now where money makers suddenly realised there was money to be made from “green issues”. It’s often hard to tell the difference between real progress on the environmental front and “greenwash”.
    Also, on a deeper level, in a system which relies on rampant overproduction, the environmental agenda can be sleepwalked into giving credence to that system: if only we get the green technology right, we can carry on doing what we like. (Hence we look for ways of carrying on making excessive amounts of energy – I always feel I’m being “bounced” into either supporting the peppering of the UK with windfarms or the building of more nuclear stations, neither of which I approve of).
    Again, political activists who would have been talking about social justice 40 years ago are these days talking environmentalism. I remember one Green Party member I knew saying that the social agenda was “all very well” but the environmental agenda was so urgent that the social one should be shelved. The video touches on this in a way – is the big issue the pop bottle lightbulbs or the living conditions of those who need to use them?

    • I certainly appreciate your viewpoint, Dominic. For years I’ve given more money to environmental causes than to social causes because I think the environmental crisis affects everyone. Judging from history, it seems certain that the worst effects will be upon the poor because they have the least resources to ameliorate the negative effects. I’m afraid we’re already seeing that in the droughts in Africa.

      It’s always seemed to me that the most important way to deal with the crisis is to cut our demands on the system, whether through recycling or using more fuel efficient devices, like LED-light bulbs or hybrid cars. I suspect any form of energy production will have some negative effects on the environment.

  2. Thanks for this, Loren. As for political/environmental, I fear people want to slap labels on things if they fear the information. Certainly ‘poetry’ blog has its own sinister black beret tone, and the environmental tag is dispelled as ‘anti-job’ yatta yatta. I do like your original idea where you combine topics toward learning and a philosophy, but be sure some out there may hear something they disagree with and slap some ‘liberal’ tag on it. The politicization of language has been in effect for some time, and I fear the far right has been much more successful (if you can call it success). For example, the new health care program has been tagged with another name, and liberals no longer use the ‘l’ word, they lean toward ‘progressives’ these days. Suffice it to say, your blog always strikes me as ‘pure of heart’ and ‘honest.’ It has its own way of filling bottles with light. Thanks. kjm

    • I think I was inspired to use this title because I’m reading Crow Planet/> by Lyanda Haupt who writes, ” Modern naturalists must be both biologically and politically savvy, which can be a rude awakening. How nice it would be to just watch warblers and make little yellow watercolors of them in our notebooks. But I believe strongly that the modern naturalist’s calling includes an element of activism. Naturalists are witness to the wild, and necessary bridges between ecological and political ways of knowing.

What do you think?