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Robert Brym

• Allied with the moral imperative of material wealth is the conviction that humans have a right and even a responsibility to dominate nature. -economic growth has supplementary value: society is best organized on a large-scale, centralized basis, respect for authority, the ascendancy of law and order, and confidence in science and technology -alternative environmental paradigm value the natural environment, resources must be conserved -E.F Schumacher believe ‘small is beautiful’-society should adopt small-scale, decentralized economic and political structures that are in harmony with nature. BRIDGING THE GAP? • Major attempt to bridge differences between the two paradigms is located in idea of sustainable development:  Economic development that meets needs of present without compromising ability of future generations to meet their own needs • Proponents argue is possible to have continued economic growth without harming the environment  But many environmentalists are critical of concept, emphasizing difficulty in maintaining balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability* o Idea of sustainable development arose out of 1987 report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, more commonly known as the Brundtland report o This report foresaw a new form of economic growth, especially for developing nations, that would be both environmentally aware and egalitarian, integrating objectives for social development with the demands of science o It suggested it is possible to have economic growth but not at the expense of the environment o Critics of sustainable development point out the it requires an extraordinary degree of cooperation and a deep commitment to reform o This is difficult to achieve, especially in nations of the Southern hemisphere, where rural economies are often still controlled by wealthy landowners, and the poor are forced to engage in ecologically damaging practices, such as stripping the rapidly dwindling forests for cooking fuel in order to survive ENVIRONMENTAL ATTITUDES, CONCERNS, AND BEHAVIOURS • Are three methods for measuring people’s environmental view of the world: 1. Utilize new environmental paradigm (NEP) scale (12 items that measures respondents’ extent of agreement with various statements) 2. Ask respondents how worried or upset they are regarding series of environmental problems 3. Ask respondents to weigh tradeoffs between, for example, environmental protection and jobs* AVERAGE SCORES ON THE NEW ENVIRONMENTAL PARADIGM SCALE o One of the first and most important efforts to develop a research tool with which to measure an environmental view of the world was Dunlap and Van Liere’s (1978) new environmental paradigm (NEP) scale. o Using survey data from two samples of Washington state residents and from the membership of a statewide environmental organization, Dunlap and Van Liere developed a 12-item scale that measures the extent of agreement with such statements as “the balance of nature is very delicate and easily upset” and “humans need not adapt to the natural environment, because they can remake it to suit their own needs” (see Table 16.2).
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