ENV Social Ecology: Poverty and Misery
crises we face:
steconomic, energy, social, edu, moral, ecological, spiritual
1 visible characteristic of this type of society is that it produces poverty and misery yet riches the
accumulation of wealth.
3 critical responses to today’s society
1) the liberation movements of the oppressed say that this society is not built on life, common good,
participation or solidarity among human beings, but on economy, the powers and instruments that
create wealth through the ravaging of nature and the exploitation of human beings
the economy is directed by an ideal of development that’s encompassed by 2 infinite quantities
1. Supply of natural resources
2. A wide open future of unlimited possibilities
within this type of growth economy, nature is simply a supply of natural resources, raw material for
the satisfaction of human desires
this vision is instrumentalist and mechanical: ppl, animals, plants, minerals
I.O.W all living beings lose their autonomy and intrinsic value
the primary critique posed by liberation thought it that this model isn’t capable of creating wealth
w.o generating poverty
it cant stimulate economic development w.o producing social exploitation, internally and
nor is it democratic cuz it establishes a political system designed for control and dominance –
by the elite in liberal, representative democracies or military tutelage
the liberation’s proposal develops a development to meet the needs of all not just the strong
2) Pacifist and the active non-violence groups note that a society of unequal development generates
violence within societies and nations and internationally
this violence is a consequence from the domination of countries who are tech advanced over those
who are behind in tech nd scn
this promotes competition and violence
the diff blocs of nations create a military-industrial complex, fostering an arms race and the
militarization of all existence.
even after the cold war millions of dollars were invested to the industry of death and only thousand
to the preservation of the planet.
3) ecological movements maintain that current society and the prevailing type of development cannot
produce wealth without destroying env
the most abundant by-products pf the industrial system are garbage, toxic, and radioactive
wastes, air contamination, acid rain, poisoning of land and depletion of ozone layer
all adds to the destruction of world and life
hunger, disease, lack of housing, edu, social crises are all ecological aggressions against humans
An Immense Equilibrium: Social Ecology
poverty and misery and made by humans and society it wasn’t predetermined
ecology has to do with relationships between all things; everything is interconnected in some way social ecology studies the relationships that a society establishes between its members and its
institutions and btwn nature
ecology is far more than conversationism. Its not enough to save an animal threatened to be extinct.
Social eco is not only concerned with “endangered species”
environmentalism isn’t enough, ecology doesn’t only revolve around env, plant water and air
humans are the only thing in part of nature that are capable of changing themselves nd the env
we must beware of a political environmentalism which seeks harmony between society and env only
in the interest of developing techniques for plundering the env while affecting the human habitat as lil
the vision upholds the idea of plundering the earth; that human beings must dominate nature.
it seeks a truce in which nature can heal itself so that we can then resume plundering
what is needed today is for humans to become friends with nature instead of enemies
we must seek a social ecology that is capable of articulating social justice
1)what is social eco?
Gudynas – ecology is the study of human systems in interaction with env systems”
human systems include: individuals, societies and societal systems.
env systems include natural elements(jungles,deserts,plains), civilization (cities,factories)
2) the basic issues of social ecology. Gudynas proposes the following basic hypothesis:
humans individually and socially, interact intensely with the env. 1 can’t be studied apart from
each human system creates its suitable env. Each is diff and has its own representations.
social ecology is interested in issues such as the instruments in which humans act upon nature
the discussion of social eco encompasses the misery and poverty of marginalized populations,
the concentration of land in rural/urban areas, agricultural and farming techniques, population growth
and the process of urban sprawl, the disintegration of the ozone layer, threat to the northern forests,
the poisoning of water and the soil and atmo.
3) a holistic ecology. From a holistic viewpoint, society and culture also belong to the ecological
complex. Eco is the relationship between living/non-living things, natural and cultural and btwn them
and their env
we and everything around us is a part of an immense equilibrium which is the ecosystem
Today’s social system is anti-ecological and produces misery
every phase of this system has been and is based on the exploitation of human beings and nature
the search for unlimited material development has led to inequality btwn capital and work creating
exploitation of workers and the accompanying deterioration in the quality of life.
our capitalist system is an economy of dependent exportation
foreign debt:- aggression against social relationships, social devastation of the poor and the
contamination of the biosphere
it has a political meaning
the banks are protected against the non-payment of this debt. But it is maintained bcuz of its political importance as a means of control, assuring increasing dependence on the nations of the North
the payment of the debt and the interest on it is financed through exports , but income received from
the products exported depends on the global market and therefore the debt is not honoured.
as a result, state investment in social areas is reduced in order to pay off the debt.
this strategy produces social tragedy as it affects public policy concerning food, health,
employment and urban organization
the poor occupy the most dangerous areas of the city and the agricultural frontiers, where they
destroy forests so they can survive
the inability of the debtor nations to pay forces them to take out