Divided Natures: French Contributions to Political Ecology by Kerry H Whiteside

By Kerry H Whiteside

During this ebook Kerry Whiteside introduces the paintings of a variety of French ecological theorists to an English-speaking viewers. He indicates how thinkers in France and in English-speaking international locations have produced varied traces of ecological proposal and means that the paintings of French ecological theorists might reduce pervasive tensions in Anglophone ecology. a lot of the idea written in English is formed by way of the controversy among anthropocentric ecologists, who contend that the worth of our nonhuman atmosphere derives from their position in pleasing human pursuits, and ecocentric ecologists, who contend that the nonhuman international holds final price in and of itself. This debate is sort of nonexistent between French theorists, who are inclined to specialise in the techniques linking nature and human identification. Whiteside means that the insights of French theorists may perhaps support English-language theorists to extricate themselves from never-ending debates over the true middle of nature's worth. one of the French theorists mentioned are Denis de Rougemont, Denis Duclos, René Dumont, Luc Ferry, André Gorz, Félix Guattari, Bruno Latour, Alain Lipietz, Edgar Morin, Serge Moscovici, and Michel Serres. The English-language theorists mentioned contain John Barry, Robyn Eckersley, Robert Goodin, Tim Hayward, Holmes Rolston III, and Paul Taylor.

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Not that Pompidou had himself become a convert to a new ecological sensibility. He introduced plans to build a highway on the left bank of the Seine river in Paris with the admonition that “the city must adapt to the automobile”(Pronier and le Seigneur 1992: 141). Indignation at that project occasioned one militant’s turn toward ecology. Brice Lalonde—president of the student union of the Sorbonne in 1968, and the man who would 26 Chapter 1 become political ecology’s most electorally ambitious advocate in the coming decades—organized a massive bicycle-based demonstration in Paris in 1972.

Ecologists charge that current levels of material production actually impoverish the quality of our lives. An ethic of “more is better” implies that the preferred standards for assessing human well-being are quantitative. Lalonde (1993: 36) observes that ecologists are the only group expressing the need to look beyond productivity as a good in itself and to evaluate the purposes that things serve and the experiential quality of producing them. If maximizing material production were no longer the purpose of labor, it would be possible to imagine restructuring work to respond to other standards.

He introduced plans to build a highway on the left bank of the Seine river in Paris with the admonition that “the city must adapt to the automobile”(Pronier and le Seigneur 1992: 141). Indignation at that project occasioned one militant’s turn toward ecology. Brice Lalonde—president of the student union of the Sorbonne in 1968, and the man who would 26 Chapter 1 become political ecology’s most electorally ambitious advocate in the coming decades—organized a massive bicycle-based demonstration in Paris in 1972.

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