The growing concern for the environmental state of the world is slowly becoming the dominant issue of the modern society. Because of the complicacy in the relationships between a man and the nature, the problem of defining the man’s role in ecology has gained a paramount importance. With help of deep ecology as an approach to environmentalism, it will be possible to solve the environmental problems on the agenda of the modern world.
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The Growing Concern over the Ecological Situation
The state of the environment depends greatly on people’s ecoliteracy. Thus, as the state of the nature started to reach the threatening level, it became obvious that the protection of the environment should be supported worldwide, which led to creating Greenpeace, the world nature care institution. As its founder, Rex Weyler, admitted, the idea of creating the institution which could protect the world from the harmful influence of the weapons created by people was building up slowly, in a step-by-step sequence:
To calibrate their bets, the scientists used the Halifax explosion, the greatest known human-made explosion of the time, as a unit of measure. “One Halifax” was a one-kiloton explosion. (Weyler 20)
Not a single occasion, this was one of the last drops which shaped the idea of Greenpeace in a more or less clear way. It was obvious that the nature needed protection badly, and Wexler was one of those people who could put this idea into practice.
Man and Mature or Man vs. Nature: The Double-Sided Sword
Another point to consider is the relationships between a man and a nature. This process is somewhat interconnected, because with help of Greenpeace the world has learned more about the most problematic issues of the environment, which helped the project spread all over the world.
Finding the link between a man and a nature, Greenpeace encouraged people to share their ideas of the environmental protection further on. In addition, it helped people to find their own self in the world and associate it with the nature; in other words, people are able to accept the nature now with help of Greenpeace. A perfect example of such links restored is the one driven by Macy:
What is striking about Michael’s words is the shift in identification. Michael is able to extend his sense of self to encompass the self of the tree and of the whale. Tree and whale are no longer removed, separate, disposable objects pertaining to a world “out there”; they are intrinsic to his own vitality. (185)
What Greenpeace aims at is establishing the desirable relationships between a man and nature. In Wexler’s understanding, nature is the top perfection which people have to explore carefully, with due respect; if conducting their research properly, they will be able to identify themselves.
Nature is perfection itself, which means that a single interference by a human can lead to irreparable consequences. As Emerson said, “To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature” (7). For a man to see the nature as it is, bare and defenseless in front of the mankind with its harmful influence, (s)he must see more than meets the eye:
The lover of the nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood (Emerson 7)
Ecoliterate, people will be able to cognize the nature and bring it less harm, which Greenpeace aims at. With help of the knowledge which people possess, they can decrease the level of environment contamination. Thus, helping to reconcile the two opposites with help of the philosophy of deep ecology, Greenpeace will be able to maintain the sufficient level of ecological safety.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Nature. Boston, MA: John Monroe & Company, 1849. Print.
Macy, Joanna. World as Lover, World as Self. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press. 1991. Print.
Weyler, Rex. Greenpeace: How a Group of Journalists, Ecologists and Visionaries Changed the World. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2004. Print.